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tv   Frontline  PBS  July 9, 2013 10:00pm-11:30pm EDT

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(choir singing) >> tony and i have known each other since we were probably about two years old. his mother and my mother went to school together at pulaski high school, and our grandparents, when our parents were younger, you know, they played cards, so they were pretty good friends. i don't know, we just started seeing each other, you know, spending a lot of time at each other's houses and he just asked me out, so i said okay. we were crazy about each other. we had to spend a lot of time together, you know, and i could just picture myself
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spending the rest of my life with him. and our expectations were, i thought, you know, you find the man that you like and get married and have a family, and get a house, a little white picket fence, you know, all those little fairy tale type things. um, some of it came true, but some of it as far as the bumpy roads, i didn't expect either. you know, i knew they weren't gonna be all peaches and cream, but you don't think of all the bad things when you're younger. >> moyers: once upon a time, terry neumann and her husband tony dreamed of a good, simple life. >> when we got married, we had started a family right away. he was working factory and i stayed home. and he made pretty good money when we were first married, you know, for a young couple with one little one on the way. >> grab a couple and crack 'em in the pan. >> i don't know, we had a good time with one child, so we had another one, and there was adam.
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you know, and then i got pregnant with karissa in '86 and he had lost his job. then he got hired at briggs and we thought, "okay, this is a very stable job, we can start saving," and we bought the house. >> moyers: buying a home was a big step for a young couple. but tony had a good job with the engine maker briggs and stratton, then the largest employer in the region. >> years ago, if you wanted a small engine, you got a briggs and stratton. >> moyers: for decades, briggs and dozens of other stalwart wisconsin manufacturers had helped make milwaukee just about the american dream's hometown, celebrated in sitcoms... >> ♪ give us any chance, we'll take it... ♪ >> moyers: and sentimentalized in beer commercials. >> so when miller time rolls around tonight, we raise a glass to you, milwaukee. you've earned it. >> moyers: when we met the neumanns in the early '90s,
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american manufacturers had already begun chasing cheap labor to non-union states and mexico. of over 40,000 good-paying jobs lost from milwaukee in the preceding decade, about 4,000 were from briggs and stratton. one of them was tony neumann's. >> it sort of goes like this. here and here. >> he gets into briggs and we think, "oh, this is a good company, we can buy a house." now we have the house, we have more bills. >> we gotta drill a hole. how big a hole do you want? >> not that big. >> but it's either rent for the rest of your life or own, and we prefer to own. i mean... >> moyers: that's supposed to be the american dream. >> that's supposed to be the american dream. where is it? >> moyers: tony had been making up to $18 an hour plus benefits. now the jobs available to a laid-off union worker commonly paid a fraction of that.
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>> i've applied over at grocery stores, hardware stores... >> mcdonald's. >> hardee's, super america, pizza hut, walmart, sam's. most of them will not pay six dollars an hour. they're all less than six dollars an hour. little do they know i need to live also. >> thank you, have a nice day. >> then one of these. and then you need a business card to call mommy up. >> moyers: while her husband looked for work, terry tried to bring in some extra money. she bought skin care products and then tried reselling them to her neighbors, door to door. >> look in the mirror and feel your face and say, well, you know, it's softer... >> it's softer, yeah. >> the complexion, the color... and that's basically why i wanted to share this with you. >> moyers: but she lost money on the deal, and their troubles just got worse.
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>> are you gonna call him back? >> am i gonna call him back? yeah, i'm gonna have to call him back. >> well, you talked to him before. >> moyers: how much is your mortgage a month? >> i believe it's $820. >> $819? >> yeah, $820 or something like that. >> moyers: and have you been able to make all the payments? >> no, and we're behind. and today, the mortgage company called me again. >> moyers: again? >> yes. >> moyers: what did they say? >> i didn't answer them right now because i wanted to talk to tony, and he wasn't home. so i wanted to talk to him. >> moyers: you must dread it when the phone rings. >> i do. i cringe. >> moyers: long before the term "foreclosure crisis" was on america's lips, laid-off working people were learning what it meant. >> i did send a thousand-dollar check in probably a few weeks back, but the check was sent back to me with a letter stating, "we will not accept a partial payment."
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i don't really think of that as a partial payment. i think of that as a basic payment and a od gesture on trying to get, um, caught up. right now we're going through a hard time. my husband's out of work. he went to school and he's looking for a job. and i'm basically just trying to buy a little time so we can get on our feet again, you know, so we can get caught up. i would think that this is just going to be a temporary thing, not a permanent thing, and i really don't want to lose my house. are you just trying to tell me that you have to foreclose on the house if i don't have that full amount? you would recommend it. >> is he putting this on paper? i want to know. is he putting this on paper? dear?
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>> it really bothers us that we have to depend on other people. i just wanna get up and do what i have to do, just go in the car and go grocery shopping and have a normal life again. >> you get the peanut butter and the honey... >> i don't like having to go and ask and say, "i have no food in the house, can you help me out?" where when you would go and work and get a paycheck and come home and support yourself... >> you'd be giving this food to other people. >> well, now the shoe's on the other foot. makes me feel very uncomfortable. i'd rather be on the giving side than the receiving. >> they have peanut butter, flour, some pork here. i understand that if you put it over noodles or rice and maybe add a little onion that it's quite palatable. >> oh, what happened to his ear? he wants to go back in his house? he doesn't like all you kids. >> he don't have no house. >> can you reach that high, or you want me to do it? >> i wanna hold him all the way over there.
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>> okay, you can hold him all the way over there. >> they've made comments too, like, "mom, let's sell the bookshelf." they've got little baseball cards, "mom, i'll sell these," and that hurts, because they're willing to sell their baseball cards to help their parents out. >> i've been getting very angry lately. i've been losing my temper quite a bit. i've tried doing things. i work in the garage on woodworking things when i get angry, and that helps once in a while. i'm having a hard time dealing with this. (tv voices) >> what are you doing today? >> moyers: how do you deal with this pressure, the anger and the... >> i can't. it's very difficult.
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>> yeah, our marriage is really on the rocks. this is really difficult time... this is a real difficult time. i've been thinking about divorce now for a while. >> moyers: why? >> i can't deal with the situation. i'm just having a real hard time dealing with it. >> moyers: you feel guilty? >> yeah, i do. i feel i should be supporting my family. >> moyers: you think he really wants a divorce, or is this just an escape? >> i think it's an escape and i just think he figures it's an easy way out. but really the problems are still going to be there because he's still going to have to support us and i feel it's going to be worse. i just feel it's just a tough time and if we can just get through this, you know, then we'll be back to the life that we had before. (choir singing)
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(choir finishes hymn) >> good morning, everybody. >> good morning, father. >> we gather on this sunday morning in faith to praise our triune god, in the name of the father and of the son... >> moyers: as tony and terry prayed for better times, across town, in milwaukee's central city, a second hard-working family found their faith being tested. like tony neumann, claude stanley had also been laid off. he lost his assembly line job with big manufacturer a.o. smith. >> when i got laid off they wanted me to go on welfare, but i could not stand in that line. i just said, "it's not me. this is not me."
