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Chapter 6 - The New Gilded Age and Mass Incarceration

from Part II - The Twentieth Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2022

Peter Temin
Affiliation:
Elisha Gray II Professor of Economics Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Summary

The Great Migration ended in 1970 as manufacturing was replaced with electronic goods. Wages stagnated, and income inequality increased rapidly. This led to a new Gilded Age. Nixon replaced Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty with his War on Drugs. Blacks were opposed to Nixon’s Vietnam War, and he penalized them by incarcerating them. This, helped by state laws and President Reagan, led to mass incarceration – which became known as the New Jim Crow. Public education was reserved for suburban whites, while urban Blacks were in prison or attended underfunded schools. The Flint, Michigan, water crisis demonstrates the difficulty of urban Blacks as jobs and urban facilities disappeared. President Obama was the first Black president, elected in the financial crisis of 2008. The Supreme Court nullified the 1965 Voting Act as it had done with amendments in the 1880s. Obamacare was the most enduring achievements of Obama’s presidency.

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Chapter
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Never Together
The Economic History of a Segregated America
, pp. 183 - 210
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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