Jacob Hacker on Frontline’s Report on Struggling Dayton Ohio
Publication dateSeptember 12, 2018
In a recent PBS episode “After the Great Recession, FRONTLINE, and ProPublica Go Inside One American City’s Fight to Recover” Alec MacGillis revisits Dayton as it still struggles from the 2008 recession (aired September 11, 2018). Dayton, once an innovation cluster, has become a symbol of rust belt economic disparity caused by the loss of manufacturing companies and well-paying union jobs over the last few decades, as the concentration of wealth is sequestered in places such as Silicon Valley and Wall Street. Adding to its economic woes, the city has been hard hit by the opioid epidemic.
Even as a few businesses have come back to the city, factory workers are significantly underpaid and suffer such income insecurity that they often frequent food banks.
“Those who are building manufacturing companies in former industrial areas are doing so on a totally new model – a model that’s built on much much lower pay and much weaker benefits and job security,” says Jacob Hacker. “This is one of those grave challenges of the 21st century: figuring out how to construct a new form of solidarity around a vision of an economy that works for [a] broad cross-section of Americans.”
Area of studyPoverty & Inequality