Ch. 42 The American People Face A New Century
-General motors, the characteristic Amer corp. (switching from US steel corp.) This singaled a shift to mass consumer economy.
-The International Business Machines (IBM) symbolized another transformation to the "information age," when the storing, organizing, and processing of data became an industry in its own right.
-There was then a communications revolution w/the emergence of the internet& Microsoft Corp. Where traditional geographic, social& political boundaries could be crossed. Ordinary citizens could gain access to info that only the privileged could obtain. The speed& efficiency of the new communications tools threatened to wipe out entire occupational categories. Postal delivery ppl, travel agents, store clerks, among others whose business was to mediate between product and client.
-The advancement of Science posed new social& moral dilemmas. The discovery of molecular genetic structure in the 1950's could cure hereditary diseases. But, at the same time, it caused genetic mutations that might threaten the ecological balance
AFFLUENCE AND INEQUALITY
-In the 1990's even those who lived below the government's official poverty lvl (16,600 in 1998 for a family of 4) had a higher standard of living than 2/3 of the world.
-Americans were no longer the wealthiest. Wider gap between the rich& poor. 20% of the rich had nearly half of the nation's wealth. The poorest 20% had less than 4%. The welfare Reform Bill of 1996 restricting access to social services and requiring able-bodied welfare recipients to find work, weakened the impoverished families further.
-chief executives earned 225 times as much of the income of the average worker. 12.7 % of Americans were impoverished.
-The causes of such poverty were intensifying global econ. competition; the shrinkage in high paying manufacturing jobs 4 semi skilled& unskilled workers; the greater econ. rewards that...