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they want to give me food stamps, i say, "this ain't me, i don't want no food stamps." i say, "i got my strength, my health, i'm gonna find me a job," and i found me a job. >> moyers: he found a job waterproofing basements for less than seven dollars an hour, not even half of what he had been making. >> you got to look at it on the real side. i cannot live like i was making $20 an hour. okay, that money is not there. so you might as well get it in your mind, it's not there no more. so okay, bring yourself down. >> moyers: claude and his wife jackie were raising five kids: their daughter nicole, about to enter college when we met her, the oldest son, keith, the twins klaudale and claude jr., and the youngest, omega. >> i think the hardest time is when you have to worry about coming home, like i say, always coming home, and then there's a bill on the door
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saying the water's cut off, or there's a... the guy just called saying he's gonna cut off the phone, or the electricity's off. and you have to wait for a couple of days until mom and dad can get enough money to put it back on. >> moyers: their neighborhood, sherman park, was mostly african american and had once thrived on factory jobs that paid enough to support a family. now those jobs were disappearing, and people here were trying to figure out what to do next. people like jackie stanley, who had lost her job at briggs. >> do you have any houses in the immediate area that we could show? >> while i was on the motor line at briggs, i began to study my real estate. i went ten times for my real estate license. the tenth time, i passed. and i promised that as soon as briggs did close the door,
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i was going to go on and do real estate. and that's exactly what i did. >> hi, joe. this is jacqueline stanley from homestead. >> it's just like anything else. it's really unsure. >> okay, i just got in and it says, "asap." >> you only get excited when you're sitting at the closing and have the check in your hand. you never get overexuberant. and i'm learning that every day. >> mom's real estate is tough on her. i've seen her try to wheel and deal deals. they seem so good and at the last minute, they fall apart. >> the listing is for september. it's already october... >> and that falling apart is our mortgage, that falling apart is the car notes. and to someone else it might not seem important that they decide not to buy the house, but for us, it's a matter of not life and death, but it's a matter of light and gas. and that's scary. >> moyers: as good jobs left town, the number of african americans in poverty increased
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from about 25% in the 1970s to over 40% in the early '90s. the stanleys vowed it wouldn't happen to them. but as property values fell in the central city, so did real estate commissions. and when jackie tried to sell in other neighborhoods, she met resistance. >> it was on the market for a year and didn't sell. >> it's because they didn't have somebody as good as you. >> (laughs): okay. >> people of color really have a much more difficult time in our business making a living than white people. it may be a situation where she may call for a showing and not get the courtesy of a call back. maybe her client that she takes in to a mortgage lender has a much more difficult time, even if their credit is good, getting the mortgage. >> all right, fax it to me. >> i can't sell suburbs. i can't sell the most affluent areas here.
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and that hurts. but they'll call me for central city. >> you talk to your friends, they always say, "well, i'm going to be doing this this summer. well, how about you?" and you're like, "well, i'm doing, uh, working." that's all you can say right now is, "i'm working." they always ask me, "why you working? "why don't you go out there and have fun like the rest of the kids do?" you say you can't, you just can't do it. you have to go out there and help your mom and dad. >> moyers: to help out, keith stanley and the twins, claude jr. and klaudale, started a business. they called it the three sons lawn care service. >> how much money would you like to make when you grow up? >> probably about a hundred million. something like that. three hundred million, something like that.
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>> do you think you will? >> yeah. >> i've seen my mom on the phone talking to the bill collectors asking them when they would take-- the mortgage company-- when they were about to take our house. she was pleading with the mortgage company. she asked the bill collectors to keep the light and sometimes the gas on, and that makes me want to do more, a lot more. >> moyers: the country was deep in recession in 1991. the president predicted it wouldn't last. >> we will get this recession behind us and return to growth soon. (applause)
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we will get on our way to a new record of expansion and achieve the competitive strength that will carry us into the next american century. >> moyers: but the problem was bigger than recession. by 1991, milwaukee's new economy depended on non-union manufacturing and service jobs, the vast majority of them offering lower pay and fewer benefits. that was still the case when we returned to the city two years later. but by the beginning of 1993, there were expectations that things were about to turn around. >> i, william jefferson clinton, do solemnly swear, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states, so help me god.
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>> congratulations. (applause) >> from the way he ran his campaign, it was more like he would concentrate on america... than mexico, europe, africa, asia. he wasn't going to send more jobs or factories out of the country, and bring more in. and i guess that in the next four years, maybe we might have openings and maybe you might not have to film as many people in your... more people will have jobs, and things'll probably work out. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america, william jefferson clinton. >> this president, i think i can trust and relate to somehow. >> four more years, four more years, buddy. you need to grow up a little bit.
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>> today, we celebrate the mystery of american renewal. >> i've been there with reagan, bush and now clinton. i'm not saying i don't trust presidents. it's that you say a lot of stuff to get on top. even if i was running for something, i'd say, i'd be like, "everybody get free candy and everything," you know. so you say a lot of stuff to get on top. >> we inherit an economy that is still the world's strongest, but is weakened by business failures, stagnant wages... >> i think if they work on jobs first, a lot of people will probably be more energized, you know? give people something to wake up to every morning, you know? a purpose! >> a purpose and a lot more self-respect. >> right. i think that will change a lot of people's attitudes. >> changed mine. >> i invited the neumanns around the lord's table because a year ago, they may not have had as much to be thankful for, right? you didn't have a steady job then, did you? >> that's a fact. >> that's a fact.
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what is the fact today? >> i have more than enough work. >> more than enough work! >> moyers: tony neumann had found a job making engine parts in a small factory. (organ playing) ♪ amen, amen... >> moyers: like many in the new light manufacturing sector, the job was non-union. it paid $8.25 an hour, with no benefits. it got the neumanns back on their feet, but it wouldn't balance their books. >> just with the mortgage we got, well, three months behind. and it will take us two years to pay that back because they tack on interest and penalty charges and whatever else. so that three months takes two years. that's a long time. so whatever extra money we have, we send it because we want to make sure that in the next year, we have it paid off so they don't take the house.
