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tv   Frontline  PBS  December 5, 2018 4:00am-5:00am PST

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>> narrator: tonight... >> our economy is soaring our jobs are booming. >> narrator: a frontline,li prop special... >> jobs have come back but it's not the kind of jobs we lost. >> narrator: correspondent alec macgillis examines the growing disparities beeen our cities. >> people who were making a good, middle-class income are now making $10 or $12 an hour. >> narrator: once thriving places like dayton, ohio. >> you think about where wealthi s, it lives on wall street, or in silicon valley. and you've had no real growthin in the undereconomy. there's no one left to buy stuff and these economies collapse. >> narrator: cities that have been left behind, ruggling to come back. >> what makes a society move
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forward? the idea that one's hard work is rewarded. that one has the ability to rise economically, and socially, and to look to the future with optimism rather than fear. >> narrator: a pbs "chasing the dream" report, tonight on frontline. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support is provided byhe john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information is available at the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change at ford additional support is provided by the abrams foundation, committed to excellence in journalism. the park foundation, dedicated h ghtening public awareness of critical issues. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. and by the frontline journalism
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fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler. support for "left behind america" is provided by wnet through the "chasing the dream," initiati with major funding from the jpb foundation and addition funding from the ford foundation. corporate support is provided by... >> the zip code you're born inre can determine your futu, your school, your job, your dreams, your problems... at the y, our goal is to create opportunities noatter who you are or where you're from. the y, for a better us. (radio squawking) >> it sounds like tough times dayton, ohio, when you hear about the thousands of layoffs at... >> we have hit double digits onn
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thployment rate now. and this is the highest since the early 1980s. >> ...stating that 598 employees will le their jobs when the company pulls out... >> ...has become ground zero for erica's overdose crisis, killing more people across the.. countr >> 911, what's the address of your emergency? >> federal and local officers are involved in cracking down on the heroin problem that's growing in dayton. >> ...ohio, where officis say they are on track for 10,000 overdose deaths... >> how big t heroin problem now is... >> the economy'so bad right now, and the job loss in the >> this is a big day for donald trump, donald trump has won the state of ohio. >> just going to cause ant economic, just, dection to this area. >> but i think it's starting too me back. ♪ macgillis: i first came
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to dayton as a reporter in 2012. i came back several times in early 2016, for an article i was doing on what was happening in the country's politics that year. the city itself would go for hillary clinton. the county it's part of backed donald trump. the first time a repubcan had won there in 28 years. i've kept coming back to this area cause i think dayton is representative of a whole swath of our country today. we talk a lot about income inequality and the urban- rural divide, but the gaps also between between cities that are absorbing an ever greater share of prosperity, and places like this that are being left behind. small and midsize cities thattt what our country inven made
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and aspired to. they don't seem to matter as as much now. but they do. they are heavily concentrated iour political battleground states. and are the heart of the national debate about trade and employment. they are ground zero of ath drug epidemi's on pace to claim another six lives before this film is over. so, how did all this happen in a country that is supposedly at the crest of an economic recovery? ♪ (cars driving by, horn honking) the poverty rate in dayton is 34%, which is nearly three times the poverty ratena onwide.
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and remember, this was the place that just a few decade ago was an epitome of, of american wealth and prosperity and innuity. now more than a third of the people in this city are living. in pover >> dayton is a place t believed in, you work hard, you play by the rules,nd good things will come to your family. n and for the pasted years, you know, until about the great recession, that was continuing to happen, right? they believed your child could do better. i'm, i'm a product of the u know, my parents, my dad worked at general motors, um, he got a goodage. that wage he saved to help send me and my brother to schl. my brother is an attorney, i'm the mayor of dayton, right? >> ♪ what a day for picking daisies, and lots of red balloons ♪ >> i don't know if a girl that's 20 years younger than me, hergo dad's not ing to get paid the kind of wage and have thkind of pension my dad had, and soth e cost of college will be out
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of reach for her. and no, i don't ink that she'll get there. ♪ >> macgillis: th assessment of dayton is hard to reconcile with the city's extraordinary past. it's nexaggeration to say that dayton was once the epitome of industry and ingenuity in the american heartland. >> dayton, ohio was the silicon valley of its age. it was the center of the most important inventions. it was the center of aviation. it was the center of automotive inventions. and it was the center of areat many lesser inventions, which collectively brought form to the american 20th century. >> oille wright piloted the crude flying machine in the now-classic, 140-foot, 12-second first flight. >> macgillis: we all know about the wright brothers, of course, who got their start making bicycles in dayton. but they weren'tlone. in the early 1900s, dayton was filing more patents per capita than anywhere else in the
