January 12, 2009

A Pro American City

Detroit writer Mitch Albom defending his hometown:

But where do you begin? Our doors are being shuttered. Our walls are falling down. Our daily bread, the auto industry, is reduced to morsels. Our schools are in turmoil. Our mayor went to jail. Our two biggest newspapers announced they will soon cut home delivery to three days a week. Our most common lawn sign is FOR SALE. And our NFL team lost every week this season. A perfect 0-16. Even the homeless guys are sick of it.
We want to scream, but we don't scream, because this is not a screaming place, this is a swallow-hard-and-deal-with-it place. So workers rise in darkness and rev their engines against the winter cold and drive to the plant and punch in and spend hours doing the work that America doesn't want to do any more, the kind that makes something real and hard to the touch. Manufacturing. Remember manufacturing?
Enough. We're not gum on the bottom of America's shoe. We're not grime to be wiped off with a towel. Detroit and Michigan are part of the backbone of this country, the manufacturing spine, the heart of the middle class -- heck, we invented the middle class, we invented the idea that a factory worker can put in 40 hours a week and actually buy a house and send a kid to college. What? You have a problem with that? You think only lawyers and hedge-fund kings deserve to live decently?
I'm so old, I remember when a man could make enough money working in manufacturing so his wife could stay home and raise the kids if she wanted to. NOW, that's elitism or some shit.
ed note: Great news! I just installed Ubuntu on my machine. Better news: I think I inadvertently wiped out windows when I was partitioning.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem that long ago, does it. Sounds like nirvana now. My mom worked and I remember wondering why she was the only mom I knew who did.

Anonymous said...

My old school Dad refused to let my mother work...and we did alright.

Kulkuri said...

While back in the fifties and early sixties a lot of families got by with the man working and the woman staying home, we got by with a lot less and prices of things like rent and necessities were a smaller percentage of the takehome pay. "Leave it to Beaver" and "Father knows best" were fiction. This country has shipped most of the manufacturing jobs overseas and now is working on sending the white collar jobs ther too. But hey, they keep promising us those good paying high-tech jobs, you know, the ones over in India!!

Labrys said...

My parents both worked, although for a time, they were the only ones I knew who did. My husband and I met while in military service; and for a while both of us thought of careers there; but when kids came, I gave it up. Nobody to send the kids to on that damned family plan thing they had. I worked part-time, but almost achieved the Mrs. Cleaver bit. I stay home now and really feel like a dinosaur/parasite!

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