Video: Carlos Day

Sept. 16, 2011

Although he only has $20 to his name, Carlos Day talks about the need to stay fit and "vibrant" as a strategy to securing a job.

Video: Tara Flemming

Sept. 16, 2011

Tara Flemming, 60, is living on a friend's couch to cut expenses until she can find a job, and is "willing to do anything" to gain employment.

Video: Tonolin Young

Sept. 16, 2011

Street vendor Tonolin Young, 45, talks about how the economy has slowed business and how he stays afloat.

Video: Sean Gordy

Sept. 16, 2011

Sean Gordy, program manager of the Department of Employment Services' "One-Stop" career center, in Northeast D.C., speaks about the need for job training and placement programs.

Video: Susan Travers

Sept. 16, 2011

Susan Travers, a case manager at the Department of Employment Services' "One-Stop" career center, talks about the stress job-seekers and case managers alike feel in the anemic economy.

Video: Emanuela Cebert

Sept. 16, 2011

Emanuela Cebert, 25, a recent college graduate, talks about how difficult finding gainful employment is — even with a master's degree. 

Video: James Wilkerson

Sept. 16, 2011

James Wilkerson, 55, was a baker with 25 years of experience before laid off from his most recent position at Costco. Wilkerson talks about his frustrating experiences during this recession.

Video: Judy Valencia

Sept. 16, 2011

Judy Valencia, 30, is an employment specialist at Catholic Charities, a nonprofit organization aiming to reduce poverty on the national level. She is an advocate for strengthening the "human contact" between employer and job-seekers. She also talks about the disadvantages of moving the job application process online.

Video: Lisa Ridgeway

Sept. 16, 2011

Lisa Ridgeway, 42, has 25 years of work experience, but talks about how age may play a role in a potential employer's hiring practices.

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.