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But that runs the risk of having radioactive debris hit Earth, and a Purdue University professor tells the Journal that there are probably better ways to ward off asteroids, including a “gravity tractor” that could change their course.
Saying nukes are needed to defend the planet “may be an excuse for keeping the nuclear arsenal together,” he says. Asteroids?
More From Newser
Somebody’s been watching Armageddon: American nuclear authorities say they have delayed getting rid of old warhead components because they could help protect the world from killer asteroids.
Scientists believe it will be at least a century before any asteroids big enough to wreck the planet are close enough to worry about, but some researchers are worried about smaller asteroids and believe nuclear weapons could be an effective solution, the Atlantic reports.
A Malmstrom Air Force Base missile maintenance team removes the upper section of an ICBM at a Montana missile site. (AP Photo/US Air Force, John Parie)
Authorities say the warheads are being kept “pending a senior-level government evaluation of their use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,” reports the Wall Street Journal, which found the information “tucked away” on the 67th page of a Government Accountability Office report on the National Nuclear Security Administration.. (The asteroid that hit the planet 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs because of very bad timing, researchers say.)
This article originally appeared on Newser: US Keeping Nukes in Case of ..
That required extensive computer modeling and testing to assure precise shape, size and weight and that the triggers meet performance requirements.
Since last summer’s announcement, the Los Alamos lab has made 10 additional W88 triggers. halted in 1992, and through a different process than the replacements. The scientist spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.
Because the U.S. All rights reserved. So far, nine have earned the “diamond stamp” from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab’s programs. That, in turn, creates the high temperatures and pressure to ignite a “secondary” nuclear component. She posed that question in a letter last Friday to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.
Los Alamos National Laboratory: http://www.lanl.gov/
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. For years, however, testing the warhead’s components to ensure the weapon produces the intended blast instead of a fizzle has been complicated by a lack of replacement plutonium triggers.
Last summer, the first replacement plutonium trigger in 18 years received “diamond stamp” approval signaling it was ready for use in a warhead. It meant the warheads, after testing that makes the original trigger unsuitable for reuse, could be reassembled with a new trigger and put back into service.
A watchdog group now is raising questions about whether the replacement triggers, also known as pits, can be guaranteed to be as reliable as those already in some 400 W88 warheads. That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary.
By H. no longer conducts underground nuclear tests, the Los Alamos scientists had to rely on other sources to replicate the original triggers and guarantee that the replacements would be as reliable as the old. The last of the original triggers were manufactured in the late 1980s.. The bottom line _ the pits produced meet all functional quality requirements for use and are fully accepted by NNSA.”
In a warhead’s detonation, a conventional explosive packaged around the pit compresses the plutonium inward, creating enough pressure for an atomic chain reaction. The result is a a massive hydrogen blast.
On the Net:
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The government will not say how many W88 warheads it has. To scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that was a milestone to celebrate. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. These means included small-scale plutonium tests, technical data from past underground tests, and computer codes and models.
Kevin Roark, a spokesman for the Los Alamos weapons program said the changes in specifications “have been fully explored, fully vetted and fully accepted by NNSA and engineering analysis (conducted) by us.”
Resting atop the Trident II missile, the W88 warhead is among the mainstays of the country’s submarine-based nuclear arsenal. He was on a panel that last year concluded the plutonium in warhead triggers is much sturdier than previously thought, with a life span of as much 100 years.
At least one other replacement pit required 71 specification waivers, a Los Alamos scientist indirectly involved in the production process told The Associated Press. The original triggers, all made at the now-closed Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, were hammered into precise form. This process is viewed by metallurgists as producing a stronger product.
Officials say the cost figures reflect the fact that new facilities and a new process for making the replacement triggers had to be developed. ___
Precise manufacture of the trigger is essential.
But Los Alamos and agency officials bristle at suggestions that the new triggers might be less reliable or have flaws that could affect their performance.
Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California at Berkeley, a longtime adviser to the government on nuclear weapons issues, said in an interview he is not surprised there have been some modification in the W88 warhead, but that does not mean it is less reliable.
