America has a special role in the world that is philosophically and morally grounded in the principles of human liberty and its logic of liberty. In the 1970s, America had a dreadful, disturbing and terrible time. There was the Vietnam War and the economic crisis including inflation, high taxes, oil shortage and the lives of Americans was not good as children never attended schools leading to high criminal activities on the streets. It had retreats on almost all fronts and Americans were held hostages for some time in Lebanon. The economic crisis had weakened America’s confidence in their government and so, they could not be trusted by their allies. Americans now decided to support a new conservatism in economic, social and political life during the 1980s through President Ronald Reagan policies.
Many changes altered American politics in the 70’s and 80’s. One of the changes that took place in the American political spectrum in the 1970’s and 80’s is the Reagan Revolution. According to Goldfield et al. (2011), the Reagan Revolution brought about and witnessed great changes in America and around the world. Both ends of the American political system changed notably in the 1970s and 80s. Through the Reagan Revolution, there was the creation of the economic recovery and tax of 1981 also known as ERTA. The ERTA act helped in reducing personal income tax rates by 25% over a three year period. This act was created in order to encourage entrepreneurship by lowering taxes overall and reducing taxes for the wealthy. In addition, the government also cut its total income by 747 billion dollars. Reagan was able to end recession in the United States and he also controlled the inflation. In addition, Reagan implemented an economic strategy to renew America by reducing the taxes, reducing government regulations on the environment, product safety and work safety, encouraging massive immigration to the US, supporting American companies to be expanded in China and Mexico and crushing labor unions by giving them a minimum wage low. The low income earners were exempted from paying taxes and at the end of his administration, the United States people were enjoying a period of peace and prosperity without recession and depression. Furthermore, Reagan encouraged entrepreneurship in America by encouraging individuals to accumulate money that could be used for economic venture. Many business ventures were created, new jobs were created and there was a new dynamism in America. He again encouraged free market economics which was a great advantage to America and the whole world. A lot of money was allotted for consumers and investors and less money for federal programs. This helped America economically thus shaping American contemporary politics.
There was organized labor struggle in order to sustain continued employment so as to improve America’s economic situation. However, there was a downside to economic recovery in form of the Republicans offensive against labor unions. One such episode was the firing of more than 10,000 air traffic controllers for their infringements of a no-strike clause in hiring agreements (Goldfield et al., 2011). Corporations took the opportunity to authorize wage rollbacks and compromises on individual working condition as an exchange for continued employment.
In conclusion, there were massive political changes and modifications to American economy which started in the 1970s. Reagan supervised many innovative changes in the US government and policies, with significance such as a reformed role for government, selective economic growth, and, an alteration of domestic politics. This has made the United States a superpower that can be relied upon by many countries in the world today. The stabilizing of American economy has shaped American contemporary politics as all the upcoming leaders fight for a stable economy and for America to remain a super power.
Goldfield, D., Abbot, C. Anderson, V. G., Argersinger, J. E., Argersinger , P. H, Barney, W. and Weir, R. M. (2011). The American Journey: A History of the United States (6th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.