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>> moyers: to make ends meet, they needed more money. >> guess what? i'm on the honor roll. >> that's great. >> moyers: and terry, like so many of her generation, realized she would have to go to work despite needing to be home for the kids. she began taking a series of low-wage, part-time day jobs. >> anyone for peas? >> nope. >> moyers: meanwhile, her husband tony worked the night shift full-time. >> one nation, under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> tonight is boy scouts. they have a pack meeting once a month where all of the dens get all together, and they come. >> adam neumann has passed uniform inspection. >> congratulations, adam. >> they have their awards being passed out on that night, so this is kind of like a big night. >> daniel neumann, please come up with your mom or dad or both.
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>> that's one thing tony misses, because he used to be very involved in scouts. so he had to give that up. >> good job, daniel! >> can i have this? >> sure you can. >> daniel! >> daniel! >> daniel, look for your homework. >> get in here! >> and your backpack! >> and shut the door! >> with me working and tony working, we had different shifts and we weren't all together all the time at the same time. >> karissa, where is it? >> how can he lose a backpack? >> in the room. >> daniel started getting very quiet and he kept to himself a lot. his attitude just changed a little bit. you know, he got really distant. >> daniel, he's still having problems with his homework.
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>> i'm sure that daniel is dealing with the stress of your relationship with tony, and the work issue, you're working. some kids almost blame themselves for what's going on in a family, you know, and they have to realize this is a situation that's a tough situation for the whole family. everybody's doing the best they can. you love him, you're there for him and you'll always be there for him. >> right. >> a lot of our children here at school are getting themselves up in the morning, coming home to an empty house at night. ideally, we would have a parent there to get a kid off and someone there to receive them when they come home at night. but that's, you know, in the fairyland world, i guess, and you know, we do what we have to do to survive. >> danny neumann. >> period at the end. >> period at the end.
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>> moyers: even as working people like the neumanns were just hanging on, the new economy was on the upswing, the stock market was on the rise, and for investors, the good times were roaring back. >> thank you, hallelujah. yes, lord, we thank you this morning. lord, we thank you, how you provide for us, how you make ways out of no way. lord, we thank you this morning. >> moyers: claude stanley served his church as a lay minister on sundays. >> we thank you, lord, for your goodness and we thank you for your kindness, lord. >> moyers: the rest of the week, he was on his hands and knees. by 1993, claude had been promoted to foreman of the waterproofing crew, which paid him less than a dollar more an hour. >> factory job, you're making $14 an hour. this job, you're cutting that in half. you're only making about seven. yeah, you might get some bonuses here and there, incentives,
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but ain't that great. >> i think he made about $35,000, $40,000 at smith. >> at smith, yeah. >> and i made $35,000 and $40,000. >> at briggs, mm-hmm. >> and that's... so we're out half of that. if we made what we made at briggs and smith right now, we would be really well off. house would be paid for, car paid for, kids at least would have some kind of college funds built up. >> but we look on each other for our strength. you know, some days she has bad days, some days i have bad days, but like, if i'm not producing, she's producing. you know, when i can't, you know, i do, she do, i do. we try to find a way to make ends meet. you got some families probably say how do we make it, you know, how do we make it? >> we don't even know. >> how do you make it? >> we just keep holding on. you know, we shop, we shop.
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i found out that there are grocery stores here that have food half-price on mondays. we rummage. >> oh, my goodness, some guess jeans. omega! these are $70 in the store, look at that! >> i come here because i work with a lot of people every day, they come in the offices. from the cologne to the shoes, they look gorgeous. and i can't afford what they wear. >> for $24, this one i want. this is for work. my accessories that i wear, they're, like, five, ten to twenty dollar earrings, i pay 99 cents. >> this is something you would wear, probably. >> something i would wear? no, i think elvis presley would wear it. (laughing) no, i wouldn't wear that. >> nobody wants to be around somebody that doesn't have theirselves together. even if you have to, as one broker wrote me and said,
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"fake it 'til you make it." and that's what we do in the stanley household. we wear exactly what the people on lake drive wear. >> $63.03. >> that's the very same house. are you planning on keeping the hedges on there? >> moyers: for jackie, the home sales came frequently enough. it was the pay that was the problem. >> and with my kind of work that i do, which is real estate, i get paid on commission, it goes up and down. and it's rough. >> moyers: jackie was just one of the agents handling this sale, and had to split the commission. >> don't go in the back hallway, the dog's there. >> moyers: after also paying a percentage of her share to her employer, she figured to clear about a thousand dollars. >> if we're going to do the taxes too, then you also have to remember they take the 28% out of the thousand that you make, so you're down again. >> moyers: she reckoned that if she opened her own office,
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she could keep a larger share of the commissions. >> i've set goals at what i want to do, and i plan on going all the way with it because i've got to come out of the hole somewhere. that's it. >> are you happy? >> and there's something that i always say: "so a man thinketh, so is he." if i think poverty all the time i'll act that way. i can't afford to talk negative and then allow my children to see me that way, down or depressed. >> moyers: as she persevered in 1993, her neighborhood seemed to be coming apart at the seams. >> even on this street, one block west of my house, just about every door here has the steel doors. i wanted you to see here. there was "kill you" written on the back of my fence, if you don't join the gangs, to my oldest son, keith. >> moyers: just blocks from her house,
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jackie's uncle was murdered by an intruder. >> all i can tell them is keep trying. every day, i have to encourage myself and i have to encourage them. many times keith has said to me, "what's the use, mom?" he did a 3.5. "what does it matter?" and i said you gotta keep going. >> watch out! >> the other day we was... the snow was heavy and we were out shoveling snow. and someone stood at the window and said, "look at your family, it's perfect." and they called us the beaver family. i know they meant to say cleaver. and they said, "we see you together all the time, it looks good." but it loogood.
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>> moyers: two years later, in 1995, getting a job wasn't the problem anymore in milwaukee. there was even a shortage of skilled labor. >> employers in some parts of the state say they can't find enough qualified workers and governor thompson announced what he calls "operation hire" to address those shortages. >> moyers: the problem, still, was that jobs often didn't pay enough. like millions of others, the neumann family now had to have a second full-time income to make it, and terry neumann was pulling one in and proud to be doing so. >> i have a new job. i'm a driver and a guard. and a messenger. my hourly pay right now is $7.50. to start. it has very good insurance benefits,
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which my husband doesn't have. he gets more money and less benefits, and i've got less money and better benefits, so hopefully between the two of us... >> it kind of works out. >> i get a lot of looks from a lot of truck drivers. a lot of double takes, that, "wow, look at that," yeah. i love it. i think it's great. you know? >> moyers: working? >> working, yeah. and having the power behind the big truck, you know. i like it. >> moyers: the power behind the big truck? >> yeah, i get a lot more looks than sitting in the kitchen cooking muffins. (laughing) >> good morning! >> moyers: i remember your telling us a couple of years ago how important it was that as a mother, you were home with the kids. daniel was having a few difficulties then, approaching teenage years. you just felt it was best if you could be here. >> right, i still feel that way, but under the circumstances, we're put into a situation, we don't have a choice.