“With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the group that monitors nuclear weapons-related activities. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
The Project on Government Oversight says it was told by some Los Alamos scientists that the trigger certified last July and known as the W88 pit needed 72 waivers from the specifications used for the original triggers, including 53 engineering-related changes.
Any variation or flaw in the pit could cause a warhead not to detonate properly or to detonate with less explosive power than expected.
FOXNews.com – Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum
The agency acknowledged there were “more than 70 engineering authorizations” _ as it characterizes the waivers _ approved in the new W88 pit certification and that this was a “relative high number.”
National Nuclear Security Administration: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/
The new ones were made by using a mold to cast the grapefruit-size plutonium sphere. Such approval means they are ready to use.
Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org
In an e-mail response to the watchdog group’s claims, Bernard Pleau, a spokesman for the agency’s office at Los Alamos, said the changes do not “compromise the integrity of the parts. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. The original triggers were made with the benefit of underground nuclear testing, which the U.S. Scientists at Los Alamos and at the government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California concluded the change did not degrade the reliability of the triggers, according to NNSA.
The government acknowledges differences between the old triggers and their replacements.
“The manufacturing process for the W88 has been incredibly, thoroughly vetted,” said Jeanloz. The number has been estimated at about 400, in addition to an estimated 3,200 W76 warheads that also are designed for the submarine-based Trident II missile.
The change in manufacturing process, from wrought to cast, has been a subject of debate and extensive analysis among those involved in nuclear weapons
“But they also won’t give up the individuality that’s a hallmark of Millennials. 39%).
“Millennial Moms are clearly reacting to the way they were raised,” says Fogarty.
Tomorrow will conclude our look at the BabyCenter 2014 Report findings, finishing with the last two discoveries about Millennial Moms. 25%). 77%), relaxed (59% vs 48%), and aspirational (49% vs. 26%), and enabling (34% vs. Compared to Gen X, Millennial Moms are 30% more likely to have used Tumblr, 167% more likely to have used Vine, and over three times as likely to have used Snapchat.
Yesterday it was revealed that on Thursday, January 30th, BabyCenter® revealed their latest profile; this time regarding the Millennial Mom. The study found that Millennial Moms’ top five favorite apps are Facebook, Instagram, BabyCenter, Pinterest, and Pandora.
“Millennial Moms – and dads too, for that matter – are placing a higher importance on parenting than previous generations,” says Fogarty. However, when asked about their own parenting style, Millennial Moms say they are fun (88% vs. These moms turn to their mobile devices to look up recipes (76%), manage finances (69%), and search for parenting advice (76%) monthly. 49%), worried (38% vs. When asked about their own upbringing, Millennial Moms are more likely than Gen X moms to say that their parents were protective (63% vs. According to a Pew Research Center report on Millennials, overall it was discovered that 52% say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life (24% higher than Gen X) while only 30% say the same about having a successful marriage (14% lower than Gen X).. Additionally, Millennial Moms have a preference for all portable devices compared to Gen Xers. Stay tuned!
· Digitally connected: These mothers spend a daily average of 8.3 hours consuming media; going so far as to stream video or utilizing their smartphone or tablet to go online. As an example, Gen X mothers used an actual camera whereas Millennial Moms whip out their portable device to take and share photos and videos. The Millennials simply utilize their portable devises as a daily tool although both generations of mothers own the devices. They also use them to listen to music and watch online videos and movies on a daily basis.
The latest generation of mothers are digital natives. “They’re creating an environment for their kids that’s more laid back and less structured, and they feel more relaxed and happy as parents. They reject the pressure they grew up with.”
These moms have proven to put more of an emphasis on being a good mother and less emphasis on having a successful marriage. The article explained that ‘the Millennial Mother is ‘more than you think she is.’ The Report issued displayed the Millennial Mom’s four qualities, in which the first two will be discerned more completely today. Despite parenting pressures, Millennial Moms say their parenting style is loving (96%), encouraging (92%), supportive (90%), and involved (87%). A Millennial is:
· Not her mother: meaning that this new age of mothers, products of helicopter parenting, have decidedly agreed to take a more relaxed approach to mothering. They are very comfortable using technology, including apps, to manage their lives and get more accomplished in less time. The result is a highly integrated life, where ‘we time’ is best served with regular doses of ‘me time.’”
