Tag Archives: Detroit

What Really Ails Detroit – NYTimes.com

16 Aug

American manufacturing has been in trouble even since its heyday, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the United States was the global economic powerhouse and American assembly-line workers earned very decent middle-class wages.

That era of prosperity was not, as is so often claimed, the manifestation of the American dream. Rather, it was, or should have been, a warning sign that America was riding a fleeting wave of progress. Almost nobody was looking hard enough to the future and asking what it would take to sustain success.

The reason so many manufacturing-sector workers in the United States received such high pay at that time was not that they had exceptional skills or had received superior training; it was that the corporations for which they worked were unsurpassed in their dominance and generated huge revenues.

But that dominance was, to a considerable degree, a momentary quirk of history: the absence, in the wake of World War II, of any real competition from other nations.

via What Really Ails Detroit – NYTimes.com.

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The Wrong Lesson From Detroit’s Bankruptcy – NYTimes.com

12 Aug

When I was growing up in Gary, Ind., nearly a quarter of American workers were employed in the manufacturing sector. There were plenty of jobs at the time that paid well enough for a single breadwinner, working one job, to fulfill the American dream for his family of four. He could earn a living on the sweat of his brow, afford to send his children to college and even see them rise to the professional class.

This is important, very important. It SHOULD NOT take 80 hours of work per week (a full-time job for each parent) to support a family. Families need more nurturing, and, frankly, most jobs destroy the soul.

via The Wrong Lesson From Detroit’s Bankruptcy – NYTimes.com.