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, and the culture— namely, the force of reaction”. (That ‘70’s Crisis, 2013) As the 1950’s ended Conservatives believed they had no choice but to fight against what was happening in their country and in the world and what was happening was largely the result, in one way or another, of the Left. Things were going wrong and needed to be fixed: the advance of Communism, the expansion of the welfare state, overregulation of free-market capitalism, the growing power of labor unions, activism in the courts, sexual permissiveness, crime, and the breakdown of the family, not to mention the deterioration of our schools. “What the Left saw as progress, conservatives saw as decline—and in reaction they searched for practical solutions”. (First Principles 2013)
During the next two decades—the 1960s and ’70s—conservatives became increasingly influential in politics, conservative organizations grew, financial resources were developed, new periodicals were founded, and a vibrant youth movement in...
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...ision Course: Ronald Reagan, the Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike That Changed America. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
McCartin, Joseph A “A Wagner Act for Public Employees”: Labors Deferred Dream and the rise of Conservatism, 1970-1976. The Journal of American History; June 2008
Schulman, Bruce J. The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics. New York: Free, 2001. Print.
Taylor, Evelyn S. P. A. T. C. O. and Reagan: An American Tragedy : The Air Traffic Controllers' Strike of 1981. Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2011. Print.
"What Can the Crisis of U.S. Capitalism in the 1970s Teach Us about the Current Crisis and Its Possible Outcomes?" That '70s Crisis. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.
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