“There is no doubt that China will stand up and take notice.”
Their capability makes watching these particular submarines especially interesting. military has used repeatedly against targets in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Sudan. . But this one was different: for nearly three years, the U.S. The 14 Trident-carrying subs are useful in the unlikely event of a nuclear Armageddon, and Russia remains their prime target.
That’s why alarm bells would have sounded in Beijing on June 28 when the Tomahawk-laden 560-ft. It was an Ohio-class submarine, which for decades carried only nuclear missiles targeted against the Soviet Union, and then Russia. Florida surfaced, also on the same day, at the joint U.S.-British naval base on Diego Garcia, a flyspeck of an island in the Indian Ocean. Navy has been dispatching modified “boomers” to who knows where (they do travel underwater, after all). More alarms were likely sounded when the U.S.S. Four of the 18 ballistic-missile subs no longer carry nuclear-tipped Trident missiles. (See pictures of the U.S. A new class of U.S. But the Tomahawk-outfitted quartet carries a weapon that the U.S. Instead, they hold up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each, capable of hitting anything within 1,000 miles with non-nuclear warheads. in its neighborhood. U.S.S. And the Klaxons would have maxed out as the U.S.S. In all, the Chinese military awoke to find as many as 462 new Tomahawks deployed by the U.S. Ohio popped up in the Philippines’ Subic Bay. “There’s been a decision to bolster our forces in the Pacific,” says Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. military in the Pacific.)
Source : http://news.yahoo.com/
If China’s satellites and spies were working properly, there would have been a flood of unsettling intelligence flowing into the Beijing headquarters of the Chinese navy last week. Michigan arrived in Pusan, South Korea, on the same day. superweapon had suddenly surfaced nearby
That difference in cost was noted by Brian in the letter to the energy secretary.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. He was on a panel that last year concluded the plutonium in warhead triggers is much sturdier than previously thought, with a life span of as much 100 years.
The new ones were made by using a mold to cast the grapefruit-size plutonium sphere. The original triggers, all made at the now-closed Rocky Flats facility in Colorado, were hammered into precise form. Such approval means they are ready to use.
But Los Alamos and agency officials bristle at suggestions that the new triggers might be less reliable or have flaws that could affect their performance.
At least one other replacement pit required 71 specification waivers, a Los Alamos scientist indirectly involved in the production process told The Associated Press. At Los Alamos, it has cost an estimated $430 million over 10 years to certify the first trigger. Scientists at Los Alamos and at the government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California concluded the change did not degrade the reliability of the triggers, according to NNSA.
Kevin Roark, a spokesman for the Los Alamos weapons program said the changes in specifications “have been fully explored, fully vetted and fully accepted by NNSA and engineering analysis (conducted) by us.”
Any variation or flaw in the pit could cause a warhead not to detonate properly or to detonate with less explosive power than expected.
FOXNews.com – Quality of Nuclear Devices Questioned – Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum
The government acknowledges differences between the old triggers and their replacements.. The result is a a massive hydrogen blast.
Since last summer’s announcement, the Los Alamos lab has made 10 additional W88 triggers. This process is viewed by metallurgists as producing a stronger product.
By H. For years, however, testing the warhead’s components to ensure the weapon produces the intended blast instead of a fizzle has been complicated by a lack of replacement plutonium triggers.
Last summer, the first replacement plutonium trigger in 18 years received “diamond stamp” approval signaling it was ready for use in a warhead. The original triggers were made with the benefit of underground nuclear testing, which the U.S. Project on Government Oversight: http://www.pogo.org
In an e-mail response to the watchdog group’s claims, Bernard Pleau, a spokesman for the agency’s office at Los Alamos, said the changes do not “compromise the integrity of the parts. She posed that question in a letter last Friday to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman.
The agency acknowledged there were “more than 70 engineering authorizations” _ as it characterizes the waivers _ approved in the new W88 pit certification and that this was a “relative high number.”
The change in manufacturing process, from wrought to cast, has been a subject of debate and extensive analysis among those involved in nuclear weapons. So far, nine have earned the “diamond stamp” from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the lab’s programs. The last of the original triggers were manufactured in the late 1980s.