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>> you got any homework? >> yeah, i got a lot. i got this little worksheet. i got a couple other things, i think. >> moyers: the neumanns now made enough from their combined income to meet their expenses. but the kids were coming home to an empty house. >> she probably thinks about us and stuff, how we're doing at home. gets a little worried if we're okay, and if we made it home. >> moyers: what about the neighborhood? you're not the only family around, i guess, where both husband and wife are working? or kids are coming home by themselves? >> there's a lot of kids around here that are like that. there's quite a bit of commotion as far as the kids that are around here doing pretty much what they want. >> because they're not supervised. >> yeah, they're never supervised. >> the parents aren't here to supervise them
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and that's the reason why you have so much teenage shenanigans. >> yeah, violence. >> that's what i'm worried about. i want my kids to... >> grow up to be good kids. >> yeah, i want good children. >> moyers: so you're betting on the fact that the kids will come through without you being here? >> i've tried to bring them up right and to teach them right from wrong. and i'm just hoping that they will carry these values through all of this. i hope they've learned something from this: how hard it is and how difficult it is and how everybody needs to make sacrifices, including them. this is how it is and this is what we have to do in order to get through this and make it. >> moyers: in the stanley household in 1995, oldest son keith reached a milestone: becoming the first man on either side of his family to graduate high school.
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>> aw, mommy! (jackie crying) >> i've been talking for years and i can't talk now. you're the first one. >> keith kenyatta stanley. (applause and cheers) >> that's my boy! >> moyers: he was heading into an uncertain economy, but keith was determined to make it. that meant college. and in the fall, he enrolled at alabama state university. >> moyers: how do you afford to keep keith in college? >> i negotiated two transactions and closed them the day before he left. and you're talking about a prayer. >> moyers: jackie's commissions
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only paid for part of the tuition. they would have to find the balance somehow. >> moyers: what does it take you, a year down there for him? >> it's $7,000 a year. keith? hi. how you doing? >> moyers: is he gonna be able to make it this year? >> i just received a letter that i have to pay $1,300 now or keith will have to be put out in 48 hours. we were concerned about this letter that came from your school. but again, god came through again! keith had applied for a lot of charge cards before he left. we came up with something. oh, that's so sweet. i can tell you've been down south a long time. you're saying, "yes, ma'am." your discover card came in. i called the discover card people and i told them we wanted a cash advance. >> moyers: most people, when they pray, expect god to give them a miracle. what you got was a $1,000 credit with 18% interest rate.
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>> but it'll tide me over until i can get the miracle. so then this semester is taken care of. you hear me? all right, i love you. it's called, rob peter to pay paul. and i'm robbing peter so much that peter is just standing there. send it to the bank. >> moyers: the stanleys were like millions of others trying to survive the good times of the '90s. living on credit became a way of life. over that decade, credit card debt for the average american family increased by 53%. for low-income families, it was 184%. and the paychecks weren't getting any bigger. claude stanley was making about the same in '95 as he had been two years earlier. as a supervisor, he did have modest health benefits. those he supervised?
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they weren't so lucky. >> moyers: what do these guys do for health care? >> there's no benefits. that's the main thing, no benefits. >> moyers: when crisis hit, claude's benefits proved insufficient. a serious lung infection required an extended stay in the hospital and kept him out of work for two months. when we next saw him, it was 1998. he told us the family faced uncovered medical bills approaching some $30,000-- $30,000 they didn't have. >> it will be rough, you know. it'll hit us financially, but all we do is just... you know, we depend on the lord to make a way for us, but we ain't going to stop living, you know. we gotta keep moving, keep going. >> welcome to burger king. can i take your order, sir? >> could i have two small diet cokes? >> moyers: the growing family debt
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meant that paying for college for their younger children was out of the question. >> let's see that pose again. >> moyers: omega was still in high school, but the twins had graduated. claude, jr. was working odd jobs, including doing some modeling. his twin klaudale took a different route. (officer shouting) he joined the navy. >> i, klaudale lamar stanley, do solemnly swear that i will support and defend... >> moyers: he went through basic training in illinois... >> six more days and we'll be through! >> moyers: and would soon be stationed in washington, d.c., at the pentagon. >> navy washington operator #30, how may i assist you? >> moyers: older brother keith, meanwhile, was now a senior at alabama state and on his own financially. he had some aid and worked two jobs: as a resident assistant in his dorm and the organist at his church.
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but when we visited in 1999, we found him on the verge of being kicked out for nonpayment. >> so what i do usually is, i just have to go inside the credit card and pay for it through credit cards, and that's the only way i can do it. and if that's what it takes to stay in school, that's what i'm going to do to stay in school. my current balance for this credit card is $2,574.68. the interest on this is, i believe, it's 23%, close to 24%. "no fee first year. apply now." they're everywhere. >> moyers: back home in milwaukee, keith's parents had decided to strike out on their own to become entrepreneurs. borrowing against their home, they bought a central city office building where jackie could start her own real estate firm and claude could set up shop as a home inspector.
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>> we're talking about those, amen, that's so quick to get rich and quick to prosper and quick to go somewhere. >> moyers: they would use it on sundays as a church. claude had become an ordained pastor. their faith remained as strong as their future seemed uncertain. >> god is good, he's good, he's good, he's good! >> i got an article from usa today where they said, "every person that's going to retire is going to need at least a million dollars." (laughs) >> moyers: across town, the neumanns were trying to cope with the toll on family life exacted by their different hours and demands at work, especially since tony was still mostly working the night shift. >> it takes a little getting used to. it seems like you only get somewhere between four and six hours of real sleep
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and you have to be able to live off of that. >> sometimes i like him to help me on homework, but since he's on third shift, he can't really help me a whole lot because he's normally sleeping and when we wake him up, he gets really irritable and kind of crabby. >> i already told you, food is going to be off limits in your room if i see this! >> the only time i get to see him is towards the time i'm going to bed, and that's it. that's when i have to ask him all my quick questions on if i can do stuff or i need him to sign papers for school, and then i normally go to bed right after that. >> actually, i would prefer to have a real life on first shift. i would really like to sit down and have a nice dinner with the family every day. i would really enjoy that.
