Truth by Aleatha Romig

Description : Truth
July 2011...

The tires of their Chevy Equinox bounced along the worn pavement and dilapidated surface of Bristol Road. Peering through the windshield at the signs of a dying city, Rich Bosley wondered if this was how the old west felt when the gold rush ended. Acres and acres of fenced concrete occupied each side of the decrepit street. At one time during Flint, Michigan’s prime, cars filled these parking lots twenty-four hours a day. Three shifts of workers came and went from these factories. Today it represented urban decay at its utmost.

In 1908 General Motors opened their newly founded headquarters in Flint. Generations of workers walked through the doors; each generation believed theirs would do better than the one before. The tides turned with the oil crisis of the seventies and the nationwide plant closings of the eighties.

But, like rain to the parched ground, optimism returned to Flint at the turn of the century. GM invested 60 million dollars to upgrade the plant. Over 2,000 hourly workers and 180 salaried workers frequented the building they passed. Honest work for honest pay. This blue collar haven once again bustled with activity.

Then during the latter part of the first decade, the auto industry suffered collapse. Some plants scheduled for closing were saved by private investors. Businessmen and women gave hope where hope was lost. These saviors required assistance. Workers agreed to lesser wages. The dream for better became a need for anything. Michigan’s government granted tax breaks in the supreme effort to keep the factories open and give people purpose.

The tax breaks expired. Workers were asked to accept even lower wages. It was inconsequential; the economy couldn’t support the product. Only the bottom line mattered. With no incentive to keep the doors open, men and women in...
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