“With this large number of waivers, how is it possible to objectively tell whether the pit will even work?” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the group that monitors nuclear weapons-related activities. The scientist spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.
Precise manufacture of the trigger is essential.
Raymond Jeanloz of the University of California at Berkeley, a longtime adviser to the government on nuclear weapons issues, said in an interview he is not surprised there have been some modification in the W88 warhead, but that does not mean it is less reliable.
The Project on Government Oversight says it was told by some Los Alamos scientists that the trigger certified last July and known as the W88 pit needed 72 waivers from the specifications used for the original triggers, including 53 engineering-related changes.
A watchdog group now is raising questions about whether the replacement triggers, also known as pits, can be guaranteed to be as reliable as those already in some 400 W88 warheads. The bottom line _ the pits produced meet all functional quality requirements for use and are fully accepted by NNSA.”
“The manufacturing process for the W88 has been incredibly, thoroughly vetted,” said Jeanloz. All rights reserved. That required extensive computer modeling and testing to assure precise shape, size and weight and that the triggers meet performance requirements.
On the Net:
National Nuclear Security Administration: http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/
The government will not say how many W88 warheads it has. It meant the warheads, after testing that makes the original trigger unsuitable for reuse, could be reassembled with a new trigger and put back into service.
Los Alamos National Laboratory: http://www.lanl.gov/
Officials say the cost figures reflect the fact that new facilities and a new process for making the replacement triggers had to be developed. The number has been estimated at about 400, in addition to an estimated 3,200 W76 warheads that also are designed for the submarine-based Trident II missile.
A single trigger made at Rocky Flats cost less than $4 million. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
Because the U.S. no longer conducts underground nuclear tests, the Los Alamos scientists had to rely on other sources to replicate the original triggers and guarantee that the replacements would be as reliable as the old. To scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, that was a milestone to celebrate. halted in 1992, and through a different process than the replacements. That, in turn, creates the high temperatures and pressure to ignite a “secondary” nuclear component. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
In a warhead’s detonation, a conventional explosive packaged around the pit compresses the plutonium inward, creating enough pressure for an atomic chain reaction. These means included small-scale plutonium tests, technical data from past underground tests, and computer codes and models.
Resting atop the Trident II missile, the W88 warhead is among the mainstays of the country’s submarine-based nuclear arsenal
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design information during the next decade, according to a congressional report on Chinese nuclear espionage that will be released officially Tuesday.
Bob Franken and Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.
“Some of the most significant thefts have occurred during the last four years,” Cox said.
May 24, 1999
Web posted at: 10:42 p.m. “Ballistic and space launch programs have long been intertwined.”. submarine radar technology and illegally obtained secrets about U.S. nuclear secrets is directed toward the Clinton administration and how slowly it reacted when word of the espionage surfaced.
Also among the purloined blueprints for weapons of mass destruction: the W-88 warhead, described as “the most sophisticated nuclear weapon the United States has ever built.”
According to the report, U.S. Such information would likely find its way into the PRC’s ballistic missile program,” the congressional report said. nuclear labs, stealing secrets about the U.S. companies seeking waivers to launch satellites on Chinese rockets.
According to investigators, the CIA first learned of the extent of the Chinese espionage in 1995 when a Chinese national approached the agency and turned over a secret Chinese government document.
“What the PRC (People’s Republic of China) has stolen has enabled them to jump over decades of incremental development that were necessary, for example, for the United States,” said Cox.
“It’s not good news,” he said. insatiable’
All of the weapons could target the United States.
The report by his committee said “China’s appetite for information and technology appears to be insatiable and the energy devoted to the task enormous.”
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
Shelby: Reno should resign over China espionage probe
May 23, 1999
Report: China benefited from stolen nuclear secrets
May 20, 1999
Congressman calls alleged Chinese spying ‘grave’
May 16, 1999
Sources: Report finds China stole ‘sensitive’ nuclear data
May 14, 1999
Reno defends computer-search caution in Los Alamos case
May 13, 1999
Senate spotlights nuclear security lapses
May 12, 1999
U.S. missile guidance systems through satellite launch deals with American companies.
