What Went Wrong: Videos

Video: Barlett and Steele talk about wages, money and politics

July 29, 2012

Rose Ciotta, senior projects editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, talk to Jim Steele, left, and Don Barlett, about their conversations with people around the country and why they wrote their new book.

Video: Alan Vandersloot talks about the York Area Labor-Management Council

June 14, 2012

Alan Vandersloot of AFL-CIO Community Services talks about the York Area Labor-Management Council.

Video: John Lloyd talks about technology and innovation in manufacturing

June 14, 2012

John Lloyd of MANTEC talks about technology and innovation in manufacturing.

Video: Ellie Lamison talks about workforce development

June 14, 2012

Ellie Lamison of the York County Economic Alliance talks about workforce development.

Video: Michael Lawson: As a reporter

Nov. 11, 2011

Reporter Michael Lawson introduces himself and his role in the project.

Video: Michael Lawson: On Identity

Nov. 11, 2011

Reporter Michael Lawson talks about how the loss of your job can impact your identity. 

Video: Michael Lawson: Finding encouragement

Nov. 11, 2011

Reporter Michael Lawson talks about how he is encouraged by the people he interviews.

Video: Michael Lawson: Who he's interviewing

Oct. 26, 2011

Reporter Michael Lawson talks about how we found people to share their stories of unemployment.

Video: Carlos Day

Sept. 16, 2011

Although he only has $20 to his name, Carlos Day talks about the need to stay fit and "vibrant" as a strategy to securing a job.

Video: Tara Flemming

Sept. 16, 2011

Tara Flemming, 60, is living on a friend's couch to cut expenses until she can find a job, and is "willing to do anything" to gain employment.

Video: Tonolin Young

Sept. 16, 2011

Street vendor Tonolin Young, 45, talks about how the economy has slowed business and how he stays afloat.

Video: Sean Gordy

Sept. 16, 2011

Sean Gordy, program manager of the Department of Employment Services' "One-Stop" career center, in Northeast D.C., speaks about the need for job training and placement programs.

Video: Susan Travers

Sept. 16, 2011

Susan Travers, a case manager at the Department of Employment Services' "One-Stop" career center, talks about the stress job-seekers and case managers alike feel in the anemic economy.

Video: Emanuela Cebert

Sept. 16, 2011

Emanuela Cebert, 25, a recent college graduate, talks about how difficult finding gainful employment is — even with a master's degree. 

Video: James Wilkerson

Sept. 16, 2011

James Wilkerson, 55, was a baker with 25 years of experience before laid off from his most recent position at Costco. Wilkerson talks about his frustrating experiences during this recession.

Video: Judy Valencia

Sept. 16, 2011

Judy Valencia, 30, is an employment specialist at Catholic Charities, a nonprofit organization aiming to reduce poverty on the national level. She is an advocate for strengthening the "human contact" between employer and job-seekers. She also talks about the disadvantages of moving the job application process online.

Video: Lisa Ridgeway

Sept. 16, 2011

Lisa Ridgeway, 42, has 25 years of work experience, but talks about how age may play a role in a potential employer's hiring practices.

Video: Jennifer Dorris

Aug. 5, 2011

Jennifer Doris, Laurel, Md., schoolteacher, talks about the impact of poverty in the classroom. 

Video: Counselors: Long road ahead

Aug. 5, 2011

Peyton Herbert and Alicia Acota-Mahone, housing counselors from HomeFree USA, talk about the long economic recovery road ahead.

Video: Subprime loans targeted at minorities, says housing counselors

Aug. 5, 2011

Two housing counselors talk about subprime loans targets to minorities.

Video: Despite demand, housing counselors lose resources

Aug. 5, 2011

Peyton Herbert and Alicia Acosta-Mahone, housing counselors at the nonprofit HomeFree-USA in Hyattsville, Md., explain the unwavering high demand for housing counseling. More government cuts for these assistance programs take effect this fall.

Video: Neighborhood struggles through housing collapse

July 21, 2011

Doris Tucker watched six out of the 11 houses on her block go into foreclosure: “You already see a change in the quality of life,” she said. “You see more drastic crime. People are desperate.”

Video: Union representative challenges citywide layoffs

May 31, 2011

A union representative from the Bronx shares the city's struggle in keeping its employees on payroll. From its libraries to its law enforcement agency, layoffs are occurring across the board, says Phyllis Streeter.

Video: Child care provider loses children to lost jobs

May 31, 2011

Children come and go to Melanie Collins' home on a daily basis. Parents drop them off on their way to work and pick them up on their way home, but when a parent loses his or her job, Collins' services go unneeded. And it hurts to know the challenges that family must now live with.

Video: Teacher sees little relief in Cleveland

May 31, 2011

A Cleveland teacher shares his school's struggle as Ohio's budget deficit mounts. Justin Hons said in October that stimulus money helped stymie the schools' suffering last year, but now, the Cleveland schools are sending warning signs this upcoming school year must face the cuts.


Video: Eroding the Middle Class

April 29, 2011

Steele describes how decades of American policies crumbled the middle class.


Video: Why this project now?

Feb. 7, 2011

Barlett and Steele explain why they are tackling this subject now.


Video: Reaction to the 1992 Book

Feb. 7, 2011

Barlett and Steele discuss the public's intitial reaction to their 1992 book.


Video: Tell Us Your Story

Feb. 7, 2011

Barlett and Steele explain what audience they are trying to reach.

What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele are revisiting America: What Went Wrong, their landmark 1991 newspaper series, in a new project with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. Over the next year, the project team will examine how four decades of public policy has shaped America's ongoing economic crisis.


Back Story

The authors talk about What Went Wrong

Donald Barlett and James Steele talk about the project, and why they decided to revisit a book they wrote two decades ago, in a series of video clips produced by the Workshop.

Nation's Story

Who pays the taxes?

Who pays the taxes?

We feature charts, maps, photos and other visualizations that reflect the state of the economy as part of our What Went Wrong project. This column chart shows the growing disparity between what individuals and corporations pay in taxes. In the 1950s, the difference was 22 percent. Recent figures show the difference is 62 percent.

Rags to rags: Economic mobility hard to come by

New Pew Center on States report confirms that moving up the American economic ladder is difficult, even though most people have more income than their parents.

Homelessness takes it toll on Florida's youngest

Florida, as a center of the housing boom, still struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Financial stresses and widespread foreclosures have placed families in precarious situations, resulting in a spike in child homelessness. Susannah Nesmith reports in the Broward Bulldog.

Older workers face challenges in Silicon Valley

An advanced degree and experience in the tech sector should be a ticket to a job in today's economy. But older workers in the heart of the new economy, Silicon Valley, are finding their resume is not the issue. Aaron Glantz reports in The Bay Citizen.

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Read an Excerpt

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

The Betrayal of the American Dream on Google Books

Check out the first chapter of Barlett and Steele's 2012 book here.