The Changing American Economy

Documentary: The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (2009). The film offers a snapshot of a moment in America where we may be seeing the end of the blue-collar middle class.

The Last TruckOhio-based filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert put a human face on the decline of American industry in this documentary which focuses on the workers of the General Motors Assembly Plant in Moraine, Ohio.

The plant, which opened in 1981, and churned out an average of 280,000 small trucks and SUVs a year, closed two days before Christmas in 2008.

As a result, 2,500 workers and 200 management staff were left without jobs. Moreover, the closing also triggers the loss of thousands of related jobs and businesses.

To the natives of Moraine and the greater Dayton area, General Motors wasn’t just a car company – it was the lifeblood of the community.

While the workers are shocked that they will be losing their jobs, it quickly becomes obvious to viewers that they are losing significantly more. The filmmakers capture the raw emotion as stunned workers look back at their careers at GM, reminiscing about the opportunities, friendships and the pride that working on the factory line had given them. The workers, and viewers, are left to ponder what their collective futures will hold.

Available for streaming on HBOGO.

How have you, or a family member, been impacted by the decline of American industry?


Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. It is scary how much things have changed in such a relatively small period of time isn’t it.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Adam. No doubt that the economic environment is changing rapidly. That is why on more than one occasion I have touched on the need for individuals to develop multiple skill sets and develop multiple streams of income. The more diversified you are in your training/education and sources of income, the better off you will be.

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