Tag Archives: As Goes Janesville
You’re no doubt familiar by now with Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, but do you know from which town he hails? The answer is Janesville, Wisconsin, the small downstate city that’s also the focus of As Goes Janesville, a new documentary that is screening — for free — at 7:00 pm this Wednesday, October 10th at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood.
For decades, the city’s fortunes were inextricably linked with those of General Motors, Janesville’s largest employer. GM operated an assembly plant from the early 1920s until late 2008, when the financial crisis dealt a fatal blow to consumer spending. After the final sport utility vehicle rolled off the line two days before Christmas, union jobs that had allowed generations of residents to buy homes, send their children to college, and (of course) purchase their own Chevys literally disappeared overnight.
In a community of 63,000, the loss of 11,000 well-paid jobs was a stunning blow. Hundreds of other Janesville residents were forced to relocate to Indiana or Texas, home foreclosures skyrocketed, and, in the space of only a few months, Paul Ryan’s hometown went from boom to bust. Atlas, of course, merely shrugged. … Continue reading »