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Investigative Reporting Workshop

Super Tuesday: Will economy sway voters?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 

Source:BLS; Graphic by Alissa Scheller, IRW

Georgia and Ohio are the jewels of the 2012 Super Tuesday contest.

These two states account for a third of delegates at stake in one of the largest days yet in the race for the Republican nomination. But both states are also pictures of economic challenge, as shown in the chart, which documents the current unemployment rate of those states voting today.

Atlanta was one of the centers of the housing collapse. Ohio, like other Rust Belt states, struggles to reinvigorate its economy after large declines in manufacturing. Both states are ranked in the Top 10 states with the most foreclosure activity, according to RealtyTrac.

Unemployment rates in all 10 states has dropped from recession highs. But poverty rates in all but one state, Massachusetts, have risen since 2008, according to Census data.

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.

Issues

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.