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terry and i are never really together for any period of time. we're not really getting along like we used to. we don't sleep together anymore. it's really... it stinks. >> moyers: the neumanns began to see a family therapist. >> i don't like going to counseling because i don't want to tell him my problems. >> it's like he's, "hello, what are your problems?" (laughing) he never laughs, it's so funny. >> well, he's serious. he wants to get to the root of the problem. >> and dad even said that we weren't gonna go anymore, and then you guys scheduled another one, and i told the boys that we weren't gonna have any more and they got all happy.
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because the boys don't like coming to these things either. >> moyers: at decade's end, daniel, now 17, and adam, 15, were in high school, but having trouble focusing on their studies. >> goodbye! behave, be in by curfew. >> okay. >> okay, i'm going to work now. >> moyers: terry left the armored car job for one that paid more: $15 an hour instead of nine. but her schedule was utterly unpredictable. sometimes she worked from 4:00 in the morning to noon, and might have to come back the same evening and work the overnight. she was always on call to report to work on just two hours' notice. >> by the time i get home, i'm, like, zonked out. i get tired. >> moyers: terry and tony finally made more combined than he had made working at briggs a decade earlier.
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but despite all the hard work, these two american families had barely survived one of the most prosperous decades in our history. >> we began the new century with over 20 million new jobs, the fastest economic growth in more than 30 years, the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years. we have built a new economy. >> moyers: it was 12 years before we came back to milwaukee. we found a city still struggling, with over a quarter of its people living in poverty. some people had done very well. parts of the city had been splendidly rebuilt. and over the previous decade, more promises had been made.
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>> a future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy. and that is what we have. unemployment is low, inflation is low, wages are rising. this economy is on the move. >> moyers: but the promises had come with a price: two costly wars, a soaring deficit and a housing market boom and bust. >> the obama administration says it will spend billions to keep struggling homeowners in their homes. >> moyers: american families had been hit by the greatest economic downturn since the great depression. >> we're raised to believe that each generation can and will do better than the last. but is that really true? >> moyers: we wanted to know what had happened to the two american families we knew. we found jackie stanley outside her church. how are you? >> the graduate!
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>> moyers: along with a grown-up keith, now 35. >> i never would have made it to college, never would have made it to college, without mom. >> moyers: but jackie quickly confided that when we called her to see about filming again, she almost said no. i was telling kathy i thought i was a failure. i really thought i was a failure because i didn't do it. we went backwards. >> moyers: she said that after suffering some health problems, she had quit doing real estate altogether, that her dream of having her own office had come to nothing, that she hadn't done enough to make it happen. i don't know, i really was ashamed. >> sometimes we gonna go through some things, praise god, and god ain't gonna bring it out like you think it ought to come out, the way you want it to come out. >> moyers: turns out claude's entrepreneurial efforts hadn't worked out either.
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>> you might be on your job sometime and you hear about a lay-off gonna happen, and you might go home and pray all week, saying, "lord, don't let that happen to this place, i want to keep my job." and guess what? guess what? you get laid off anyhow and the place close down. guess what? you got to praise god anyhow. glory to god, hallelujah. thank you, jesus. god is good. >> moyers: now the couple was surviving on a job claude had taken with the city of milwaukee. >> moyers: how did you find the work with the city? >> i was looking through the newspaper, and it said something about the forestry department. >> moyers: forestry? >> during the summertime i do forestry. i do work with the boulevards, all the boulevards you see out here, with the flowers, we keep the flowers intact, the grass being cut. >> moyers: and the winter? >> right now i'm in sanitation, okay, collecting garbage. >> moyers: that's hard work. >> yes it is, bill, yeah, it ain't easy.
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>> i think one of the biggest things i can say for my dad is just his work ethic. i remember he helped me install a tile floor in my kitchen. i was tired by the end of the first day. my dad is on the ground, putting the tile in and showing me how to put the cement on the tile. and i was like, "man, this guy, he has all this strength." >> moyers: and you're how old now? >> i'm almost 60 years old. >> moyers: how long do you think you can keep that up? >> not too long. (laughing): not too long. >> moyers: claude is a member of a public union. he makes about $26,000 a year, plus some benefits. it's one of a series of jobs he has had since we last saw him waterproofing basements and inspecting homes. >> and you talking about doing other things in between, i had to work at the airport for two years. >> moyers: doing what? >> i worked on the runway, directing the planes to come in, flag them down, stop,
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take the luggage to the tunnel, lifting baggage... it was all kinds of stuff at the airport i was doing. >> moyers: was that a minimum wage job? >> definitely was minimum wage. when i worked out there, they cut our salary, i mean, down to nothing. >> he carried dead bodies, too. he worked at the hospital. >> i was a security guard at columbus hospital, and at nighttime, if it was like third shift, if anybody passed away, or died, we had to carry, put them on the elevator, and carry them down to the refrigerator. >> moyers: the third shift is from when to when? >> graveyard. >> from 11:00, 12:00 at night to 7:00 in the morning. >> moyers: once upon a time when people got your age, and you're much younger than i am, you're almost 60, they started thinking seriously about retiring, but you're not. >> i can't do that, because the reason is, bill, you can't stay on a job long enough to retire. you know, every job i have, i work seven years, okay, the place close down. you work somewhere else for another five years, they lay you off, they shut down.
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all the years i've been working, bill, i could've retired. right now. >> moyers: if you had... >> stayed at one job. >> he will not be able to see the retirement, you know, that he probably would hope for when he was working at a.o. smith. that's just not a reality. my heart goes out to that generation that was promised something from america, by america, that they would have a better life, and that's not the case anymore. >> i need to fill out my timesheet. i can do that. >> when i look at him early in the morning, he's still doing it. he's got that pretty, young smile on his face and acting like nothing's wrong and every now and then, you'll catch him exercising and humping his back and rubbing it. one day he told me... oh god, here goes the tears. i'm not gonna do this. i'm not gonna cry.
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here's what he said. he had come in from work, and it was kind of cold, and he said, "by the time i get up, "i'm just thawing out. "my bones haven't finished getting warm. i can't keep doing this." >> hey, dyl, are you in a good mood today? dylan! he's not in a very good mood. i think his bus drive was too long, he's getting antsy and he has to go potty. >> moyers: when we next met terry neumann, we found she had lost her warehouse job some five years before. she had searched unsuccessfully for a new warehouse or manufacturing position, but couldn't find one.