In March, Richardson fired a longtime scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Wen Ho Lee, because of security violations as well as suspicions of espionage.
Details of the Cox report have been trickling out for weeks amid a growing criticism of the Clinton administration’s response to fix the security lapse after it was exposed in 1995.
The CIA later determined that the person who turned over the document worked for Chinese intelligence.
Chinese Embassy to the U.S.
Office of the Director of Central Intelligence
Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China
Department of Energy
Department of Justice
Attorney General Janet Reno
The White House
National Security Council
Biography of Samuel Berger
Los Alamos National Laboratory
The report credits Energy Secretary Bill Richardson for making long-needed security improvements to the nation’s vulnerable nuclear labs, run by the Department of Energy.
“It does make one wonder how it is, how others who possessed this information could so readily have dismissed it, or not acted upon it,” Cox said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — China could begin production of advanced thermonuclear weapons based on stolen U.S. Christopher Cox (R-California), chairman of the House select committee that conducted the year-long investigation.
‘China’s appetite … EDT (0242 GMT)
“There are a number of reasons that intelligence services direct information this way,” Cox said. and Hughes Electronics allegedly gave China unauthorized design information. “To advertise in some cases something about their strength that they want you to know; in other cases, to promote disinformation.”
The report concludes: Chinese “penetration of our national weapons laboratories spans at least the past several decades and almost certainly continues today.”
‘It’s not good news’
“It means that we’re going to be preparing ourselves to defend against American technology used against us,” said Rep. neutron bomb and every warhead in the U.S. intelligence has determined the technology espionage by the Chinese, dating back to the late 1970s and continuing through the 1980s and ’90s, “has leaped, in a handful of years, from 1950s-era strategic nuclear capabilities to the more modern thermonuclear weapon design.”
According to the Cox report, China penetrated U.S. State Department issues travel warning for China
May 10, 1999
The sharpest criticism for the theft of U.S. you can learn a great deal about military matters in the United States,” Cox said.
Chinese knowledge increased by decades
The House investigative committee was formed in the wake of accusations that campaign contributions might have influenced the Clinton administration to give favorable trade treatment to U.S. satellite manufacturers Loral Corp. “The world is a lot less safer today as a consequence of these thefts.”
Cox also has accused China of obtaining information through the use of “front companies” in the United States — a method he said is “far broader than previously realized.”
But following the failures of some of those launches, U.S. nuclear arsenal — including those for the MX Peacekeeper and Minuteman III missiles.
“In many cases, a little piece of information might seem innocuous, but if you collect enough of them through the so-called matrix technique …
“It means that in addition to paying for our own defense, we are actually paying to arm a potential adversary,” Cox said.
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
Those weapons “may be tested in 1999 and could be deployed as soon as 2002,” the report states.
The report also reveals allegations that China stole design information about U.S
I’m thankful I live in England. But in America it is very common.
Why is America such a backwards society compared to Britain?
I’m from Britain and here barely anyone has guns. While in Britain, everyone, no mater how poor has access to free healthcare.
In America no one takes care of the poor like they do here, which is why the homeless rate there is so high, where as in Britain we give them free government housing and money to live on. America has 10 times the murder rate. . But in America it is very common. America has 10 times the murder rate. It is common for unarmed people to be shot by police in America.
In America no one takes care of the poor like they do here, which is why the homeless rate there is so high, where as in Britain we give them free government housing and money to live on….
There are no laws in America stopping racist and homophobic hate speech. I think America is a country of complete lunatics and evil people who couldn’t care less about the poor people. If there are any good people there I can’t for the life of me think why any of them would want to live in such a place, why not come to Britain?
I’m from Britain and here barely anyone has guns. while in Britain police don’t even have guns.
We in Britain take care of the working class and the disabled people.
Poor people there have no access to healthcare, they are just left to die
“You have made a wrong person the Prime Minister… Indian felt proud always being an Indian.”
Born in England, choose to carry an Indian passport & no Mr PM I’ve never been embarrassed to show my passport anywhere, ever.
– Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) May 19, 2015
Video | Indians were ashamed till a year ago: Modi does an encore in S Korea
While #ModiInsultsIndia was among the top trending hashtags during the day, a counter-offensive under #ModiIndiasPride took over by evening.
#ModiInsultsIndia still trending world wide, but gone invisible on India Trends. These people are ready to come back. Is this any country, is this any government…we will leave,” he said, speaking in Hindi.
“There was a time when people used to leave, businessmen used to say we can’t do business here. The mood has changed.”. Indians abroad had all hoped for a change in government last year.”
Modi echoed the same idea when he addressed a gathering of Indians in Seoul on Monday. Instead of focusing on main issues, Modi would say that his biggest achievement was to bring US president Barrack Obama as the chief guest on Republic Day while farmers and small traders were suffering,” he said.
Twitter user @joginderrawat wrote, “Modi is the first PM who feel insulted being Indian at abriad (sic). “There was a time when people used to say we don’t know what sins we committed in our past life that we were born in Hindustan. Modi blows his own trumpet abroad. By late Tuesday morning, #ModiInsultsIndia had garnered more than 38,000 tweets.
Twitter attacks Modi for saying India ashamed till year ago, #ModiIndiasPride trends in reply
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks in China and South Korea about Indians being ashamed of being born in the country before his government came to power triggered one of Twitter’s top trends, the hashtag #ModiInsultsIndia, on Tuesday.
“Earlier, you felt ashamed of being born Indian,” Modi was quoted by The Hindu as saying during an interaction with the Indian community in Shanghai on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/5dAhxoh4J0
– Tinu Cherian Abraham (@tinucherian) May 19, 2015
The Congress accused Modi of “speaking without applying any thought” and said that “a wrong person has become India’s Prime Minister”.
Some even pointed to India’s success in sports to counteract Modi’s claim. “Now you feel proud to represent the country. #ModiInsultsIndia pic.twitter.com/Axxj5tEXdv
– Instigator (@Iffidel) May 18, 2015
“We have never seen such low level and degraded politics in the country. For example, this tweet:
Below listed heros got medals before 16 May 2014 and felt proud to be an Indian on foreign land. Enough with victory speech get some work done,” wrote user @VAvinash.
These comments evoked a strong reaction from Twitterati, some of whom criticised the Prime Minister for “insulting” his own country. He speaks without thinking. It has become his habit,” senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said after playing a clip of the PM’s speech.
#ModiInsultsIndia Some1 needs to tell him Elections r over & he is PM already for over 1 year Enough with Victory speech Get some work done
– Pee Politics (@VAvinash) May 18, 2015
The Congress party reacted to Modi’s comments saying, “We have always been proud of India, Shri Modi ! #ModiInsultsIndia”
(The writer tweets as @saha_abhi1990)
Tags#ModiInsultsIndia Prime Minster Narendra Modi Twitter China and South Korea social media
Some users commented on the “victory speech” style of the Prime Minister.
“Some1 needs to tell him Elections r over & he is PM already for over 1 year. Sibal said the people had made a mistake by choosing Modi as the Prime Minister. #ModiIndiasPride trends instead
These methods provided a way of reducing full-time labor wage costs, which included a reduction in employee benefits cost. As Harrison and Bluestone state it, “Globalization of production was no longer supplementing domestic manufacturing but replacing it (Harrison Bluestone 28).” Restructuring involved creating multinational corporations with its headquarters and support functions in the major capitalist countries. Harrison and Bluestone call the Reagan Administration “the single greatest gift to the business community” (Harrison Bluestone 102). Salaries and benefits of corporate CEOs as compared to the average factory workers were 30 times higher in1980 and reached 130-140 times higher in 1991 (Krugman 262). Ronald Reagan’s supporters credit him as being the great savior of the American economy; his critics’ credit his policies for creating the destruction of labor and gambling away the future of the American economy through massive increases in the federal deficit. And, of course, both sides of the argument will present evidence in support of their positions. As a result of these actions, profit margins rose steadily, yet average wages for families has decreased or at best has somewhat frozen in place.
