During the 1970s and 1980s, there was a massive push for the deindustrialization of the United States’ job market. Deindustrialization is the push to remove or reduce the manufacturing industry. This is a strange concept for the American workforce to understand because the United States has been dependent on the manufacturing industry to make money for the country. During this time, they were removing the interest in internal production and focusing on global production where these plants were located outside the United States. There were huge economic, political, and social consequences of this deindustrialization. The period from 1975 to 1985, was “A period in which the region lost, by one estimate, 150,000 manufacturing jobs (Winant,180).” This caused many people to change their healthcare coverage to meet their basic needs. This was also a segregated issue because there was only a handful of all-white skilled trades that were let go, while there were dozens of African American positions that were let go. “In 1968, Pittsburgh saw a worse unemployment rate for African Americans than any other major city in the country, surpassing runners-up St. Louis, Detroit, and Newark (Winant,182)”. The unemployment rate for Pittsburgh reached 13.8% in 1983, and it reached a high of 17%. The unemployment rate was even worse for African American workers where it reached 25.6%. There were also huge consequences when it comes to populations in metropolitan areas. “Between 1980 and 1990, the metropolitan population shrank by 176,725, an enormous 6.7 percent loss (Winant,195).” This had huge consequences on the neighborhoods inside these large cities. Whole neighborhoods would be abandoned and are still to this day. The healthcare systems also took a hit from this deindustrialization. There was a shortage of long-term care beds in the Pittsburgh region, which caused the hospitals to be overcrowded. With this shortage of healthcare, many elderly people had to depend on a member of the household to take care of them. This led to even fewer people being able to work.

Even with this huge amount of unemployment that was going on in the country. The government took minimal action to help this situation. There are many different reasons why I think the government did nothing to help these people. The biggest reason that I think the government did nothing about this was that they were so focused on the Cold War and the spread of communism. There was an overwhelming amount of money going into defense spending and very little going into social services. At the end of the whole thing, there was very little that the United States got out of the Cold War. There are still consequences that are felt to this day from this deindustrialization. Major cities like Detroit of neighborhoods that are like ghost towns and have no real future. I believe that if the government would have shifted more of its spending to help the people, there would far fewer significant consequences.

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