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country. one ofhe most important was the cash register, which revolutionized the retail business a made national cash register a dominant presence in dayton. l k at the spirit around here. you feel it anywhere you go in the plant. that ncr family spirit is no bunk. >> what happened in dayton was innovation became industry,or became general mot became delco, became national cash register. there were 70,000 or 80,000-p going union jobs in dayton, ohio. >> macgillis: en world war ii broke out, dayton's heavy industries retooled for the war effort. rubber, auto parts, airplane gears, propells-- all indispensable, and all manufactured in dayton. >> general motors had pioneereda in applying production methods to the manufactu of bombers-- bombers to blast the
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way for our fighting forces. dayton has a story to tell-- the story of a city at war. >> macgillis: the war effortun raised workers' fo across the country, and dayton was no exception. >> if you look at the period from roughly the 1930s to the 70s, you had a period of broad-based prosperity. the middle class and those at the bottom saw their incomes rise more quickly than those at the top. tens, hundreds of millions of americans, over time, becameus owners of g for the first time. >> macgillis: sensingpo unity, people were pouring into dayton-- ites from appalachia and blacks from the deep south. >> dayton is crammed, jammed, every living facility packed. this is dayton on a monday night, or a wednesday night. the retail stores aropen. the markets are open. the department stores are open. the banks are open. >> mcgillis: by 1960, the cities populaon reached
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262,000. >> and then, sadly, things get ugly fast. in part it's because a lot of people were terrified of what this racial integration would mean. >> macgillis: a lot of t new workers that came to dayton were black, coming up as part of the great migration from the south. and people were not comfortae with their new neighbors. >> and so, we get the firstof round hite flight. and that means a bunch of things happen, right?e, onou're no longer invested in what goes on in the city. so you're consumed, quite rationally, with making sure that all your tax dollars help youruburban school district. (dog barking) when you hollow a counity out of its lawyers, its doctors, its nurses, its teachers, those who hold communities best together, what you're going to see is terribly predictable. the paologies of urban life consumed communities.d >> macgillis: ny black
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families who wanted to move to the suburbs and other parts of town found the door blocked.>> anks literally drew lines around neighborhoods to decide which african-americans were going to get loans for which homes. that's what we call reining. so then an african-american who could afford to buy the home where the great school was, or that was close to a park, or et, cetera, et cetouldn't. >> macgillis: in dayton, the result was african-americans being largely clustered in west dayton, where money and resources steadily declined. t >> wdayton, you had mile-class african-america and white families living side by side, kids who went to school, two-parent homes, a car, you know, the typical house with hie two kids, a dog, and a picket fence. (siren blaring in diance) now we have dilapidated housing. we are ling our hospital. we have lost our business.
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and that has become the new normal in west dayton. (dogs barking) (talking in background) >> macgillis: mike andla willa stri and their six boys live in west dayton's hilltop homes. >> you know where the top is? >> uh-uh.'s >> macgillis: a public housing complex in ae- crdden neighborhood. >> before y'all eat, i need you all to say y'all prayers. t >> lornks for the food, thank you for nourishing and loving my body. in jesus, mary, all praise. >> macgillis: moving here was their best option, despite working two jobs, but it was a elter they were in before. >> the shelter was an experience. it was very fferent, because they dealt with the outbreakf like, bedbugs, and something calledcabies that i never knew nothing about. and it w just, like, really overwhelming.
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us>> well, at the time, we had one income coming into the uld be able to afford it, but we it was, like, we couldn't afford to pay anything else, you know what i'm saying, and take care of the kids. >>e?ould you turn it up, ple >> no. >> macgillis: willa had just started working in customere servr an insurance company. mike is a line worker at a meat packaging plant. >> my life is different than my parents' life. they was middle-class. they both had good decent jobs, so... my daddy was a... he was a chemist, and my mom, she was a registered nurse. >> if you already had food, you should have said you had food already before you gave me that i grew up rire on the west end of town. i moved when i was about eight, so i didn't really kind of grow up my older days here. i moved to atlanta, then i came back when i graduated high school. ♪ when i came back, it's just, like, nothing was here. >> they just tore everything down and didn't replace it. now it's just like a ghost townn
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>> so the commy is considered to be heavy with poverty. it is no longer attractive for corporate america to invest in. and so people or cporations pull out, without any apology, very intentional, and leave the community desperate. >> macgillis: the business community's exit from st dayton can be seen most starkly in a remarkable statistic: while an estimated 40% of the city's population lives here, there them.o grocery stores to serve it's not a problem confined just to dayton. millions of americans live in one of these so-called foodrt de >> so essentially what we have here in west dayton is no sustainable way to access fresh foods. (birds squawking) this is an abandoned kroger parking lot.