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so in 2008, she had retrained to become a nurse's assistant and home health care aid. now 49 years old, she was working part-time in a suburb just west of milwaukee... >> ready? one, two, three! there you are. >> moyers: taking care of a 16-year-old, dylan solper. >> oh, i've been probably doing this for probably 19 months i've been here. >> (laughing) >> what? do you think that's funny? what's so funny, dyl? he thinks he's funny sometimes. he'll put his feet up on me and i'll say, "i don't want those stinky feet, i don't want those stinky feet. i don't want those stinky feet." >> the job paid, when i first started, eight dollars an hour, and now i'm getting nine dollars an hour. i'm at 24 hours a week. >> where's dylan? >> moyers: how do you survive on nine dollars an hour? >> you can't. if you want a house and if you want that american dream,
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it's impossible. >> here's my paycheck. this is a two-week paycheck. so year to date, what are we talking here? november? that's what i made, $9,646.89. that's poverty. >> moyers: for terry neumann, survival has been difficult since last time we saw her, and not just because of her paycheck. these days, she's also going it alone. >> moyers: what happened to you and your husband?
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>> i think we just grew apart and went separate ways. and the love wasn't there anymore, the trust wasn't there anymore. it was just gone and dead. it was like a death. >> moyers: tony neumann told us he had lost his factory job and had been doing construction and handyman work in and out of milwaukee. he declined to talk on camera. terry, meanwhile, said she never gave up searching for a full-time job. >> i need more hours. that's what i need. and i'm working on that. >> dylan, we're getting into our chair. back up! good job! >> moyers: terry was working for a for-profit agency
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receiving money from medicaid for dylan's care. positions like hers are often part-time or temporary. >> are you ready? are you ready? >> moyers: you're part-time. >> yes. so they don't have to pay for the benefits, vacation time, sick time, or health. >> drink, drink. >> the amount of money that these caregivers make, it's just sad. it's sad. i don't know how they live on it. and the only thing i can tell them is they're angels. >> get that noodle! >> moyers: you kept the house at the time of the divorce, you were able to keep the house. >> yes. >> moyers: you were determined to hold on to that house. that was your home. >> oh, yeah. but i didn't feel safe after a while. >> moyers: i remember when we were there you were concerned about the growing rowdiness
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and violence in the neighborhood. >> it just got worse. i was waking up, let's see, 2:00 in the morning with gunfire rounds going through the neighbor's house. >> moyers: but you had nowhere else to go. >> right. >> moyers: terry had survived the wave of home foreclosures that hit some 16,000 milwaukee property owners between 2008 and 2010. but by 2011, divorced and working part-time, she simply couldn't afford to make her home payments anymore. >> she was real quiet and i could tell that she was down. and i finally came to her, and i said, "what's going on? "you know, you seem like you're really down, "like you're really tired, like you're exhausted, "like you just have a really heavy... something's heavy on your mind." i said, "is everything okay with your family?"
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i think she felt embarrassed, which she shouldn't have. i think that she didn't feel like she wanted to talk about it. but as the summer went on... it was a horrible time for terry. >> "dear occupant, "please take notice, "judgment foreclosure entered march 15, 2011 in the amount of $96,619.12." "you are hereby notified that possession is demanded by j.p. morgan chase bank, which now owns your property." >> moyers: how long did you stay in the house? >> i lived there for 24 years.
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they wanted $120,000 for the buyout of it, and i'm like, "where am i supposed to find that?" you know, so it goes into foreclosure and you can sell it for, what, $30,000? i was like, "are you serious? "you can't lower my payments or my interest rates "so i can stay in my house, but you'll foreclose on it and sell it for $30,000 or $40,000 or whatever it was?" >> moyers: with nowhere else to go, terry moved in first with a relative, then with a friend. >> and i felt, like, a sense of failure because i've always been able to get back up on my feet.
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i've always found a way or the money to fix it. and i just couldn't fix it anymore. >> moyers: at the time terry lost her home, both her grown sons, daniel and adam, were living with her. do you think they are going to get their feet on the ground one day economically and be more secure than you and tony were? >> i have my doubts. >> i want to hold him all the way over there! >> okay, you can hold him. >> adam neumann has passed uniform inspection. >> moyers: adam neumann, terry's middle son, is now 28. we found him working for a lawn care company. >> i've been doing it for about a year now and, uh, i like this job. it's nice. i like being outside. keeps me in shape. i get paid, uh, like nine bucks an hour.
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it's usually 40 hours a week. right now, there's no benefits or insurance, so that's the downfall of the job. that's piggy! >> moyers: adam, we learned, had dropped out of school in the 10th grade after fathering a daughter who now lives with her mother. >> i wish i would have, you know, stayed in school and, you know, found something that i was good at, you know, for a stable job in that sense, but after i had my kid at a young age, i had to work, and i couldn't work and go to school at the same time. >> moyers: he lives just south of milwaukee, in an apartment complex where he met his current girlfriend. they are expecting a child. >> moyers: this is your second child. how old is the first one now? >> eleven. and i live paycheck to paycheck,
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child support, rent, electric, food, but they still call me middle class. but i don't see that. >> moyers: adam's brother daniel, terry's oldest, is now 29. he's an auto mechanic, currently unemployed. >> i've seen it done before, too, where you fill up the syringe with brake fluid. >> moyers: like so many milwaukeeans of the past few decades, including his father, daniel was looking to upgrade his skills to help him get work. so he went back to school for retraining at one of the region's many technical colleges... >> how we doing here, young man? >> all right. >> moyers: ... studying automotive technology. >> gotta take the crossmember out in order to get this out. >> very good. >> daniel! >> daniel! >> daniel, look for your homework. >> moyers: we asked daniel about the past, about the difficulties in his family that he had witnessed growing up. >> i really wasn't paying too much attention to it.
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i was busy with school and being a kid. none of that stuff really mattered to me because i didn't know. but now that i'm older and all this, it makes sense because now i'm going through the same thing. >> moyers: daniel has three kids of his own to help support. they live with their mothers. he gets by with unemployment and state food assistance. he's had no home since his mother lost the house and now lives with a friend. he says he will start his own auto repair shop when he gets out of school, and he knows how he'd like to run it. >> what i see is, you know, you keep your employees happy, your company will grow. if you keep treating your employees like crap and just keep taking from them just because you want to get richer and richer and pay them less, that's not the way to go. because i mean, the economy is so bad right now a lot of people don't have money and stuff, and the world is just going all downhill right now.
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all this stuff going on here in milwaukee and all these shootings and all that... i mean, they just had another shooting out there even in a nice neighborhood over there in brookfield. i have my concealed carry. i carry everywhere i go. you really don't have to want to use it, but if you have to, you have something to protect yourself and your family and friends around you. >> moyers: with this kind of economy that we have now-- low-wage, no-benefit jobs-- do you think that dan and adam have a shot at raising a family, having a home... >> i don't see them getting a home. because they're making... they're just... they're struggling from paycheck to paycheck. you know, i had the home before the job loss, but for them to try to save to get a home now, i don't foresee that, plus raising kids.
