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The last president who had a plan for protecting American workers from the vicissitudes of the global economy was Richard Nixon, who was in office when foreign steel and foreign cars began seriously competing with domestic products.The most farsighted politician of his generation, Nixon realized that America’s economic hegemony was coming to an end, and was determined to cushion the decline by a) preventing foreign manufacturers from overrunning our markets and b) teaching Americans to live within their new limits.It’s as though the New Deal and the modern labor movement never happened. At age 19, he hired in at his hometown’s flagship business, the Carrier Corp., which gave Syracuse the title “Air-Conditioning Capital of the World.” Starting at .37 an hour, Galipeau worked his way into the skilled trades, eventually becoming a metal fabricator earning 10 times his original wage.“It was 1978,” she said. I sprayed glue on fiberglass insulation, stuck it inside units – 400 a day, nearly one a minute.Here’s the story of a couple whose working lives began during the Golden Age of middle-class employment, and are ending in this current age of inequality. I was told, ‘After five years, you’ll have a job for life.It guaranteed the success of the UAW, whose high wages and benefits set the standard for American workers for the next 45 years. 17, at 98 years old, an age he might not have attained without the lifetime health benefits won by the UAW.)The United States will never again be as wealthy as it was in the 1950s and ’60s.Never again will 18-year-olds graduate directly from high school to jobs that pay well enough to buy a house and support a family.I’ve always believed that the ’70s are remembered as the Decade That Taste Forgot because they were a time when people without culture or education had the money to not only indulge their passions, but flaunt them in front of the entire nation.
After the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo suddenly increased the price of gasoline from 36 cents to 53 cents a gallon (and just as suddenly increased the demand for fuel-efficient German and Japanese cars), Nixon lowered the speed limit to 55 miles an hour and introduced the Corporate Average Fuel Economy law, which gave automakers until 1985 to double their fleetwide fuel efficiency to 27.5 miles per gallon.I think he was an electrician’s assistant or something.