Millennial Moms are also socially nimble: They over-index against Gen X moms across all social media platforms and are more likely to experiment with emerging social networks. 82% of Gen X moms), forgiving (87% vs. According to the study, the Millennial Mom toolkit includes laptops (83%), smartphones (81%), and streaming TV subscriptions (53%)
Understanding Surgery: A Comprehensive Guide for Every Family nn By Dr. ISBN : 0937832464 70 Pages, MultiMedia
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Robert Noonan, a dear friend of mine, is also a member of Gather and author of the Orphan Train Trilogy. I asked him if he would share a little more information for us here at Gather…
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The Clinton Diaries nn By Fred Petrovsky nn nn nn Has it really been more than ten years? The Clinton Diaries by Fred Petrovsky, with dates, brings back memories as fresh as yesterday’s
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nn Significant historical war information, reading almost like an exciting novel, has been written by William Schofield and P. Maciej Zajac beautifully illustrates it in a way that adds emphasis to the
Bravo! Greatness of Italian Music nn by Guy Graybill nn Dante University Press nn Historian Guy Graybill undoubtedly loves music as well as history. Betz’s first book, Dear John , having read it that day! What a delightful, satisfying read! nn
Signed copies available at nn http://www.vietnamnoregrets.com/ nn Vietnam: No Regrets One Soldier’s Tour of Duty By J. K. Joel nn Durrant and William Cryer nn 48HourBooks.Com nn nn It was a delight to have the opportunity to read The Gravy Queen: A Tribute
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Vanishing Act nn American Writer’s Award winner Todd Daniel McCormick (2007) has written a “reality” thriller/adventure! And what better way to read about today’s reality than
nn Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions- an intriguing title for an intriguing book just out by Edward Ugel. http://www.bookreviewers.org/ I particularly enjoy providing support to new authors, as possible. Kuykendall Publishes Alternative History Novel!” />
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nn Dear John By Norma L. K. J. Carisella . I now work part-time online as a professional book reviewer. That would make your leaving way too easy…If it’s a case that you’re expected to marry a Kentucky Blueblood socialite
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nn By Alicia Kirschenheiter nn 51 Pages nn nn Oscar Otis is a new fun book by Alicia Kirschenheiter. Joel Berman nn Branden Books nn ISBN: 0-8283-2061-6 nn 496 Pages nn I highly recommend Dr. McGee Smith nn Branden Publishing Company nn ISBN: 0780828321860 nn 245 Pages nn In writing the biography of Charles
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nn Observations in Poetry and Pictures: The Words and Images of Adolfo Caso By Adolfo Caso* The Dante University Foundation, Inc. Richard Watkins 193 Pages
nn I’m a collector of cat books as well as cat memorabilia of all kinds! So, needless to say, I was pleased to receive my copy of The Tiniest Tiger by Joanne L. I am delighted
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Convertible Counterpoint in the Strict Style nn By Serge Ivanovitch Taneiev nn Serge Ivanovitch Taneiev’s Convertible Counterpoint In the Strict Style published in 1909 is now available
Over the years I’ve gotten involved and learned about all phases of publishing a book, including writing reviews for publicity packets. I have an interest in helping new authors through
When was the last time you read a great ghost story-for instance, one like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow? For me, a great ghost story is not full of ugly, murderous ghosts, it is a literary tale of
I’M So Excited! Friend and client, Aaron Kuykendall’s sales are at 138,000! I’m sooooo excited! My friend and client, Aaron Kuykendall’s book has already sold 138,000
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“But don’t go leaving here with the idea that I don’t love you
That much was clear from the Paddy Power branding.
But gambling advertising wasn’t as in-your-face as now. That was before online bookmakers offered odds on anything and everything, from match results and goals scored to which team will win the coin toss or take the first corner, and before their relentless advertising.
