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Lecture 17

SOC 134 Lecture 17: Lecture 17

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University of Wisconsin - Madison
SOC 134
Melanie Murchison

Lecture 17 History of Wages • Great depression: 1929 o FDR institutes social safety nets in response to the great depression ▪ Welfare, social security: The New Deal ▪ Unemployment insurance, minimum wage, pensions, etc. When Affirmative Action Was White • Southern Democrats forced northern Democrats into a devil’s bargain: o “Either the New Deal policies in Jim Crow Law remains, or we (southern democrats) will align with Republicans and veto them” • Many non-whites were denied benefits because their occupations (farmers/maids) were not covered by the New Deal Post World War II • Women and non-whites entered manufacturing jobs o Taft-Harty act diminished the power of unions • Non-whites were denied military enlistment until final throes of war o Excluded non-whites from the GI Bill of Rights The GI Bill of Rights • The GI Bill forged the American Middle Class o The U.S spend 95 billion$ in social benefits o Veterans bought homes, financed businesses, bought farmland, and went to college ▪ Helped the postwar boom in higher education o The distribution of benefits (loans, jobs, unemployment assistance, mortgage for suburban homes) was left to white state and local authorities Limitations of the GI Bill • Many blacks and Latinos were denied opportunities to start businesses, buy homes, go to same colleges as whites, and gain access to new jobs o “Affirmative Action was white” Postwar Industrialization • Many whites found their way into steady working class jobs in Americas rising manufacturing sector o Postwar years were boom times for American manufacturing End of Industrialization • Manufacturing jobs disappeared from the northeast and Midwest in the 1980’s • Factories gave way to a service economy o Rise of fast-food and sales industry • Particularly challenging to non-whites (blacks and Puerto Ricans) Industrial Restructuring • 1960’s-1970’s o manufacturing decreased as importation became more profitable
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