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the store has been closed now for about 20 years. there is no place to buy a baked potato, there is no place to get a cup of coffeeto have a sip of tea. you can't even buy a salad here. if you want to buy a salad in west dayton, the only place you can get it is a burger king or a mcdonald's. ♪ >> macgillis: as wesdayton has been falling behind the rest of dayton, on a larger scale, cities like dayton have been falling bend the more prosperous parts of the country, going back decades. >> if you look at the decline of manufacturing and the declin of areas where it once was vibrant, theeal turning point is the late 1970s. stting in the late 1970s, corporations started to much more aggressively push back against labor unions. and they did so in part because the economy was becoming a bit more global, so they were able to threaten that they would move production overseas.
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and so we saw a plummeting of the role of labor unionsim precisely at thethat inequality was rising. (cheering) m gillis: and then the reagan era ushered in tax cuts for the wealthy, and a wave of deregulation.he atame time, shareholders started exerting more influence on the way companies d business. >> you had bankers sitting in new york, corporate executives, boards f away from these communities, that thought, you know, labor was expendable. and unfortunately, we have this idea that what's good for wall stet is good for everybody else. (trading bell ringing) wall street was puing a lot of companies to offload labor costs from their balance sheet, outsource jobs abroad. >> macgillis: in 1993, bill clinton signed nafta, which sped the flight of many auto-partse makers from thyton area to mexico-- a deal esident trump has since been harshly critical of. >> the worst trade deal ever
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made by any country, i think, in the world. >> macgillis: but many economists say that the biggest hiamon manufacturing areas c in 2ed0, when china was admitt to the world trade organization, which still echoes today in the trade war between the u.s. and china. >>edhen globalization happen, anen the loss of the domin of organized labor happened, that wlth was not in just one place. the wealth here was across a whole community. and when a community sits ont that, and that's wey're created from, and that goes away, that's why you see such a struggle today as we move forward to redefe our economy now. >> macgillis: from 2001 to 2007, the dayton metro area lost almost 23,000 jobs. >> delphi really scaling backe their production h the united states. a lot of that work is going to mexico and china, so...>> acgillis: to put it another way, nearly 1 in 3 local jobs in manufacturing vanished durin
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that time. and things only got worse from there., >> tod're announcing our plan to, over time, cease production at ford/gm truck assembly plants. >> these gas prices, they're not going down... >> macgillis: in 2008, gm closed its massive dayton operation, citing rising gas prices and plunging sales. >> it sounds like tough times in dayton, ohio... >> gm will close the plant for t good lats year, two days before christmas. >> mgillis: it was one of th last big auto plants in a town that once had more auto industre jobs than an but detroit. >> we produced quite a few gm brands-- gmc envoy, the isuzu ascender, saab, buick, oldsmobile. >> basically, it is a shift in strategy. >> macgillis: rodney brickey was one of more than 2,000 gm workers laid off that day. back when his father wstarting there. >> the insurance was pretty much unbeatable, and the wages were
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pretty high. i'd say it probably averaged out around $35 an hour. >> when the plant closed here, economically it was devastating for this area. >> bause when you're making that kof money and something like this closes, it's next to impossible to find something that's w compatibleh that kind of wages. >> unemployment, which >> macgibut the problems for dayton, and the rest of the country, were about to get worse. >> ...could lose their jobs. major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse and some have failed. >> the numbers of jobs lost, 190,000 jobs...e >> macgillis: obal economy was melting down on its way to the great recession, and it wasd takiton down with it. >> ... that unemployment rate is worrying... a >> it was kind of line-two punch. i mean, we had vivid memories of what happenedn the 1970s, was, like, "oh, no, not again." n
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>> a to ohio, where the economic signs are not good. in fact, they're going from bad to worse. t>> macgillis: in 2009 ca hardest hit of all from the company that was more identified with the city than any other: national cash register. >>..says it's packing up a moving south. dayton.ncr corporation was it had been here forever. to all of us who lived inwa dayton, we thought igoing to be here forever.on >> dayton' fortune 500 company, ncr, is heading out and down south. >> 598 employees will lose their jobs when the company pulls out of here in late september. >> macgillis: the company moved to the atlanta suburbs, where it already had a largoperation. the c.e.o. said it had become increasingly hd to recruit people to live and work in >> and daytonians ar we're still mad. that took a piece of our soul,
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and this community has notre vered yet from the loss of ncr. about ncr leaving the talk community. it's a scar. >> macgillis: it's a story that's been repeated in many small industrial cities, all across the country. >> there's a really fundamental change happening in the economy. if you think about where wealth lives, it basically lives in a couple of places: it lives in financial assets-- so, on wall street-- or in intellectual property-- so, in silicon valley. it's in a handful of people, a handful of companies, and you've had no real growth in the underlying economy. 20 years.d wage stagnation for and so, the bottom falls out. there's, there's nobody earning any moy. there's no one left to buy stuff, and these economies collapse. (siren blaringn distance) >> we have hit double digits on the unemployment rate now. employment rate topped 12%.on's