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>> moyers: how about karissa, how's she doing? and she's how old now? >> 26. >> then one of these. and then you need a business card to call mommy up. >> when i was younger, i just knew we didn't have money, and money is how the world goes round. >> you can't buy anything yet. we don't have enough money! >> a lot of people have clothes every school year, they have a new pair of shoes or several pairs of shoes, and i decided when i was younger that i wanted to be able to say i have money in the bank. >> moyers: we found karissa working for a hospital in the large aurora chain. it's one of the biggest employers in the region in one of the biggest economic growth sectors, health care. she has an associate's degree and also recently took courses
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to get certified as a professional insurance coder. >> i do the physician billing, so all the physician services, professioi do those.ce coder. >> moyers: she earns about $15 an hour plus benefits. she supports herself and husband, anthony lefebvre. he has an associate's degree, but like so many others is currently unemployed. he's trying to start his own computer consulting business. >> going in, too? >> yeah, but he had to walk in the garden. >> moyers: because they don't earn enough to have a home of their own, they live with anthony's relatives. >> i think there's a lot of people in the same boat as we are. my uncle down in florida, he was into real estate, selling million-dollar condos. i don't think he's doing too well. >> no. i mean, he even lost the house he was living in. drive around any neighborhood, and see how many people are living in the houses to try to help support each other.
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there's a lot of vacant houses. a lot of people lost their houses, you know, my mom being one of them. >> moyers: we asked terry to take us back to her old house. >> so this is it. >> moyers: the people living there invited us in. >> we recently just got this place in early september, and so we just got it fixed up. we still need a lot of repairs. >> moyers: khou hang and lu lao bought terry's house in a foreclosure sale for about $38,000. >> can i take a look around? >> go right ahead. >> this was my room.
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and this was my spare room. and this is where my grandkids would sleep when they would come to visit me. and then this was the other room that my granddaughter would stay in when she would come visit me. >> bless us, o lord, and these, thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty through christ, our lord. amen. in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, amen.
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>> moyers: jackie stanley, serious about her community role as the pastor's wife, tries to remain upbeat. >> everything free, my dear. >> moyers: on this day, there was a charitable giveaway at their church. >> if anybody has a queen-size bed, i have a down comforter. we got furniture coming in just a bit. it just went crazy. we can't even finish getting rid of everything because every time we get rid of a table or two, another table comes in. don't be standing around looking, you better grab, take this stuff. >> moyers: we went along to one of her volunteer projects: a drug and alcohol recovery group.
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the woman who had once told us you have to "fake it till you make it" was still spreading that gospel. >> and i'm gonna show you the 45-degree-angle walk, and women, i want you to hear this: do not walk with your butt. when you want to be successful, when you step out... and don't do those timid walks. that means it's like, "whichever way the wind..." no! i have somewhere to go and my name is j. renee. (audience agreeing) you see that? >> moyers: we also went to school with her. she's taking classes to get back into the real estate game. >> and i know i'm good. i can walk out here and i could guarantee an eskimo would buy some ice, even if i brought it out of my refrigerator. they're going to buy it. >> moyers: but the private jackie was less self-assured. do you feel like a failure today? >> yes.
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>> moyers: claude, do you think she's a failure? >> no, she's not a failure. >> he'll always say that. >> you're not a failure. in this day and age you raised five kids-- that's success. get jobs and make their own decisions... >> but even the bible says leave heirs, you must leave something. you know... >> moyers: do you think your children feel that you're a failure? >> i don't think my children... i think they love me enough not to tell me if they did feel it. >> i was young, about 14. >> moyers: did it scare you? >> moyers: the stanley kids are all grown up now. the oldest, nicole, is in virginia, working for a county clerk's office. the youngest daughter, omega, a single mother of a ten-year-old, recently lost her job at a milwaukee call center and is looking for another. >> how much money would you like to make when you grow up? >> probably about a hundred million.
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something like that. >> moyers: one of the twins, claude, is also looking for work. >> that makes me want to do more, a lot more. >> moyers: the other, klaudale, left the navy in 2011 and came back to milwaukee to look for a job. but he found that opportunities were better elsewhere; he got a job with a private contractor in afghanistan. >> moyers: what does it say to you that he can make more money employed by a military contractor in afghanistan than he can make here at home in milwaukee? >> it says something. >> it's sad. >> it says you gotta run out of this country to go somewhere to make some more money. that's crazy. and we're supposed to be the richest country? that ain't... that don't sound too good, bill. >> the chair recognizes... >> thank you, mr. president. if i could speak to this, as the lead sponsor... >> moyers: we went to milwaukee's city hall
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to find the family's one college graduate. keith stanley earns about $45,000 a year as an assistant to the common council president, alderman willie hines. >> he's been on staff now about a year and a half or two or so, and he's highly respected. he's a man of integrity. >> moyers: hines's district is in milwaukee's central city, near where keith grew up. >> neil, how's everything going with you? >> moyers: despite government and private efforts to bring jobs back here, milwaukee's jobless rate among african-american men hovers at around 50%. >> anyway, if you can, give me a call. this is keith stanley, with alderman willie hines' office. >> we do get the calls about jobs. they're looking for a job. "i need a job." sometimes it's difficult to have that conversation because i myself am in no position to offer a job, and my boss, that's just... we're policy makers. my heart goes out to them
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because i know i can share that same story with them. i can understand their pain. now, they may not want to hear that. a lot of times, you know, they're all, "oh, you're working at the city and you don't understand." i get lots of those, and i can stop and say, "no, i definitely understand." you know, i definitely understand dealing with struggle when, you know, your parents just don't have enough. >> my parents spent a lot of time and energy in us and making us who we are. there are people that look like me, that live where i live, and who are now dealing with situations and struggles that i never have seen. i've never seen the inside of a jail. i can't tell you what a gun looks like. i don't know what drugs or even alcohol looks like. and i have to give all that credit to my dad along with my mom, and they put the fear of god in us. you know, you have to work hard, you have to look people in the eye. >> moyers: tell me about keith. >> he has gone far.
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he's beyond our expectations. but keith has told me a lot of times, "mom, i don't want to be like you and dad." >> moyers: meaning? >> bill, when it's time to eat, they want to eat. they don't want to do like dad and i and start, you know, saying... making excuses why you're not hungry. we're gonna keep filling the racks. go by color, not by size. >> i'm inspired by my parents, but that's also made me make a lot of tough decisions where i say, "i'm not going to make those decisions because i don't want that to affect my life." >> look for the blue, look for the brown. >> moyers: one of the decisions keith has made is to hold off on getting married and having kids. >> i want to make sure i can control my destiny, and that's including not having children at a certain age. i would love to say i want to bring in a child in the world, but until i have myself together, i'm confident and believe that i have myself together... and people say there's no perfect time to have a kid, i know that, but there's been too many struggles i saw. and for me, it's like, "can i make that sacrifice?"