John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. In pocketing 250,000 pounds (335,000 euros; US$375,000) from bookmaker Paddy Power for this stunt, Ginola became the latest Trojan horse in the gambling and gaming industry’s creeping and creepy embrace of football.
And that isn’t funny at all.
And how about this blurb from Sky Bet, title sponsor since 2013 of England’s three divisions below the Premier League. There’s nothing funny about the gambling industry’s latest wheeze to sink its teeth even deeper into football and its fans.
Bet. “It’s great for Paddy Power. Bet some more.
We’re talking here about David Ginola. It won’t happen; FIFA’s ethics rules should see to that. Tuning in for results of football betting pools, which offered big jackpots for small stakes, was a Saturday afternoon ritual for many 20th Century English families.
PARIS – Don’t laugh. 10 will pit two Asian online bookmakers against each other. But the mere thought of the gambling industry even attempting to place a stooge at the very top of football makes the prospect of another Blatter term seem perhaps not quite so bad.
“It’s an absolute disgrace,” he said in a phone interview. FIFA’s election and ethics rules will almost certainly keep him off the May ballot. In the UK, which liberalized gambling advertising in 2007, adults’ exposure to gambling commercials on television soared five-fold in eight years to 2012, regulator Ofcom found. ___
“I’m here today to talk about love” were the Frenchman’s seductive opening words at his campaign launch in London this month.
“It’s eyeballs we’re after,” 12Bet executive Rory Anderson, quoted in the Daily Mail, said when the online bookmaker became the name on Hull City’s shirt for this Premier League season.
Asking your kids to make tea during half-time breaks won’t shield them from the bombardment, not with gambling ads flashing throughout matches on pitch-side light-boards. “There’s more passion, more pleasure and more pain.”
Twaddle takes a very dim view of Ginola’s Paddy Power-backed grab for FIFA.
Sports and gambling have, of course, long gone together, feeding off each other’s success and growth. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester
“It just makes like a mockery of football.”
Imagine, for a moment, a Paddy Power-financed FIFA president. Hull against Aston Villa on Feb. So silky as a player for Newcastle and Tottenham; so ridiculous now with his car-crash campaign for the FIFA presidency.
All this in a sport grappling with the increasing danger of gambling-related match-fixing and with ample examples of gambling-addicted players who frittered away their wealth.
But the targets were our wallets and spending habits, not our hearts. This was about making a splash. But I mean you’re talking about one of the biggest, powerfulest jobs in football and all you’re getting to hear about is Paddy Power.”
One of those is Kevin Twaddle, a former player for Motherwell and other Scottish clubs who told his story in the biography, “Life On The Line: How to Lose a Million and So Much More.” He no longer gambles and has delivered talks to other players about the risks.
But that’s not the point here. After Thursday’s passing of the entry deadline, “Team Ginola” should fade away.
Sport “matters more when there’s money on it,” it says. The increase was three-fold for children aged 4-15.
That is the message that football, more than most other sports, is mainlining into our homes, helped by names like Ginola and teams lending their cachet, stadiums, jerseys and players to the industry that had cash to splash when the 2008 financial crisis hobbled other sponsors.
Whoa. It reads like a plug for Fifty Shades of Grey.
. Bet again. What ever happened to sport for sport’s sake, for the buzz of competition, not a bet? How quaint. Villa’s shirt sponsor is dafabet, a name that works better in Chinese, where “dafa” means “big wealth.” Stoke and Burnley players are billboards for Bet365 and Fun88 (another name that plays on the Chinese word to get rich).
Salaries and benefits of corporate CEOs as compared to the average factory workers were 30 times higher in1980 and reached 130-140 times higher in 1991 (Krugman 262). By the late 1980s the before tax GINI Index was (.423) with the after taxes GINI as (.404). Reminiscent of the 1920′s and 1930′s, the middle class, formerly the largest class of the post WWII through the Vietnam War era has also been ever decreasing in size. Also on the hit list for Reaganomics, was the reduction of social programs.
Part of the Reagan plan was a reduction in taxes. Many of the nation’s economic critics saw the policies of Reaganomics as short-term answers to a long-term problem by borrowing against the nation’s future.
