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Summarize why class inequality declined from the end of the Grate Depression until the early 1970's - Term Paper Example

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One of them was the New deal that was enacted between 933 and 1936. The program involved relief for those who were unemployed, economic recovery, and financial system…
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Summarize why class inequality declined from the end of the Grate Depression until the early 1970s
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The Great Recovery and Inequality Reduction inequality declined from the end of the Great Depression until the early 1970s for various reasons. One of them was the New deal that was enacted between 933 and 1936. The program involved relief for those who were unemployed, economic recovery, and financial system reform. Initially, the New Deal gave relief to various groups like railways and banking. Later, in 1938, the Wagner Act promoted labor unions, the Social Security Act, as well as new programs that were meant to help migrant workers and tenant farmers. The Fair Labor Standards Act established minimum wages for most sectors at 25 cents an hours. Finally, work by Secretary for Labor Frances Perkins in the New Deal saw the birth of unemployment insurance and welfare programs. These worked to reduce inequality.
The entry of the United States in WWII also worked towards the reduction of inequalities. The war mobilization effort saw increased war spending that doubled the country’s GNP with full employment resulting from the military Keynesianism. In fact, unemployment fell from 25% in 1933 to 1% in 1944. Factories hired anyone without regards to skills and trained the workers by simplifying the tasks and payment being made by the federal government. This saw a massive move housewives, students, and farmers to join the country’s labor force.
The economy after the war was also responsible for reduced inequality with social welfare, higher wages, and full employment. The result of the United States winning the war meant that they were the world’s largest economy. In addition, the result of this newfound prosperity was an increase in expenditures by consumers that rose by close to fifty percent and a rise in individual savings that climbed over seven times what it was before the war. In 1935, the National Labor Relations Act that was part of the National Recovery Act guaranteed the rights of employees to bargain collectively via their own unions, as well as seeing the establishment of the NLRB that facilitated agreements on wages to suppress sit down strikes that had began in 1933. This saw mass growth of labor union membership with the mass production sectors being the majority in the American Labor Federation. The increased wages because of collective bargaining saw 30,000 workers’ wages increase with a decrease in working hours.
FDR’s Executive Order 8802 that prohibited racial discrimination in the military was also responsible for decreased inequality. It prohibited employment discrimination and promoted equal opportunity, citing the war effort. The order also contended that the US’s democracy could only be defended with the inclusion of every color, creed, race, or national origin. The order was made in response to A. Phillip Randolph and others who had protested against racial discrimination. All federal departments and agencies in military production were to ensure the administration of training and vocational programs sans discrimination, which also include private contractors. This, in turn, saw an increase of women workers who were employed due to a shortage of manpower with able young men occupied on the battlefield. One cultural icon from this era was Rosie the Riveter who was representative of factory female workers in WWII. Most of these women made war supplies and munitions for the military and took on new jobs to replace the fighting men. She is now a symbol of female economic power and equality.
The G.I. Bill of 1944 gave returning military veterans low cost mortgages, cash payments for tuition, unemployment compensation, and low interest loans. By the time the program ended, at least 2.2 million veterans had attended college and more had used the bill to attend a training program, which aided in reduction of inequalities by empowering them. Finally, Executive Order 9981 abolished racial discrimination in the military and gave equal opportunity and treatment to all. These actions worked towards the reduction of inequalities in the US. Read More
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