The Crisis of the 1970´s and the Rise of the Conservative Movements

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A retrospective look at the crisis of the 1970s which contributed to the rise of the the Conservative movement—as a pivot between two different eras in the history of U.S. capitalism and by extension US labor relations—are not just an exercise in nostalgia. Rather, it is an opportunity to try to extract lessons from these crises, and to apply them to our current situation. The 1970’s were in fact a turning point in public sector labor relations. This turning point has had long ranging effects on how states and municipalities deal with public sector unions. “It is important to understand the driving force that compelled American conservatives to become practically engaged in the worlds of politics, education, the courts, …show more content…
American conservatism had emerged as an intellectual movement in the 1950s, had become a political movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and then, with President Reagan, a governing movement in the 1980s. Along the way, the conservative movement built a coherent philosophy that still exists today. To understand how this turning point has come about one needs to first look at the historical background of the times. “The explosive rise of public sector unions in the United States in the 1960’s and early 1970 has resembled in many ways the breakthrough of industrial unionism in the 1930’s. By 1970 about half of the nation’s state level workers had collective bargaining privileges”. (McCartin 2008) “The continuous expansion of the federal establishment, even under Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower, pointed to a key element of the postwar era: the liberal consensus that made big government possible”. (Shulman 2001)
Economically the United States had seen tremendous growth in the post war period which had led to some of the largest social programs since the New Deal. These included the Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as the government’s war on poverty. Government initiatives also lead to the creation of the EPA and OSHA. The postwar years established a pattern of expansive government. The national government provided Americans with subsidized

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