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>> it is worse than economists haveeen expecting, and this the highest since the early 1980s. >> macgillis: and while all this was happening in the early years iaof this decade, city off began seeing the first signs of an even bigger disasr. >> federal and local officers are involved in cracking down on the heroin problem that's growing in dayton. >> macgillis: dayton wasardly the only city being hit with a heroin problem, but its grip wan especially strg here.ho >> it has us askinw big thebl heroin pem now is in the miami valley, and what can be done to stop it.: >> macgille roots of the problem could be traced backs, yearo the kind of work that had once made dayton thrive: hard, physical jobs, repetitive motions, day after day. >> the opioid addictioissue happens in places where people use their bodies to make a living. you have a guy that's, you know, not feeling really well, or a woman, and, "my back really hurts," goes to see their doctor. their doctor gives them what
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they perceive to be a non-addictive substance. and i think that's where a lot of this came from. >> you know, one of the most serious crises facing people... >> the issue of opiate addiction in the dayton area is unique. but this particular part of the country was targeted very heavily by pharmaceutical oxycontin first came on the market. >> macgiis: by 2011 the state was reporting that opioid prescriptis had risen 1,000hi percent in oand many users were getting hooked. ashley sturgill was one of them. she first took opiates for chronic backain when she was working as a waitress. >> i can remember exactly when i realized that i was an addict. i, uh, was prescribed oxycontin, me and my daughters' father both. and, um, my insurance was cut. dn't know, i got really,d i really, really sick.
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and i think it was my mom or myc auntled and was telling them how sick i was. and, uh, they told me to lay p down, and thtty much knew that i was addicted to them at that point. >> she was eatg, what, 30 a day? >> probably, at least. yeah, i have a very highra tolee. >> and that would kill a lot of people. >> and people think because i'm small, that, you know, that's not the case, but i was obably doing triple what other people were doing. and then everything just kindth of went downhill froe. >> a doctor who fbi officials say ran a pillill in dayton proclaims his innocence. >> macgillis: ashleyays she was getting her pills from a doctor willing to write illegal prescriptions, a practice that law enforcement eventually cracked down on. >> ...believe he wrote as many as 40 fake prescriptions per day. (weapons cocking) >> macgillis: but there was an unintended consequence. >> you know, we to the pills away from the addicts, not knowing we had so many addicts. when you do that, u have people with addiction problems. and now they go seek another illegal substance, and that was heroin. >> police were executing severan
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search warranthe dayton neighborhood, all relating to heroin trafficking. >> macgillis: as drug cartels began moving heroin to dayton, they were helped by a feature that had once been a boon to its ty's location at the so-called crossroads of america. >> you have interstate 75 coming straight from the southern borders, then it hits inrstate 70, which crosses from new york to chicago. so is very easy to distribut products across the united states from dayton, ohio. >> macgillis: so with the drugse flowing into a city that was already reeling from an economic collapse and suffering the despair that came with it, dayton had a full-blown epidemic on its hands.he by it had taken over ashley's life. >> i knew she was on the pills, and i thought she got clean. but i actually, uh... she would use the bathroom a lot, and lock the door, and turn the water on.
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one day i picked the lock on the bathroomoor and opened it, and she had a needle stuck in her arm. that's when i knew for sure. >> sorry, i get emotional. i hate thinking about it.ho >> iht i could just throw her out and move on, but i couldn't do that. i love her. i knew we could dot. and we're getting through now. >> sorry. >> it was a lot of work but, i mean, weid it. she did it. >> sorry, i just hate... that's a rough one for me, so... (sniffling >> macgillis: asey was one of the lucky ones. she sought treatment for her addiction after discovering she was pregnant. but across dayto as synthetic opioids like fentanyl had begun entering the market, addicts were dying by the hundreds. >> the state of ohio has become ground zero for america's
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overdose csis, killing more people across the country than ever before. >> 911, at's the address of your emergency? >> my boyfriend is oding. and it's, it's bad, please hurry. >> t epicenter is in ohio, where officials say they are on track for 10,000 overdose deaths this year. that is higher than the total for the entire nation in 1990. >> macgillis: most of the victims end up he, in front of the county coroner, dr. kent harshbarger. >> she was 45 years old. and she was found sort of in an abandoned house that's used for drugs regularly.t i need to geotographs. what i see is just the same tragedy, the same story,it repeating lf over and over again in that addicted population. but it doesn't exclude anyone--o every racial, every socioeconomic group, we see in this current crisis. all the internal organs are in the right spot, a little bit of
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fluid in the chest, the lungsar e a little hyperinflated.e thcost is staggering to any one communy, and the smaller the community, the harder it is to absorb that economic crisis that this is creating. r there's not enouources to fix the bridges and the roads, and then you throw in an opioid crisis, and the, therm problem becomes inntable. i think we're done. the system is being overwhelmed. we have had to bring some of our equipment that we have already for mass fatality events here to the building. it's a refrigerad trailer, we have two of them. each one of them will hold 18 hsets of remains, and we' to bring them here from time to time, because our coolers are full. ♪ >> macgillis: in jt the first sinmonths in 2017, he had s more fatal overdoses in montgomery country, which includes dayton, than in the entire year before.
