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A World Without Work [Atlantic]
“This winter, I traveled to Ohio to consider what would happen if technology permanently replaced a great deal of human work. I wasn’t seeking a tour of our automated future. I went because Youngstown has become a national metaphor for the decline of labor, a place where the middle class of the 20th century has become a museum exhibit.”

Why Chicago Won’t Go Bankrupt — and Why Detroit Didn’t Have To [In These Times]
“But as was the case in Detroit, the talk of a Chicago bankruptcy has little to do with the city’s financial health and much to do with a broader political agenda to obliterate the social safety net and slash pensions. Even though there are numerous reasons why Chicago is not going bankrupt, the fact is that there has been a sustained effort by politicians like Mayor Rahm Emanuel to create a financial crisis and then use the threat of bankruptcy in order to usher in deep and painful cuts, just as the Right was able to do in Detroit.”

Detroit’s Foreclosure Meltdown [Detroit News]
“We’re trying to keep people in their homes, but meanwhile, there is a blight factory (at Wayne County),” said Michele Oberholtzer, whose work surveying Detroit homes for Loveland Technologies prompted her to found the Tricycle Collective to try to keep families in homes. “We’re going out of our way to create more blight. A home without a person is a blighted home in Detroit. And it costs more to demolish a building than the government gets in back taxes. It’s backwards,” she said. “This is a Band-Aid on a corpse.”

Why We Need to Keep Covering the Foreclosure Crisis [Columbia Journalism Review]
“Another challenge for local reporters, especially those in distressed cities: striking a balance that is vigilant about the continuing fallout but steers clear of easy tropes. We’ve had enough “ruin porn.” At the same time, a narrative template that focuses on gentrification concerns might make sense for high-market coastal cities like San Francisco or Boston, but in cities like Detroit or Cleveland it “risks masking, or not giving enough attention to, the many more miles of neighborhoods where people are still leaving in droves, where foreclosures are still common, where people feel left behind in the housing recovery,” said Chelsea Allinger, communications director for the Center for Community Progress, or CCP, a national nonprofit that works to turn around systemic blight.”