In the 1970s America opened its doors to refugees as well as those who simply came to take a shot at the American Dream. At that time, the impact of a new wave of immigration was not yet very clear. But decades later experts agree that the influx of immigrants was a double-edged sword; it brought progress but at the same time it also contributed to widening of the socio-economic inequalities in the country. For instance, “In a city like Los Angeles, Hispanics with their stronger social ties have displaced blacks out of a variety of menial jobs, adding to the woes of an already troubled black community” (Jacobson, 1998).
It is a good thing that not all immigrants are only capable of performing menial jobs. In 1976 there were 189,378 men and women given U. S. citizenship and 24 percent of the total number of immigrants were trained and skilled individuals (Keen, 2002). This means that aside from illegal aliens there were also a significant number of people coming in through the proper channels. But the high number of skilled individuals who were able to get U. S. citizenship drew international attention and many voiced their protest that United States was taking part in a “brain-drain.
” Without a doubt the presence of talented immigrants benefited the U. S. economy as a whole. The impact of immigration in the 70s is still being felt today. The 1980s – Personal Computers The Cold War between the United States and the USSR prompted both countries to develop technologies that would give them the needed advantage in war. Thus, it was understandable that both governments continued to pour resources into research and development. The only problem is that these technologies are not applicable for civilian use. The obvious exception was computer technology.
The only problem is that there was no cost-efficient way to build computers that can be practically operated within the comfort of home. All these began to change in the 1980s when technophiles from the Silicon Valley began to put their heads together to create computers that are affordable and easy to use. According to Tom Forester, “…in the early 1980s, personal computers came to be owned and operated by individuals, making a reality of distributed processing” (1990). Personal computers ushered in the Information Age and as a result, “This change was central to the way the US changed in the 1980s.
And as well as being an economic shift, the digital era also ushered in a cultural sea change: it changed the cultural products people consumed … it change the way culture was produced … it changed the people who were able to produce culture – no longer just organizations, but also individuals or small groups of collaborators” (Thompson, 2007). There is not enough space to document the impact of the personal computer but it is a common fact that in the 21st century life would be impossible without the said technology.
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