. Harrison and Bluestone define what is usually considered the middle-class income earners, as those making $20,000 to $50,000 annually. Since employee turnover is highest during the first few months of employment, businesses could save at least 20 to 25-percent of the wages they would have paid to an employee during that same period.
But what is the cost of these outsourcing? The result of reductions in domestic production and outsourcing was a reduction in U.S. The GINI Index numbers support this disparity. Additionally, in 1947 and the passing of Taft-Hartley, labor could no longer organize on the scale of unions of the 1930′s. Revolving installment credit grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149). The result of this program was a softening of safety and environmental regulations to ease the burden on industry. The wage-gap between the America lower income group and the upper or rich America group has been ever increasing. Some firms have done so to improve their chance of selling to foreign markets or to take advantage of foreign government incentives (taxes) (Harrison Bluestone 31).
Ronald Reagan’s laissez-faire government policies, reminiscent of the 1920′s, included legislative and legal actions that severely hampered organized labor. According to Krugman, these salaries did not come primarily from greater profits, but from a larger slice of the profits.
From 1973 to 1986 average wages have dropped in buying power by nearly 14-percent (Harrison Bluestone 113).In 1986, the average annual income of the poorest 20-percent of all families was $8,033. This group shrank from 53-percent in 1973 to 47.9-percent in 1984. This living on debt and buying time was sufficient to fuel a short-term recovery (Harrison Bluestone 147). During this period the government went on a spending spree financed by the deficit. The two-tier wage system allowed reduced wages for employees during the new worker’s first few weeks or months of the normal probation period. DOD spending doubled $134 billion in 1980 to $282 billion in 1987 (Harrison Bluestone 149). Reaganomics, in effect, was a program to strengthen business and industry while weakening the power of organized labor, reduce federal spending on other than military programs, reduce taxes, and regulatory abatement. As a result of these actions, profit margins rose steadily, yet average wages for families has decreased or at best has somewhat frozen in place.
If labor had not been weakened enough by the high unemployment levels in the late 1970′s, Reagan’s firming of the PATCO members sent a clear message to not only the unions, but also to the courts as to his lack of support for organized labor. During the 1970′s the average family income was $24,000, while the average steelworker was making $40,000. Reaganomic policies, though we can’t forget some initial deregulation efforts instituted during the Carter years, reversed what had been accomplished prior to the 1970′s (Harrison Bluestone 79). Keeping labor costs from rising is not the only reason that U.S. However, after accounting for the business cycle, for productivity, and for the shrinkage of manufacturing jobs, the growing proportion of baby boomers in the work force contributes nothing to an explanation of low wages. production employment.
Creative wage reduction programs such as the two-tier pay system and conversion of a percentage of full-time employees to contingency labor employees (part-time and temporary employees) or a combination of methods became (and are still) the normal practice. They increased offshore investments and began outsourcing for labor and manufacturing in search of the lowest labor and production costs.
Social deregulation, as described by Harrison and Bluestone, was a true innovation of the Reagan Administration. Reaganomics as described by most, if not all economists and historians was supply-side economics; however, this in itself doesn’t really explain Reaganomics because of what actually happened. One argument presented to explain this problem is that the “low wage explosion is mostly a statistical illusion, reflecting the impact of inflation and recession on workers’ earnings (Geoghegan 124).” Another proposal is to attribute the problem to a large influx of baby boomers into the work force. Employment in mining actually rose until 1981 only to fall nearly in half during the 1980′s through the 1990′s (Slater 129).
The total amount borrowed by consumers nearly doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. His experience through the late 1960′s and 1970′s describes the labor movement as having become political driven organizations characterized by the same characteristics (greed, power, control, and inequality) of those they despised – Big Business. In some cases businesses just simply got out of the production end and found alternate “ways of making paper profits” or found other ways to reduce labor costs.
