chapter  1
Work and Livelihoods: An Introduction
Pages 28

On the 18th July 2013 the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy; once the icon of US industrial might, it faced debts in the region of US$20 billion. The city’s financial troubles were largely due to long-term processes that were taking place beyond its boundaries, across the US economy.2 Between 1910 and 1960 the US Steel Belt produced the bulk of the world’s steel and was the core and pulse of world capitalism. Detroit’s astonishing expansion had once drawn workers from across the world; now it stood as a testament to the end of the American Dream. The Steel Belt became a new kind of wasteland: “America’s Rust Belt”(Bowen 2014).