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Ch 33, 961-976

1990s social change, economic problems, 1992 Election, Clinton domestic policies

America in Flux
The Buck Starts Here
 Clinton and Greenspan’s goal: To reduce deficit and stimulate the economy
 Reduce deficit by $500 million by cutting spending and raising taxes mainly on the
 20 million new jobs created, unemployment all-time low of 4%, $100 billion surplus
in 2000

I. The Changing American Population

A. A People on the Move
1. Sunbelt: Broad band between CA and SC, where half the peopled lived in
2. Increasing urbanization: Metropolitan more affluent, although with increasing
crime rates
3. Rise in elderly population: 2/3 voters, AARP (American Association of Retired
People) with 30 million members
B. The Revival of Immigration
1. By 2002, half of foreign-born population came from Latin America, quarter
from Asia
2. Immigrant controversy, benefit or liability? Studies show that immigrants
contributed more than was spent on them and helped consumers and
employers by working for low wages, although that hurt low-skilled workers.
3. Beginning 1996, legislation focuses more on restricting illegal immigrants
C. The Surging Hispanics
1. Relatively evenly spread across the country
2. Lack of education: half dropped out of school
3. Undocumented aliens: several million illegal immigrants from Mexico
4. (1986) Congress penalizes employers for hiring undocumented workers, and
offers amnesty for those who were living in the US before 1982, but illegal
immigration continues
D. Advance and Retreat for African Americans
1. African Americans gains due to higher education
2. Bakke Decision: ruled against racial quotas for universities although permitted
race as an element to diversify student body
3. Lost jobs in 1990-91 recession, but did not share in recovery
4. Rodney King: policemen beat King for a traffic violation. When the police
were acquitted, riots erupted taking 53 lives

E. American from Asia and the Middle East

1. Asian population increasing at 7x the national rate
2. Refugees from Southeast Asia suffered from economic hardship and
3. Overall experience was positive; were relatively well educated and affluent
F. Melting Pot of Multiethnic Diversity?
1. Ethnic diversity leads to insistence on separate multicultural courses
2. Uncertainty of cultural identity because of mixed heritage
3. 7 million claim to be multiracial
II. Democratic Revival
A. The Election of 1992
1. Recovery from recession of 1990 was slow, hurting the Bush administration
2. Clinton wins election on platform of promising economic change
B. Economic Recovery
1. Bill Clinton
a. Difficult childhood experience, but developed skills at dealing with people
and using personal charm
b. Eagerness to please undercut his devotion to principle
c. Mrs. Clinton was his political partner and rescued him from charges of
2. Clinton’s economic program barely passed Congress
C. President versus Congress
1. North American Free Trade Agreement (1993): Plan to united the US, Mexico,
and Canada into a common market without tariff barriers
a. Passed, but critics argued that jobs would be sent to Third World countries
2. Clinton’s health care program objectives: To cover all Americans and reduce
the cost
a. Requires large companies to offer a generous health care package, paying
for 80% of the cost
b. Requires small businesses to form large health alliances so that they could
purchase equally generous benefit packages from insurance companies
c. Blocked
D. Contract with America
1. Republican resurgence (1994)
a. Gingrich’s (R) Contract with America: Balanced budget amendment to the
Constitution, term limits for members of Congress, a line-item veto for the
president, and a middle-class tax cut
b. Clinton embarrassments and scandals including the Whitewater affair, in
which the Clinton’s lost a modest investment, and sexual harassment
E. The Clinton Rebound
1. Clinton’s image benefited from the economic growth
2. Portrays himself as the defender of the downtrodden and the Republicans as
the enemies of Medicare and Social Security
3. Amassed money for a TV campaign, winning the election because Bob Dole
(R) had already used his funds winning in the primaries