While Presidents Reagan and Bush froze the minimum wage level for a nine-year period, essentially cutting pay each year as inflation bit into lower wage earners, the salaries of executives skyrocketed during the 80′s. This article will discuss one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring.
Geoghegan believes that part of the weakening of unions also has to do with a lack of sympathy by the average family. At the end of the Carter Era the GINI Index before taxes was (.403) and (.352) after taxes. His experience through the late 1960′s and 1970′s describes the labor movement as having become political driven organizations characterized by the same characteristics (greed, power, control, and inequality) of those they despised – Big Business. Who paid for the improvements in American business during the 1980′s? The lower 60% of American workers paid for these improvements through the reductions in the real purchasing power of their income.
The counter argument against these income disparity issues is attributed by some as simply a matter of normal business cycles. Often it’s stated that the Reagan Administration was trying to reduce the double-digit inflation of 1980 and turn around the falling rate of production. This group shrank from 53-percent in 1973 to 47.9-percent in 1984. The Government’s induced deflation, deregulation, regressive tax reform, privatization, and “union bashing” have contributed to new corporate strategies and the inequality of income distribution in America (Harrison Bluestone 16). Additionally, in 1947 and the passing of Taft-Hartley, labor could no longer organize on the scale of unions of the 1930′s. They provided (and still do) flexibility to tailor their work force needs to the production needs. I must add at this point that the “U-turn” in America’s economics actually began during the 1970′s; Reagan only sped up and expanded the process significantly (“U-turn”- the term used by Bluestone and Harrison to describe the reversal of fortune of the labor forces and the shrinking middle class).
Ronald Reagan’s laissez-faire government policies, reminiscent of the 1920′s, included legislative and legal actions that severely hampered organized labor. The groundwork for Reaganomics policies was put in place well before his time.
Creative wage reduction programs such as the two-tier pay system and conversion of a percentage of full-time employees to contingency labor employees (part-time and temporary employees) or a combination of methods became (and are still) the normal practice. However, the benefactors of the tax reduction were not the majority of wage earners. Also on the hit list for Reaganomics, was the reduction of social programs.
Of course there are many supporters of Reaganomics that will produce statistics showing how the GNP was sustained during the 1980′s; there is really no mystery here. Yet, the cost to the average American laborer during that era and continuing into the next administration was what gave Reaganomics its negative reputation.
Since the mid-1960′s through the 1990′s, Americans have been getting poorer and poorer. The program included freezing the minimum wage and shifting against federal protection of workers’ rights and unions. By the late 1980s the before tax GINI Index was (.423) with the after taxes GINI as (.404). Yet, organized labor was not the only one to feel the reduction of government support. According to data published in Krugman’s book, Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations, income data for the period reflects that the tax reductions during the 1980s actually cost the lower 60-percent income groups, while the top 40-percent income groups saw monetary increases (Krugman 24-5). With the weakening of organized labor by deregulation, businesses began experimenting with organizational changes to include work, labor, management relations, and flexible arrangements with employees, subcontractors, otherwise known as corporate restructuring.
Social deregulation, as described by Harrison and Bluestone, was a true innovation of the Reagan Administration. The two-tier wage system allowed reduced wages for employees during the new worker’s first few weeks or months of the normal probation period. Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).In effect, most Americans during the Reagan Years went into debt. Reaganomic policies, though we can’t forget some initial deregulation efforts instituted during the Carter years, reversed what had been accomplished prior to the 1970′s (Harrison Bluestone 79). One argument presented to explain this problem is that the “low wage explosion is mostly a statistical illusion, reflecting the impact of inflation and recession on workers’ earnings (Geoghegan 124).” Another proposal is to attribute the problem to a large influx of baby boomers into the work force. To continue the weakening of the labor pool, the Reaganites engineered the recessions of 1980 and 1981-2 to under-cut labor organizations while contributing to the corporate bottom line (Harrison Bluestone 14). Both sides of the Reaganomic fence provide more than enough evidence in support of the argument that says: lower and middle class America lost significant ground during the 1980′s. It became a joke to say, “We are spending money to help the economy.” Consumer borrowing doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. Therefore, it’s not too surprising to see the average American family would not be to upset if union organizations were losing ground. The same act that affirmed the right to organize but gave the NLRB the job of certifying whether or not a union was to be considered “officially” recognized. Revolving installment credit grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149). Reaganomics, in effect, was a program to strengthen business and industry while weakening the power of organized labor, reduce federal spending on other than military programs, reduce taxes, and regulatory abatement. Benefit packages for these contingency employees were either non-existent or at least small enough to still keep labor costs low. Employment in mining actually rose until 1981 only to fall nearly in half during the 1980′s through the 1990′s (Slater 129).