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and if i do, man, they... maybe one kid. maybe a dog right now. that's why i got spike, so that's it. >> moyers: knowing what growing up without money is like, keith takes extra jobs to make sure he's never in the same fix. he's a landlord, collecting rents on this building he bought just up the street from his parents' storefront church. he also works nights and weekends as a videographer... >> if you can, kind of restate the question in the answer. >> moyers: shooting and editing public and private events. and he does have a young person to care for. >> this big guy is my nephew, kevin joy. >> moyers: kevin is the son of keith's older sister, nicole. she sent kevin from virginia to milwaukee with the hope of giving him a strong male role model. >> he's got a client. he's been cutting her grass, watering her grass. it's kind of amazing to see.
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we've got a whole 'nother generation from just 20 years ago when i was doing this, and we had a business, and we were cutting grass. so it's kind of passing on those values, that same work ethic, making sure that he can get to work on time. he can take authority, he can do time management, that type of thing. kj, now you know that's... you could be done with that by now. >> moyers: but you do want to be a dad someday? >> i think so. i think kevin has given me a little light... we're not going to water yet, we're going to cut the grass. don't water it. yeah, try to pull it, get the lawn... i can help you out, pull the lawn mower out. so kevin has given me a little light to say, "maybe i can pour what little wisdom, what little nuggets i have"-- there's not much there, but what i do have-- and put onto the next generation and say, "listen, this is what it takes to survive." >> moyers: kevin, now it's your turn, right? you're how old? >> i'm 16. >> moyers: and what are your ambitions, what do you want to do with yourself? >> there's nothing else i want to do but go to college.
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>> and what have you learned about your grandparents? >> man, they're just resilient. i mean, they're the people that you look at and you can keep hitting them, knocking them down, breaking them to pieces, rip them apart, burn them, but they'll still be there, they're kind of indestructible. >> sometimes you're going to go through some things to get where you're trying to go. do all that you can, but still praise god. >> moyers: how much has your faith been an anchor for you during this difficult time? >> that's a big anchor. (clapping to organ music) that's what gets me up in the morning, bill. that's what keeps me going. i believe that something gonna happen. >> ♪ can't nobody do me like jesus... ♪ >> ♪ can't nobody do me like jesus... ♪ >> ♪ can't nobody do me like jesus... ♪ >> ♪ can't nobody do me like jesus... ♪ >> moyer: but you've had so many setbacks since i first met you.
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>> that's true. >> moyers: you were fighting hard after you lost those good-paying jobs and you've been fighting ever since, and yet you still... >> still, bill, still praise the lord, i still believe there's something for us. >> and i would interject at saying, what else? we have no other choice. >> ♪ can't nobody do me like jesus... ♪ >> moyers: in early 2013, yet another american president set lofty goals for restoring the middle class. >> we believe that america's prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single american.
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>> moyers: what you've lost-- your home, your husband, a livable, decent income-- people say to me, "how does she keep going, where does she get that spirit, how does she do it?" >> my grandfather always said when i was 14, "you never let the devil win. never let the devil win." i'm still determined. i'm not going to give up. >> moyers: do you think you'll ever be financially secure? >> um, the way the economy is going, no, i don't think anybody is going to be financially secure, truthfully. >> moyers: and you're... >> and we'll just work until we collapse and keel over and die. >> moyers: there's a postscript to terry neumann's story. she finally found herself a new full-time job at a nursing home.
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she works the overnight shift, 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 in the morning. she earns $11.50 an hour plus benefits. it's not enough, she says, to ever think about buying another house of her own. her hope now is someday to buy herself a spot in a trailer park. >> next time on frontline... on i,rensic evidence foolproof. >> it's a match. it's a match. >> but in reality... >> there's no scientific basis. >> using techniques, using equipment that's never been validated scientifically. >> how can that be a science? >> frontline correspondent lowell bergman uncovers the truth about forensics. >> bad science. it doesn't just put innocent people in jail, it leaves murderers on the street. >> "the real csi." watch frontline.
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>> go to what's happened to the neumann and stanley families since the making of this program. >> he'll always be there. >> learn more about the declie of the middle class. >> i live paycheck to paycheck-- child support, rent, electric, food. >> see photos of milwaukee over the years. plus, share your thoughts about the american dream. >> can i take a look around? this was my room. >> follfrontline on facebook and twitter, or tell us what you think at frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support ffrontline is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world.
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more information is available at additional funding is provided by the park foundation, dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. and by tfrontline journalism fund, supporting investigative reporting and enterprise journalism. >> for more on this and othfrontline programs, visit our website at frontline's "two american families" is available on dvd.
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to order, visit, or call 1-800-play-pbs. frontliis also available for download on itunes. for stories that define the american experience. all of this stuff was just erupting revealing our strengths... you create a new future. our struggles... it's very american to say this is not right. these are our stories. we were so innocent and oddly enough we were so american
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our american experience. only on pbs.
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( theme music playing ) our journey through the annals of "roadshow" history are about to end. just time for one last edition as we dig out some golden nuggets from the vaults. just as well, we've left some of our most memorable moments for last. ( theme music playing )
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if you ask our experts which are the most special finds in 30 years on the "roadshow," for many it's been when they've touched objects associated with great moments in history. in this episode paul atterbury and simon bull recall some extraordinary encounters. simon bull: sometimes an item comes in that really sends shivers down your spine. ( laughs ) you get this feeling that here is history, real history. a fantastic feeling that is. one of our experts is transported back to his first job working as a porter in an auction house. come on in, knowles. we're expecting a lot of people today. - a very big sale. - right. so i want you to be on your very best attentive behavior. and what is the magic of the "roadshow"? hilary kay: one is incredibly lucky because the "antiques roadshow" acts as a magnet. and things that you really wouldn't believe existed
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just come out of the woodwork to the program. it's amazing. for some the love affair starts young. collecting can be an infectious disease caught in your youth. high time, we thought, to remember some of our youngest visitors to one of britain's oldest shows. our experts have hosted a total of 14 children's specials over the years and it never gets any easier. the old phrase, "never work with children and animals" was what sort of went through my mind. i have to say that my experiences of working with children are absolutely delightful. - i like that one. - you like it too? you'd better do up your shoe down there, yes. kay: working with children, you know there is going to be that moment when you are going to be completely upstaged. you just have to lay back and enjoy it. the history of meccano goes back actually quite a lot further than 19-- - 1901. - that's right!


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