TO THE SEVENTIES:
the big worry was the decline seen in America's schools. Tests
scores were dropping. Drugs and teen pregnancies were rising.
Teachers were becoming more militant and demanding more pay.
Crime was increasing in the classrooms. The number of children
enrolling in schools was shrinking as well as the number of
school districts. Money for schools was evaporating as Americans
began a series of tax revolts on the local and state level forcing
the federal government to step in with more money even as it
cut back on other social services.
farms in America were disappearing as huge Agricultural companies
began buying up all the farmland. Fewer Americans worked on
farms than ever before during the Seventies. A trend that had
been gaining in strength since the turn of the century. Mechanization
of food production allowed less people to grow more food. But
it was an expensive business that few could afford and it relied
heavily on pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. Yet, America
continued to grow so much food that it was rapidly becoming
the bread-basket of the planet.
health costs also put a strain, not only on Americans, but also
on many government healthcare programs. Advances in medical
technology were responsible for the rising health costs as medicine
also became a big business. Yet many Americans began to realize
that the cigarette and liquor industries which were huge businesses
were also the source of many mental and physical illnesses that
were killing Americans. Tobacco and liquor were just one source
of social pollution that was still legal. This change in attitude
would have huge reprecussions in the future. Many states began
suing cigarette companies to cover the costs of additional health-care
unions in the old manufacturing industries were becoming weaker
as these industries fled to cheaper labor markets and American
workers lost jobs and psychological security. The new service
industries which paid less and had less benefits were less unionized
if at all and Americans in the decades to come would see their
social safety net shrink more and more as American business
continued to re-structure for the Third Wave.
retail stores also saw a decline in numbers as huge discount
stores became more and more popular. Americans were being taught
that consumption was more important than production in the new
economy and with the rise of credit cards this new philosophy
would change centuries old economic habits that in the past
had made America strong.
social scene in America was finally becoming more fragmented
as secure jobs disappeared and old family structures continued
to disintegrate. A rise in crime due to the new drug culture
was making American streets unsafe for many Americans even if
most of the crimes were in urban ghettos being committed by
African Americans on African Americans. And so, the general
level of psychological uneasiness was rising in America as it
headed into the Eighties. A time where many false securities
would continue to hide increasingly serious problems.