American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears

Farah Stockman | 2021
Posted in: Working Class Experiences
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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Farah Stockman follows the lives of three blue-collar employees of the Rexnord factory in Indianapolis both before and after the factory’s closing in 2017. This book makes painfully tangible the impact when a factory paying a living wage disappears—on employees, their families and their communities. Here’s what declining wages look like: “[John] made $28 an hour at Navistar [factory closed], $25 at Rexnord [factory closed], $23 at Kroger [a job he left to take another job where they fired him for complaining about being assigned the night shift after being promised the day shift]. Now he couldn’t seem to secure a job that paid $17. A cascade of failure.” And American Madeasks the question: why are we so free to send these jobs abroad, yet continue to keep barriers to entry in the U.S. for white-collar doctors and lawyers?