Interview: Cincinnati worker sacrifices pay, hours for colleague

May 31, 2011

Robert Richardson, a janitor in Cincinnati, details the sacrifices he and his co-workers are enduring during the recession. With low paying, part-time jobs, Richardson says the poor financial times are creating struggles for teenagers and young adults.

Interview: Detroit utility worker laments city's suffering

May 31, 2011

In Detroit, a city scarred by the slide of the auto industry, Marshall Watkins describes the emptiness of the city. The utility worker says scaled-back jobs, foreclosed homes and splitting families left his neighborhood a different place.

Interview: Union member protests limited health care

May 31, 2011

As companies send jobs overseas, Debi Banks of Milwaukee is facing decreased health benefits from her employer. Bates, a member of the Communication Workers of America, says the decision of the state government to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees will not help the economic outlook.

Interview: Home-care provider: 'this is about people'

April 28, 2011

Theresa Law, an independent, home-care provider, says she is seeing an upswing in the job market and hope for Ohio workers, but she also said the country's leadership needs to focus on creating successful opportunities for the middle class.

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.


Back Story

The authors talk about What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

Nation's Story

Who pays the taxes?

Who pays the taxes?

We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

Rags to rags: Economic mobility hard to come by

New Pew Center on States report confirms that moving up the American economic ladder is difficult, even though most people have more income than their parents.

Homelessness takes it toll on Florida's youngest

Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.