AS GOES JANESVILLE
a film by Brad Lichtenstein
As Goes Janesville reports from ground zero of the recession-ridden heartland — the town of Janesville, Wisconsin. When bankrupt General Motors (GM) shut down the community’s century-old plant in 2008 — the oldest GM plant in North America — thousands of jobs were lost. While many workers were forced to leave their families in search of decent jobs, local business leaders worked to bring new companies to town with the promise of lower wages, reduced regulation, and tax breaks. They formed a powerful alliance with newly elected Republican governor Scott Walker, whose pro-business, anti-union stance ripped apart the state, triggering an historic recall election. The recall thrust Wisconsin’s boisterous civil war between workers and the business/political power elite onto front pages nationwide.
Guest speaker: Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC
Dean Baker is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, and National Public Radio. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian Unlimited (UK), the Huffington Post, TruthOut, and his blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. His analyses have appeared in many major publications, including the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post, the London Financial Times, and the New York Daily News. He received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Michigan. Complete bio available at the CEPR link.
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AS GOES JANESVILLE premieres on PBS in October.
Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Presented by Independent Television Service (ITVS) in partnership with local public television stations and community organizations, these in-person events and online social screenings bring community members together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time. For a complete lineup and more information about the Community Cinema series visit: communitycinema.org.
Amy Goldstein, a reporter from the Washington Post has been on leave to study Janesville, WI. The following was printed today about retraining programs in Janesville. Are they working? It's a mirror for the rest of the nation.
A good read before our screening Sunday, October 28 and Q&A with Economist Dean Baker. A longer version of the article is available on ProPublica.
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