This series follows two American families over a 21-year period, documenting their struggles in a changing American economy. While I highly recommend that SavvyReaders take the time to watch each individual segment, the final segment in the series, Two American Families, does provide a recap of events from the first three segments in the series.
Bill Moyers takes a piercing look at how global economic changes are destroying the lives and livelihoods of hardworking Americans. This documentary follows several individuals and their families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as they fight to make ends meet in the “new economy.” In sheer numbers, more jobs were created than lost in America during the last decade, but a look behind those numbers reveals a shortage of jobs that pay enough to support a family. The program intimately portrays the lives of workers and their families as they struggle to make it in today’s job market.
This second segment takes a more detailed look at two of the families, the Neumanns and Stanleys, introduced in Minimum Wages: The New Economy. It provides updates on the two hardworking Milwaukee families struggling with low-paying jobs after previous employers downsized their operations. In both cases, they struggle to hang onto the American dream.
The dramatic story of two blue-collar Milwaukee families – the Neumanns and the Stanleys – continues in this segment. As they struggle to find their place in the new economy, living from paycheck to paycheck through good times and bad, both families confront choices that have far-reaching consequences for the American way of life.
This segment concludes the series – and the stories – of the two American families, the Neumanns and the Stanleys. This concluding segment marks their progress as measured over roughly two-year intervals until 2000. It then returns a dozen years later to check back with them as they dealt with home foreclosures, a struggling economy, medical bills, and strained or fractured marital ties.