Reagan was not the only one conducting a reduction program. businesses began discarding their standard practices and shifted capital into overtly speculative ventures. This act also weakened union power by outlawing mass picketing, secondary strikes on neutral employers, and sit-downs. After 1980, the purchasing power of lower-class wage earners through middle-class wage earners degraded throughout the period. I must add at this point that the “U-turn” in America’s economics actually began during the 1970′s; Reagan only sped up and expanded the process significantly (“U-turn”- the term used by Bluestone and Harrison to describe the reversal of fortune of the labor forces and the shrinking middle class).
Deregulation under Carter and Reagan opened the industries of steel, automotive, carpenters, and trucking to what Geoghegan called gypsies – small owner operators (Geoghegan 139). As Harrison and Bluestone state it, “Globalization of production was no longer supplementing domestic manufacturing but replacing it (Harrison Bluestone 28).” Restructuring involved creating multinational corporations with its headquarters and support functions in the major capitalist countries. Ronald Reagan’s supporters credit him as being the great savior of the American economy; his critics’ credit his policies for creating the destruction of labor and gambling away the future of the American economy through massive increases in the federal deficit. The groundwork for Reaganomics policies was put in place well before his time.
Reaganomics Debate:Inequality in Income Distribution, Government Policies and Corporate Restructuring
Mountains of paper have been written about the economic period of the 1980′s, coined Reaganomics. The Reagan Administration simply continued this trend toward economic deregulation as initiated under Carter. As Geoghegan puts it, the Taft-Hartley led to union busting.
There is plenty of material to argue whether or not Reaganomics was an economic success or an economic blunder. However, the benefactors of the tax reduction were not the majority of wage earners. With the weakening of organized labor by deregulation, businesses began experimenting with organizational changes to include work, labor, management relations, and flexible arrangements with employees, subcontractors, otherwise known as corporate restructuring.
The counter argument against these income disparity issues is attributed by some as simply a matter of normal business cycles. It became a joke to say, “We are spending money to help the economy.” Consumer borrowing doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. But most of all, during the Reagan year’s people went into debt.
Any discussion on Reaganomics should always contain a definition of Reaganomics so let’s get that out of the way from the start. Contingency labor included part-time and temporary employees. U.S. A further major benefit of these creative pay systems was that they provided a way to avoid unions or at least keep the impact of union actions at a minimum. Benefit packages for these contingency employees were either non-existent or at least small enough to still keep labor costs low. Yet, organized labor was not the only one to feel the reduction of government support. Double income families were not a uniqueness of the lowest income earners, middle-class America also lost, or at least sustained, buying power during the 1980′s. The richest 20-percent received $5,600 more per year in 1986, than they would have based on 1968 monetary values (Harrison Bluestone 131). Harrison and Bluestone call the Reagan Administration “the single greatest gift to the business community” (Harrison Bluestone 102). firms have gone abroad to set up assembly or service operations. Yet, no real credible argument has been made that the Reagan years did anything to improve the equality of income distribution. As a result, the traditional one-income household was no longer sufficient to keep up with the family economic needs. The reduced costs resulting from relocating no-skill jobs, low-skill jobs, assembly, and manufacturing operations to low wage areas, validated the practice of outsourcing. Who paid for the improvements in American business during the 1980′s? The lower 60% of American workers paid for these improvements through the reductions in the real purchasing power of their income.
Of course there are many supporters of Reaganomics that will produce statistics showing how the GNP was sustained during the 1980′s; there is really no mystery here. Union bureaucracy began to rival that of the federal and state court systems (Geoghegan 86-7).
While Presidents Reagan and Bush froze the minimum wage level for a nine-year period, essentially cutting pay each year as inflation bit into lower wage earners, the salaries of executives skyrocketed during the 80′s. Employment in the manufacturing area fell seven-percent between 1968 and 1979, continuing to fall twelve-percent more through the 1980′s and 1990′s (Slater 143). Strangely enough, this period seems to be the era of debt for both the government and the American income earners. Often it’s stated that the Reagan Administration was trying to reduce the double-digit inflation of 1980 and turn around the falling rate of production. The results of these policies directly impacted the redistribution of income in favor of the higher income group (Harrison Bluestone 162).