To better compete in a global economy, US industries adopted a program of “restructuring”. As Geoghegan puts it, the Taft-Hartley led to union busting.
Any discussion on Reaganomics should always contain a definition of Reaganomics so let’s get that out of the way from the start. More family members entered the work force in order to increase or sustain real income purchasing power. This included family members taking on extra jobs or moonlighting in order to make ends meet. firms have gone abroad to set up assembly or service operations. Keeping labor costs from rising is not the only reason that U.S. New employees would only receive 75 to 80-percent of the normal wage during a probation period (the probation period usually equated to the business’s employee turnover period). They increased offshore investments and began outsourcing for labor and manufacturing in search of the lowest labor and production costs.
But what is the cost of these outsourcing? The result of reductions in domestic production and outsourcing was a reduction in U.S. But most of all, during the Reagan year’s people went into debt.
Reagan was not the only one conducting a reduction program. Strangely enough, this period seems to be the era of debt for both the government and the American income earners. By the mid-1970′s global competition was eating away at American business profits. During the 1970′s the average family income was $24,000, while the average steelworker was making $40,000. Credit card use grew from $55 billion in 1980 to more than $128 billion in 1986 (Harrison Bluestone 149).Families filing chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code grew from an average of less than 39,000 per year (1975-1980) to almost 95,000 a year (1981-1984) (Harrison Bluestone 152).
If labor had not been weakened enough by the high unemployment levels in the late 1970′s, Reagan’s firming of the PATCO members sent a clear message to not only the unions, but also to the courts as to his lack of support for organized labor. Either there exists a significant polarization of income distribution around the middle-class or the middle-class is now what used to be the lower-end of the upper-class income.
The Government economic policies supporting deregulation and the concept of privatization of government services were actually taken initially between the years 1968-1978. Reaganomics as described by most, if not all economists and historians was supply-side economics; however, this in itself doesn’t really explain Reaganomics because of what actually happened. The GINI Index numbers support this disparity. After 1980, the purchasing power of lower-class wage earners through middle-class wage earners degraded throughout the period. The inequality of income is not limited to only a specific age group (Harrison Bluestone 125).
Part of the Reagan plan was a reduction in taxes. The wage-gap between the America lower income group and the upper or rich America group has been ever increasing. The results of these policies directly impacted the redistribution of income in favor of the higher income group (Harrison Bluestone 162).
Contingency labor pools were (and still are) not organized under a union. A major part of Reagan’s policy was to enhance the military complex in order to stay ahead of the perceived communist threat. Some firms have done so to improve their chance of selling to foreign markets or to take advantage of foreign government incentives (taxes) (Harrison Bluestone 31).
The total amount borrowed by consumers nearly doubled between 1981 and 1986, from $394 Billion to $739 Billion. This was more than $1,740 less than they would have received based on 1968 income levels (Harrison Bluestone 131). The Reagan Administration simply continued this trend toward economic deregulation as initiated under Carter. During the 1980′s, the U.S. The reduced costs resulting from relocating no-skill jobs, low-skill jobs, assembly, and manufacturing operations to low wage areas, validated the practice of outsourcing. In some cases businesses just simply got out of the production end and found alternate “ways of making paper profits” or found other ways to reduce labor costs.
