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Indiana should brace for auto fallout

December 8, 2008
Thank you for reminding us that this is not the recession of 1982 [in Morton Marcus' Dec. 1 column]. I am from Pittsburgh and can attest to the fact that many workers today have no sense of what high unemployment (above 10 percent) really means to the economy.

At that time I was employed by U.S. Steel in one of the many steel mills along the rivers of Pittsburgh. With the blink of an eye more than 150,000 steelworkers were unemployed, never to return again. The unemployment rate at that time was 18.5 percent, and there weren't any jobs to be had.

Indiana had better brace itself. The Big Three and the United Auto Workers do not appear to be serious about making the concessions and changes that are necessary to make them a viable entity for the long haul. It took Pittsburgh nearly 20 years to recover, but it has and is now more diverse and thriving once again.

One last thing — this was the result of the Democratic presidency of Jimmy Carter. Let's hope our new president doesn't repeat the same mistakes.

___

Stephen Abt
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