Here's a sad article from the Times: Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families’ Way of Life Along
After 30 years at a factory making truck parts, Jeffrey Evans was earning $14.55 an hour in what he called “one of the better-paying jobs in the area.”
Wearing a Harley-Davidson cap, a bittersweet reminder of crushed dreams, he recently described how astonished and betrayed he felt when the plant was shut down in August after a labor dispute. Despite sporadic construction work, Mr. Evans has seen his income reduced by half.
So he was astonished yet again to find himself, at age 49, selling off his cherished Harley and most of his apartment furniture and moving in with his mother.
Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West — these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade, and small businesses are giving way to big-box retailers and fast-food outlets.
Things like this just kill me. People need jobs. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do-- as long as you can support your basic needs on the wages, you have some dignity. I know people say our economy is transitioning from being based on manufacturing to service industry jobs, but I suspect that really doesn't work for a lot of people... not that I personally know what to do about it...