Deregulation under Carter and Reagan opened the industries of steel, automotive, carpenters, and trucking to what Geoghegan called gypsies – small owner operators (Geoghegan 139). During this period the government went on a spending spree financed by the deficit. Employment in the manufacturing area fell seven-percent between 1968 and 1979, continuing to fall twelve-percent more through the 1980′s and 1990′s (Slater 143). Reagan policies were designed to provide some flexibility for businesses to contain production costs, increase profits by reducing labor costs, and reducing the costs involved in meeting government standards. Families expanded their use of “plastic money” even faster. A further major benefit of these creative pay systems was that they provided a way to avoid unions or at least keep the impact of union actions at a minimum. production employment. The richest 20-percent received $5,600 more per year in 1986, than they would have based on 1968 monetary values (Harrison Bluestone 131). businesses began discarding their standard practices and shifted capital into overtly speculative ventures. As a result, the traditional one-income household was no longer sufficient to keep up with the family economic needs.
From 1973 to 1986 average wages have dropped in buying power by nearly 14-percent (Harrison Bluestone 113).In 1986, the average annual income of the poorest 20-percent of all families was $8,033. This shows that there was a higher distribution of income in the hands of fewer people (Krugman 25).
Geoghegan, a former labor attorney, tells of his experiences dealing with organized labor, how and why it has lost its ability to fight. This act also weakened union power by outlawing mass picketing, secondary strikes on neutral employers, and sit-downs. Many of the nation’s economic critics saw the policies of Reaganomics as short-term answers to a long-term problem by borrowing against the nation’s future.
From 1969 – 1980 (prior to Reaganomics) wage cuts and freezes were “practically non-existent” (Harrison Bluestone 39). The “engineered recession” of 1980 and 1981-2, along with reductions in social welfare programs contributed to this “great U-turn” in the standard of living of most Americans, employed as well as unemployed, middle managers as well as blue collar workers (Harrison Bluestone viii). Union bureaucracy began to rival that of the federal and state court systems (Geoghegan 86-7).
There is plenty of material to argue whether or not Reaganomics was an economic success or an economic blunder. This living on debt and buying time was sufficient to fuel a short-term recovery (Harrison Bluestone 147). The result of this program was a softening of safety and environmental regulations to ease the burden on industry. “The old Teamster order collapsed and thousands of firms closed (Geoghegan 139).” During the late 1970′s and into the 1980′s, the Teamster membership fell from 2.2 million to 1.6 million. Yet, no real credible argument has been made that the Reagan years did anything to improve the equality of income distribution. lost one out of three heavy industrial jobs.
Reaganomics Debate:Inequality in Income Distribution, Government Policies and Corporate Restructuring
Mountains of paper have been written about the economic period of the 1980′s, coined Reaganomics. Reminiscent of the 1920′s and 1930′s, the middle class, formerly the largest class of the post WWII through the Vietnam War era has also been ever decreasing in size. According to Krugman, these salaries did not come primarily from greater profits, but from a larger slice of the profits.
In Thomas Geoghegan’s book, Which Side Are You On? Trying To Be For Labor When It’s Flat on Its Back, two pieces of legislation are discussed as the beginning of the end for organized labor began with the 1935 Wagner Act and the National Labor relations Board (NLRB). However, after accounting for the business cycle, for productivity, and for the shrinkage of manufacturing jobs, the growing proportion of baby boomers in the work force contributes nothing to an explanation of low wages. DOD spending doubled $134 billion in 1980 to $282 billion in 1987 (Harrison Bluestone 149). The existence of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) also quieted union members by insuring the benefits of workers displaced when companies went bankrupt or their pension plans go bust.. U.S. Double income families were not a uniqueness of the lowest income earners, middle-class America also lost, or at least sustained, buying power during the 1980′s. Since employee turnover is highest during the first few months of employment, businesses could save at least 20 to 25-percent of the wages they would have paid to an employee during that same period.
This article focused on one particular facet of the Reaganomics debate; the issue of inequality in income distribution in America as a result of a turn-around in government policies combined with corporate restructuring. Contingency labor included part-time and temporary employees. Harrison and Bluestone define what is usually considered the middle-class income earners, as those making $20,000 to $50,000 annually. Fulltime manning was drastically reduced in watchdog agencies tasked to monitor the various industries