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>> overdoses, they're now ther number-one kille people under the age of 50. more people die from that thanfr car crashes... >> macgillis: the number ofli fataties has since declined, due in part to there beingess fentanyl on the street. but the addiction problem is still rang. you can see the devastation at aty of the support groups meet virtually every day in the city.mi this one was called es of addicts. >> f.o.a. is a nonprofit that i started back in november 2013. i have 11 years of my own recovery from alcohol and othe drugs currently, but at the time that i had start this, when i found out that my daughter was using heroin, it was an animal of a differe color for me. but what she did is, she educated me more than anyone about what was going on with her. >> macgillis: the night we were there, addicts and their families took turns celebrating triumphs that may sound small, but were monumental victories on
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the road to recovery. >> here we go. >> there we go. >> here i come. >> yeah. t >> i'ming one of these, because today marks my 90 days of being sober. (cheering and applauding) >> i'm going to take one of these, because i just got out of prison, it's a month on the 20th. i have a job. i've got a car, i've got a phone, i just made it through ms first paychecknight, so i'm super-proud of myself, so... (clicks tongue) (applauding) >> this is for my son, justin. he's going to be ten months clean on the 17th, and we couldn't be prouder of you. (applauding) >> i guess i'm going to take one, and... because i... i'm going to start to take care of myself. >> it's a big step. ♪pplauding)
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>> macgillis: if you spend enough time in dayton, you s that the opioid epidemic spares nobody-- not even newborns. at the city's largest hospital, one out of every ten babies in because they may be inis he withdrawal from opiates. there's even a special program designed take care of the overwhelming number of addicted mothers-to-be run by dr. christopher croom.nn >> prior to the being of this program, ere was really nothing available in this community for that particular patient population. you have women of childbearing age in stressed community where opiates are available and, consequently, you've got opiate-addicted pregnant women. these women are judged horribly, because they're using drugs,'r number one, and they exposing their child.
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so seeking out help during pregnancy is a hard thing to do. (equipment beeping) >> macgillis: ashley's daughter reagan arrived on new year's day, and spent the first week of her life being monitored for withdrawal. >> i w a little scared of what was gonna happen when she was born, how she was gonna be. you're being such a good girl. the fact that she could go through withdrawals, it breaks my heart. you know you're always-- i'm going to get emotional-- you're gonna ha that guilt, you know? because, you know, you're the one, you're the addict, so you feel like you pushed this onto your baby, like... but, you know, like i said, you feel horrible. (reagan fussing) >> okay, yes. >> ashley is exceptional for a couple of reasons. number one, she is in recove. she's had a long history of addiction and several attempts at trying to get in recovery, and this is the first time she's be successful at it.
