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You Can't Eat FreedomSoutherners and Social Justice After the Civil Rights Movement$
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Greta de Jong

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469629308

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469629308.001.0001

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Government Cannot Solve Our Problems

Government Cannot Solve Our Problems

Legacies of Displacement

(p.200) Chapter 8 Government Cannot Solve Our Problems
You Can't Eat Freedom

Greta de Jong

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines connections between reponses to labor displacement in the 1960s rural South and the mass layoffs that afflicted industrial workers later in the twentieth century. Antigovernment sentiment and extreme individualism of the type promoted by those who opposed government intervention to address the southern agricultural crisis made their way into mainstream thinking after the 1960s. Despite rising unemployment rates resulting from deindustrialization and globalization, economic policy in the 1980s and 1990s emphasized spending cuts, deregulation of businesses, and evisceration of the social safety net. These decisions generated increasing economic inequality throughout the United States. When the global financial crisis of 2008 threw millions of people out of work, opposition to government intervention in the economy prevented Congress from adopting the kinds of creative solutions to poverty and unemployment that had been advocated by social justice activists in the 1960s.

Keywords:   Antigovernment sentiment, Deindustrialization, Economic inequality, Federal government, Financial crisis of 2008, Globalization, Social justice activism

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