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Social Movements That Ensued After 9/11 and the Great Recession in the US

In the United States of America various uprisings and movements arose after the Second World War and many still existed up to the period before and after 9/11. Many social movement activists were the middle class who were courageous and skilled enough to mobilize and incite large multitudes in participating in the movements (John & Marta, 2010). The earlier movements were majorly aimed at empowerment and equality of the less fortunate and the poor in the society and also to incorporate democracy among the people. Various issues were being addressed by these movements and all was being done to bring the government to their attention. Despite their efforts, they faced stiff objection from government officials and the political parties. They were ignored, ridiculed and exposed to hardships and all forms of violence in their efforts to mobilize citizens towards their protests (John, 2010).

In the later years of the 20th century, social distinction still existed in America. Gender based violence was still rampant as males and females were not treated equally. Females were subjected to mistreatment in society and this created a drift in the social balance. At the work places discrimination regarding class, gender and race had most of its roots. Rich people in the society are becoming richer at the expense of the poor (Astra, Keith & Mark, 2011). These social imbalances gave birth to various movements that are fighting against them with an aim of creating a society where every person would receive an equal treatment regardless of the social class, sexuality or race (John, 2010). Women were not left behind in this fight.

In politics the same was portrayed. It was male-dominated and only a handful of women participated. The women felt left behind in matters pertaining running of the nation. Every decision was viewed to be men-manipulated. With these issues accumulating, a group of women formed a movement known as CODEPINK: women of peace. This was a strong movement which attracted large numbers of participants and it was aimed at opposing war and terrorism and preaching peace in all the nations (Medea, Jodie & Alice, 2005). CODEPINK had its direct communication with the government of the United States. Its main protest was against war and related violence between America and the Middle East. Their idea was to bring changes to the society as it was a peaceful movement. Media, scarcity of natural resources and politicians are some of the courses of war. CODEPINK was putting an end to this by bringing everyone in the society aboard (Medea, 2005). Though it was woman-dominated, it was still effective.

Wall Street Protesters was another movement that arose in the streets of New York. It began as a small group in Manhattan but quickly grew as students and other people joined. The group identified itself as “the 99%” and was not willing to put up with the 1% that was filled with corruption (Astra, 2011). The movement was determined to put an end to the social class imbalance where the rich manipulated the middle class in the society. The group was also protesting against the violence committed by the police, constant and free checks and they also demanded for their rights to congregate and freedom of speech. The protesters claimed to be fearless and majority were women. They were feminists. The protesters were as determined as the uprising lasted for up to a month. Their message was clear as they demanded for equality (Astra, 2011).

Both CODEPINK and Wall Street protesters were movements aimed at improving the quality of the ordinary people’s lives. It was correct for them to march along the streets and protest against the authorities involved for their rights and attention. The groups stood for what was the best for them and the community at large. However, for such movements to be more successful, it would be necessary to involve the media and the internet social sites. This is important for ensuring well publication of their agenda and much attention towards them. The movements should also use banners and well printed t-shirts with an aim of passing their clear message to the public at large. Cases of violence are prominent during protests. To ensure security, movements should have the security guards with them, for instance the police, to maintain the law and order.  Such peaceful movements deserve the government backing since they work towards restoring human welfare.

Immigration in the United States began as far as in the 1970s. Ever since, it has been a big issue as it has had a great impact in shaping the country besides other factors like social, political and economic processes (Kristen & Doris, 2010). This has been one of the issues stressed by the movements because it affected the entire population either directly or indirectly. Illegal immigration into the United States was motivated by the availability of employment opportunities and high demand for low-skilled workers. This has a positive impact towards the economy. These immigrants found their way into the United States by illegally crossing the border at the ports of entry and hence evading any forms of inspection. They also used forged and fraudulent documents upon inspection if demanded. Mexico as an immediate neighbor of the United States is a leader as the country of origin for illegal migrants (Kristen , 2010). These immigrants upon staying for five years were allowed to apply for citizenship and therefore become legal residents. Currently immigration has constituted two-thirds of all permanent residents (Kristen, 2010).

United States just like any other country has been experiencing recessions. The most memorable one took place between the years 2007 and 2009. Since World War II it had never experienced such recessions. It was characterized by heavy taxation and extreme labor market distortion (Ohanian, 2011). The recession is regarded as a great one because it was felt so severely across the country and it lasted for about three years. The drop in economic output and income was due to the decline in labor input. Two hypotheses are used to explain the great recession. These are the financial and the policy explanations. The financial explanation argues that there was a drop in the value of the assets and other securities and also the failure of large institutions. This affected the whole mechanism for borrowing and lending. Majorly, there was a decline in lending volumes (Ohanian, 2011). Recession took place also as a result of labor deviation. This resulted in unemployment which had a negative impact to the economy.

Political explanation of the great recession puts more emphasis on poorly designed economic policies which did not work effectively with the changing economy. The government’s initiatives on taxation were not favorable. Such programs resulted in the increase of the income tax up to 100 percent on necessities such as households (Ohanian, 2011). It was expensive to the middle-class workers. Deterioration of the interest rates in the U.S. and other foreign stock prices was the result and it took place in the period after the evaluation of the tax policies. There was a drastic decline in the sales of major stores right after the announcement of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) by the president (Ohanian, 2011).

The government policies created the uncertainty among the public. This was also a contribution to the great recession. It deepened the recession and enhanced its persistence until the year 2009. High uncertainty has the effect of delaying the decision making process which farther leads to the depression of economic activity (Ohanian, 2011). Uncertainty reduced the number of hours the labor force put in their work stations. This automatically affected the well functioning of the economy. There was a decline in the productivity level of workers and cases of reduced employment persisted. Trade was not effectively carried out resulting to a drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It lasted for three years until 2009 when the situation started gradually changing in the positive direction. Regardless of the research carried out, it is not quite clear what really caused the great recession. The labor distortion is not easy to explain since it was never witnessed before in any other high-income country (Ohanian, 2011). The issue of large productivity deviation is also not fully explained. The Great Recession still remains one of the great factors that could have brought the U.S. economy to a severe downfall.


The government should seek to identify the social imbalances which gave birth to various movements that fought against them with an aim of creating a society where every person would receive equal treatment regardless of the social class, sexuality or race. The increased unemployment rate and high interest rates likewise have continued to heighten the social movements, which are mainly dominated by the young people seeking justice and equal chance in life. After identifying the root cause of these social movements, government should aim to gradually improve the lives of the young people and thus slow down the movements in future.

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