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you know, that's a huge accomplishment. had just mild symptoms of reagan but all this medical aon can cost as much as 20 times what a regular birth ds. it's just one of the ways the opioid problem will be a bden on dayton for years, if not generations, to come. >> you know, what's struggling for us is, we're the ones paying for -- the taxpayers are paying for the burden, they're paying for the police services, the fire services. police and fire, they did 3,700 runs in the city of dayton. ross the county last year, ales 60% increase. (radio squawking) the judicial system has been clogged byolks that come through it. and multiply that by 282 people that died last year, thates t count the number of people that are addicted. this is an issue that far succeeds just an economic issue♪ ♪
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>> macgillis: as dayton tries to pick itself up and revitalize its economy, it finds itself in a situation that's become common in cities like this. after all the overdose deaths, the job losses, and people just leaving for opportunitiesop elsewhere, the pation in dayton is barely more than half of what it was at its peak 50 years o. and even though the number of jobs h returned to what it was before the recession, employers are finding there aren't enough qualified workers to fill them. i mean, dayton, you come there, and you know that it was once this city that was this big center of innovation. and you come there now, andis what hits youst the emptiness of it. you have this downtown with these big, beautiful buildings d these gorgeous, 15-, 20-story bank buildings and old hotels, and these streets that are so wide-- like boulevards, kind of, and they're just almost
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completely empty. if you're trying to build b yourself, your numbek up, quite simply, from a point where you've lost 50% of yourpu tion in 50 years, one obvious possible srce for that is going to be immigrants and refugees. >> lt year the city of dayto declared itself as immigrant friendly. so while the trump administration has taken a hard line on immigration, in dayton, some newcomers have been part of the efforts to revitalize. the ahiska turks are ethnic turks from the former so union who came to the u.s. as refugees over a decade ago. roughly 12,000 of them settled in dayton, including islom shakhbandarov. >> back in 2007, when i moved to dayton, people was running away from this community. street was dirty. basically, part of dayton was dyg. but i discover the life in the u.s. could be different if we move here due to the cost of
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living here and affordability of real estate. >> macgillis: so when you came here, you saw the city in a comptely different way. >> yes, i see the opportunity,as because it wlmost empty, and there was room to fill it. after six months, i was already. a dayton >> macgillis: he and some other ahiska turks went into business together. starting with a single used truck, they built a transportationompany called american power, which now has over 30 employees. >> this place was basically non-functioning for five or six years before we get it.e ths a minor warehouse-- small, but that was pretty much it. >> you got it for a good price? >> yes, we did. we always do >> it's now been a year since the immigrant-friendly plan was >> the ahiska turks ha served, like, as school boardco members, as mmunity leaders. they have taken an old recreati site that actually was closed and created it as
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their own community site. they have started businesses in the community and have taken over entire neighborhoods of the city of dayton, and madem ibrant communities once again. >> these houses, these houses was abandoned. majority of people who live, like these two houses, they both was abandoned. it was abandoned neighborhood. weought houses for $5,000, $6,000. there are houses that i bought for $2,000.dy you know, it's... no wants... it's the burden in the city. and my community see that as an opportunity. >> macgillis: and like so manyan successful daytonibefore him, islom has already med out of the city center and into the suburbs. >> it's the first time i ever built a house from the ground,ev and i bethe other house is gonna be much better. we're gonna build many, many, many, many, many more.
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>>acgillis: the ahiska tur are not the only foreigners who have found opportunity here. >> the language of economic development in the american heartland is changing. >> macgillis: cho tak wong, a self-made chinese billionaire, runs one of the largest glass companies in t his newest and bigactory is in dayton, making glass for the american market. he and his translator agreed t a rare interview at his office here. why was it necessary for a chinescompany to come in to build our supply chain for auto glass? (speaking chinese): >> the factory for is bustling again at this manufacturing plant in moraine, ohio. >> macgillis: the location of his new factory couldn't havemb been more ic-- the empty
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gm plant, now fuyao glass america. i s the largest chinese investment in ohio's history, t and in the top chinese i investmentthe united states. a company that invests over $600 million into your community, into a prect, that employs over 2,300 people within three, three-and-a-halyears, that's a pretty big deal. >> macgillis: amonthe new employees were a lot of former gm workers. >> i was actually a little bit excited that at least somebody was trying to bring some jobs back into the area. u know, that's why i wen ahead and applied early. group hired into the pthird both gm and fuyao, i actually started in the same part of the plant, in thsame corner. >> macgillis: but the starting wages were different than what he was used to at gm. >> you started outt $12 an hour. after 90 days, you got a raise
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up to $12.84. >> macgillis: the starting pay has since gone up to $15 an hour, but that's still barely enough to keep a family above the poverty level.wo will americaers need to get used to lower manufacturing pay than they had back ten, 20, 30 years ago? (speaking chinese): >> manufacturing is not what it
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used tbe. we used to think of manufacturing as these good, stable, middle-class jobs. but because of the decimation of the industrial heartland, essentially now those who are building manufacturing companies in former dustrial areas are doing so on a totally new model, a model that's built on much, much lower pay, and much weaker benefits and job security. (music playing or speakers) >> macgillis: in december, fuyao's employees gathered on the factory floor for the company's holiday dinner. it was a morfestive occasion than 2008, when gm shuttered this factory two days before christmas. ♪ down by the river that runs through the heart of the city,sc the is much more somber. st. vincent de paul's is one of the dozens of charitable food
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pantries serving the dayton area. >> i got 49. a lot lower than i thought it was going to uslly, it just flow down to about 70 or 80. (chuckles) >> macgillis: last year, they gave out free groceries more than 31,000 times. >> getting desperate, the whole crowd running up... >> yeah, you never know what's going here-- 49? >> numr 39, your food is ready. please meet your shopper at the door. number 39. >> the majority of people who come to our pantry work. we actually have a significant number that come here; they'll give me a ticket, and they'll say, "i have tbe at work at 10:00," or "i have to be work at 9:30, please make sure i get my food." people who are coming are people who will probably never recover from the great recession. we have families watering down soup, and moms trying to figure out how to make a box of mac and cheese last for two days.ou >> are yired? you're being really good. >> we visit homes with no
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food in the cupboard at all, n there hing. >> number 46, your food is please meet your shopper at the door. >> i cannot overstate the change that happened in 2008 and from there on, it was a game-changer for us. help came to us, and theyded continue to. and we still see the, the impact from that event. jobsave come back, but it's not the kind of jobs we lost. people who were making a good, middle-class income are now making ten or $12 an hour. people lt half of their pension. people did everything they were supposed to do, and it didn'trk >> you're bagging up here today? >> yes, ma'am. >> okay, you can head th way. all i've seen is the need increase, increase, and increase. i mean, we used to serve 150 're now serving 350 and up. all i see is the need going up and up and up. >> 350, your food is ready... >> hey!>> hank you. okay. wow, okay, holon.
