It’s a central premise of the American dream: If you’re willing to work hard, you’ll be able to make a living and build a better life for your children. But what if working hard isn’t enough to ensure success — or even the basic necessities of daily life?
FRONTLINE’s Two American Families follows two ordinary families who have spent the past 20 years in an extraordinary battle to keep from sliding into poverty.
The film, a collaboration with veteran PBS journalist Bill Moyers,
who has followed the Stanleys and the Neumanns over the years, raises
unsettling questions about the changing nature of the American economy
and the fate of a declining middle class.
“He will not be able to see the retirement, you know, that he
probably would hope for when he was working at A.O. Smith,” say Keith
Stanley, the son of Claude Stanley who was laid off from a steady, good paying job
in the early ’90s. “That’s just not a reality. My heart goes out to
that generation that was promised something from America, by America,
that they would have a better life and that’s not the case anymore.”
my comments on the structural change and the implications if the system
that changed is a complex system in a critical state. Click to listen.