Inside America: The Rise and Fall of An Empire

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But 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.

Small 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.

Rising 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 in hospitals.

Many 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.

Small 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.

The 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.

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