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>> a lot of the jobs here in dayton are minimum wag no benefits. so by the time they provide all that to their family, groceries are the last on the list, and s they need to cre. >> cupcake! >> yeah, look, they have cupcakes rig here. look at that. >> i don't like to see kids coming here with their parents. mit just, it really bothe it bothers me to see children here, because i know they'll ben here 20 years fr with their kids. >> 336, your food is ready. please meet your shopper at the door >> macgillis: tayl hardy visits food pantries like this e coupf times a month. ♪ she works full-time, but says that even with $230 in food e stampsry month, she needs v charities like scent's to help feed her family. >> will you get me the, um, red sauce out? >> mm-hmm. >> macgillis: taylor was working
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as a nursing assistant. her boyfriend, andrew, was weatherizing houses. both earned a bit more than $13u an but neither had any savings. >> wmake $2,300 a month and pay $300 for each car, so that's $600. >> we've got rent, which is about $675. >> $675, so there's $1,300. >> (fussing) >> sit right there, mommy's almost done-here, here, i'm going to make you a taco. our gas and electric, that's $300, easy. and then we pay for diapers-- we can't forget that-- for daycare and home. that's usually about $70 every two weeks. g here y go sit, go take it and sit. b >> forh of us, roughly $40 a week for gas for the cars. >> the cost of living is outrageous. i think i have five dollars inun my bank acright now. it's sad, it's really sad that i
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work all these hours and i miss the time with my kids and my family to make nothing. >> we're barely just making it. >> come on, let's go. eat.ov >> thety level is set by the federal government. and the verty level for a family of four is $24,300. and when we stop and think about a family of four for $24,300, to that being the poverty level, that's nowhere near what somebody would need to actually survive in today's dollars. >> working-classages have essentially been flat or declining for three decades. and we know that upward mobility, the chance that someone will move up the income ladder, has stagnated. you know, what makes a society move forward confidentlynto the future is this sense of personal optimism, the idea that one's hard work is rewarded. that one has the ability, if they seize the opportunities
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before them, to rise economically and socially, a to look to the future with optimism rather than fear. (birds squawking) >> macgillisbut there is very little sense of optimism among the lunchtime crowd at the house of bread soup kitchen. across dayton, wages have dropped an estimated 19% from what they were before the recession. and the work is very different,. to >> right now, i work at el greco's up on salem avenue. restaurant work, and that's really out of my league there.l i used to be a diesemechanic by trade. $8.50-an-hour job is not very much money, you know, so... i got rent i got to pay, $100 a week. >> i work in a plastic factory. we process recycled plastics and put it into a form, like littlet black pellets an be molded into useful objects by others.
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so we sell the pellets to otheri pellets to mold objects. so>> we come here to eat, he kids can eat at home. yoknow, because, you know, we're struggling.>> t is what it is, you know. you got to make, you got to make do with what you got, ... really, you got to have faith ir lf. ♪ >> i think our unemployment rate iis better than it has bea long time. the issue in dayton is not how many people are employed or how many people are unemployed. it's, what kind of jobs do they have? >> macgillis: one of the other things you realize when you talk to people at these soup kitchens and food banks, people with the jobs, is just how humble the
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work has become in dayton. ha now yo all these jobs that are no longer about inventing nethings, but instead about the logistics of handng and packaging and moving things that are made elsewhere. take dayton corrugated, who have been making boxes last year, they spent arly a million dollars on new equipment just to keep up with demand-- but most of that new demand ispr from companies makinucts outside dayton. >> we are making more boxes now than we ever have. when the recession came along, everybody just kind of slowed down. we just kind of hunkered down and tried to make profit, to stay in business ourselves. as the economy is coming back, now we can expand. >> macgillis: the starting pay here is $13 an hour, and, like h other employers struggled to fill jobs.
