Not so much an article today, as a quote from Paul Clemens's book Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant, which we discussed yesterday. I didn't have room for this anecdote from the book, but it should give you a pretty good idea of the narrative's tone:
"Unlike Eddie, Dave felt sympathy for the other guards--the Pinkertons, so-called, who sat at the plant gate. Dave once told me the story of one of the male guards. The guy made nine dollars an hour after seven years, Dave said, and had just worked a sixteen-hour shift, as the guard who was to follow him had called in. He wanted to quit but couldn't. Neither, really, could he continue working: he didn't have enough gas in his car to get home, or, once there--if he made it--to get back to work. Dave said that he gave the guy five bucks. 'I wish it'd been ten,' he told me. A few weeks later, Dave said, the guy paid him the five dollars back.
That the man had settled his debt despite all drove home to Dave just how desperate the situation in Detroit was. That a seemingly honorable man who'd worked a double shift would be reduced to begging gas money--well, the ironies were hard to wrap one's head around. A Detroit man, willing to work, who could only find work guarding a Detroit plant where work had ceased. A man who had a hard time getting to work because the work he had paid so poorly. A man who...'These people are fucked,' Dave said." (p. 164.)