While many have blamed racial tension in the 1960s for the decline of liberalism, in his book Teacher Strike!, Jon Shelton argues that strikes led by teacher unions in the 1960s through the 1980s helped dismantle the liberal coalition between labor and the Democratic Party constructed during the New Deal era. This coalition helped form a social contract that led to a number of programs that allowed many workers to catapult into the middle class. Programs such as the National Labor Relations Act, the Wagner Act, the G. I. Bill, and Medicare provided “greater access to economic opportunity, more workplace democracy through unions and a social safety net when the job market failed to provide a minimum level of economic security” (3). The Keynesian economic approach championed by the labor-liberal coalition maintained that the state had an obligation to play...

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