Geoghegan, a former labor attorney, tells of his experiences dealing with organized labor, how and why it has lost its ability to fight. Therefore, it’s not too surprising to see the average American family would not be to upset if union organizations were losing ground. More family members entered the work force in order to increase or sustain real income purchasing power. New employees would only receive 75 to 80-percent of the normal wage during a probation period (the probation period usually equated to the business’s employee turnover period). This shows that there was a higher distribution of income in the hands of fewer people (Krugman 25).
Since the mid-1960′s through the 1990′s, Americans have been getting poorer and poorer. Families expanded their use of “plastic money” even faster. This article will discuss one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring.
This article focused on one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring. Reagan policies were designed to provide some flexibility for businesses to contain production costs, increase profits by reducing labor costs, and reducing the costs involved in meeting government standards. The program included freezing the minimum wage and shifting against federal protection of workers’ rights and unions. The existence of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) also quieted union members by insuring the benefits of workers displaced when companies went bankrupt or their pension plans go bust.
To better compete in a global economy, US industries adopted a program of “restructuring”. Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).In effect, most Americans during the Reagan Years went into debt. A major part of Reagan’s policy was to enhance the military complex in order to stay ahead of the perceived communist threat. By the mid-1970′s global competition was eating away at American business profits. This was more than $1,740 less than they would have received based on 1968 income levels (Harrison Bluestone 131). These methods provided a way of reducing full-time labor wage costs, which included a reduction in employee benefits cost. At the end of the Carter Era the GINI Index before taxes was (.403) and (.352) after taxes. According to data published in Krugman’s book, Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations, income data for the period reflects that the tax reductions during the 1980s actually cost the lower 60-percent income groups, while the top 40-percent income groups saw monetary increases (Krugman 24-5). The “engineered recession” of 1980 and 1981-2, along with reductions in social welfare programs contributed to this “great U-turn” in the standard of living of most Americans, employed as well as unemployed, middle managers as well as blue collar workers (Harrison Bluestone viii). “The old Teamster order collapsed and thousands of firms closed (Geoghegan 139).” During the late 1970′s and into the 1980′s, the Teamster membership fell from 2.2 million to 1.6 million. During the 1980′s, the U.S. lost one out of three heavy industrial jobs.
In Thomas Geoghegan’s book, Which Side Are You On? Trying To Be For Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back, two pieces of legislation are discussed as the beginning of the end for organized labor began with the 1935 Wagner Act and the National Labor relations Board (NLRB). Either there exists a significant polarization of income distribution around the middle-class or the middle-class is now what used to be the lower-end of the upper-class income.
Geoghegan believes that part of the weakening of unions also has to do with a lack of sympathy by the average family. The Government’s induced deflation, deregulation, regressive tax reform, privatization, and “union bashing” have contributed to new corporate strategies and the inequality of income distribution in America (Harrison Bluestone 16). Both sides of the Reaganomic fence provide more than enough evidence in support of the argument that says: lower and middle class America lost significant ground during the 1980′s. The same act that affirmed the right to organize but gave the NLRB the job of certifying whether or not a union was to be considered “officially” recognized. And, of course, both sides of the argument will present evidence in support of their positions. The inequality of income is not limited to only a specific age group (Harrison Bluestone 125).
The Government economic policies supporting deregulation and the concept of privatization of government services were actually taken initially between the years 1968-1978. Fulltime manning was drastically reduced in watchdog agencies tasked to monitor the various industries. Credit card use grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149).Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).
From 1969 – 1980 (prior to Reaganomics) wage cuts and freezes were “practically non-existent” (Harrison Bluestone 39). They provided (and still do) flexibility to tailor their work force needs to the production needs. This included family members taking on extra jobs or moonlighting in order to make ends meet. To continue the weakening of the labor pool, the Reaganites engineered the recessions of 1980 and 1981-2 to under-cut labor organizations while contributing to the corporate bottom line (Harrison Bluestone 14). Yet, the cost to the average American laborer during that era and continuing into the next administration was what gave Reaganomics its negative reputation.
Contingency labor pools were (and still are) not organized under a union