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>>w.eople are a big problem you know, we've got lot of really good people here, and it's hard to get more. the drug problem is a real issue for companies like us. because it's really hard to find good, qualified workers. ♪ as >> macgillisou go around dayton today, you see this tension between the economic anm sociale and the determination to rebuild. there are small businesses cropping up in old industrialil ngs; a new black chamber of commerce is meeting in a downtown coffee shop... (talking in ckground) >> macgillis: ...and young inventors are designinges their prototyplike the wright brothers did here or a century ago. >> dayton is not unique in the problems that we are facing. that is common among urban communities all across the
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united states.s but whatique is that dayton is still small enough to right some of these we're not york city, we're not a chicago. we're dayton, ohio. so this is the community campaign, that's where we are today. this is how you change communities. >> macgillis: in nearly empty corner of the city earlier this tssummer, a group of resid were trying fix one of their most urgent problems-- the lack of grocery stores in west dayton-- by raising money for a community-owned co-op. >> greetings, how's everybody doing? you're good? i know, we're ho there's some water over here if anybody needs some water before we take out. there was about five or six of us that had the wild ia, "well, if we're living in a food desert, what if you opened up a grocery store?" nobody had ever done it fore, and everybody kind of looked at us like we're crazy. (talking in background) we had so many people join in the last two months, or last month, that we're at 1,500
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members right now, you know? and so it's, like, we got a lot of momentum. everywhere i go, people areki and talking about the market. ♪ >> macgillis: the market will be called "gem city," an oldro nicknamedayton's better days. >> to me, it's about, like, how to get resources tt are leaving the community to be reinvested inside of our community. and the notion that we're not waiting for others to do it, but we're doing it ourselves. ♪ >> macgillis: this question of like dayton, places whes glory days have passed, is are ly tricky one for this country, because we've really never been good about figuri out what to do with the places that are no longer on the cutting edge. the places that are no longer the, the hubs of innovation. we've never done that; we've never felt the need to do that.o we just... we moto the next thing, move on to the next place. but the gaps between places
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that the disparities at either end of the spectrum are increasingly affecting us all. so we can't just move on from these cities and expect that they'll fix themselves. their fates are wrapped up in big decisions being made about our nations economy and politics. the cities are a landscape of opportunit or at least they should be, in a country that likes to prid itself on picking up and starting over. ♪ >> we stand r connecting every person. for a global community. >> facebook systematically went from interconnecting people to essentially having a surveillance system of their whole lives. >> facebook has come under fire for its role... >> i mean everybody was pretty upset that we hadn't caught it during the election.
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and it was a very intense time. >> ...mark zuckerberg will testify... >> i still have questions. if we're going to make sure that in 2018 and 20 this doesn't happen again. >> narrator: next time, on frontline. >> go to for more on the decline rust belt cities. >> there's no one left to buy stuff and these economies collapse. >> and follow alec macgillis' reporting on the issue at propublica. and you come there now and what hits you is just the emptiness of it. >> check out more storiesin he wnet, "chasing the dream initiative". connect to the frontlineeb community on fk, twitter os >> frontline is madeble by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. moat information is availabl the ford foundation, working withisionaries on the front
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lines of social change worldwide. at ford the abrams foundation,rovided committed to excellence in journalism. the rk foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. the john a helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler. support for "left behind america" is provided by wnetug ththe "chasing the dream initiative," with major funding from the jpb foundation and additional funding from the ford foundation. corporate support is provided by the y, for a better us. captioned byro media access at wgbh >> for more on this and other frontline programs, visit ourbs e at
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♪ f to ordntline's "left behind america on dvd, visit shop pbs, or call 1-800-play-pbs. this program is also available on amazon prime video. ♪ pbs
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david m. kennedy: the american story about individual aspiration and achievement. this is the land of absolutely unlimited opportunity. we can become whoever we want to be. we can go wher it's part of our national myth. indeed, no socie can cohere over time if it doesn't possess some myths that people believe in common. rice: that's what holds us together, this great american creed that it doesn't matter where you came from. itngatters where you're g condoleezza rice: it starts with us as amerins regathering ourselves aroundalues, experiences, stories, if you will, about what it is to be an american.


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