Why Pennsylvania?

Deindustrialization refers to the decline of manufacturing industries in a particular region or country. The effects of deindustrialization can be devastating, including job loss, increased poverty, and a decline in the overall economy.  The American economy has undergone a series of wrenching economic transformations. The working class underwent a significant transformation during the shift from an industrial to a service-based economy. As manufacturing jobs declined, service sector jobs increased, leading to a “recycling” of the working class. This shift was accompanied by a rise in part-time and temporary jobs, lower wages, and a decrease in unionization. It also leads to high unemployment rates, and even those who had jobs were affected by the decrease in worker protections. Overall, the transition had a significant impact on the working class, resulting in a new economic landscape with different opportunities and challenges.

The state of Pennsylvania had lost many manufacturing jobs, leading to high unemployment rates and a decline in the standard of living for many residents. An increase in rates of poverty; in 1976, the poverty rate in the Pittsburgh area was 6.7 percent; by 1983, it had more than doubled to 13.8 percent.

One of the main factors of social turmoil within the country and especially the state of Pennsylvania is the increase of radical groups such as the Denominational Ministry Strategy. They pressured the elites into supporting jobless people and advocating for policies that would reduce inflation. Governmental aid and grants were meant to support low or no income families. Eventually the “welfare reform” designed to drive recipients of general assistance—“employed, intact families meeting income guidelines, temporarily disabled workers and single, unemployed people”

The loss of industry also had political implications, as politicians struggled to address the issue and provide solutions. Socially, the deindustrialization led to a loss of community identity and a sense of purpose for many residents. Overall, the effects of deindustrialization in Pennsylvania were far-reaching and long-lasting. Multiple industries including the steel industry had collapsed by the end of 1980s. A significant demographic change occurred with immigration and an exceed in the number of population. This also has contributed to ethnic diversity within the states. 

Also, mass joblessness had proven to have a great impact on public health which is indicated through high levels of domestic violence and suicide rates. Yet this economic vulnerability was still a point of political power. Politically, we notice a high turnout rate in political participation due to an increase in immigrants.

During the 1970s, social welfare and government programs in the United States were meager due to several factors. Firstly, the country was facing economic challenges, including high inflation rates and rising unemployment. Secondly, there was a shift in political ideology towards conservatism, which favored limited government intervention in social welfare programs. Additionally, there was a lack of political will to increase funding for these programs..

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