Richard C. Longworth's book "Caught in the Middle" hits a home run on what is going on in the midwest with the global market.
Dick's book discusses how the global market has changed the midwest's main street make up with the new model that corporate America is implementing, that is global sourcing and immigration of Mexican workers to the midwest. Newton, IA use to be the headquarters to Maytag, but Whirlpool purchased Maytag and most of those Maytag workers no longer have jobs. Iowa and Newton have lost a large partner to the Iowan economy that was victim to the new rules of running a company global markets. They have to reeducate themselves to become the worker that corporate America wants today, college educated workers. The city of Seattle has about 40% of its population that had a four year degree. The city of Milwaukee has about 15%.
I am going to step back form Richard's book. Perry, IA is where my uncle and aunt have lived for most of their lives. The last six years has brought lots of change to this community. Tyson has a meat plant in Perry that uses Mexican immigrants for its employees. They start out at $12.00/hour for a job. Perry is about 7,000 people and today is about 35% immigrants. The challenge is that these workers send there money back down to Mexico instead of keeping it in Perry. On pay day at the local Hy-Vee grocery store there, is a Perry police officer that stands guard now. Perry has had two murders in the last few years. To save money four to six immigrant families are moving into rental homes. The stately homes on main street are run down now. My uncle was in an accident with one of the local immigrants and the immigrant had no insurance. Iowa has a law that every one is suppose to have insurance. One of my customers in Iowa had the same thing happen when they had an accident with an immigrant. At the end of the day, there was not much that happen to the Mexican immigrant who had no insurance for there car. Are we developing into two countries that has two sets of rules within the USA? Immigrant vs born in America. We can not have two sets of rules or two countries.
Back to Dick's book. He is asking for the midwest to work together to take on the global competition of today. This includes universities, companies, schools, and the governments. If something is not done to address this there are going to be a lot of more places like Perry, Iowa throughout the midwest and eventually the towns will die. So if you are in the midwest you need to read this book and pass it onto your friend and neighbor. Try this link below to get the book.