Economy,  Stateside

2010 elections: the musical explanation

Marc Ambinder writes that the reasons behind the shellacking (Obama’s word) the Democrats took in Tuesday’s elections– especially in the industrial Northeast and Midwest— are explained in Billy Joel’s 1980s song “Allentown” (“and they’re closing all the factories down”).

Warning: horribly overproduced music video:

If so, I think two other songs– by Bruce Springsteen– also help explain what happened to Democrats in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

“My Home Town”:

And especially his great “Youngstown”:

The reality is that the deindustrialization of large parts of the USA– accompanied by the steady loss of relatively decent-paying jobs– has been going on for decades. You can say it is part of a painful but necessary restructuring of the American economy. But as these songs remind us, it can have devastating human consequences– which those who throw around phrases like “painful but necessary restructuring” rarely experience firsthand.