The Daily: Disappearing Factory Jobs

The Daily is the New York Times daily news podcast. It typically runs about 20 minutes, and involves the Times’s Michael Barbaro taking a deep dive into an important news story, often with interviews of people involved and/or a Times journalist who covers the story, followed by a summary of the day’s headlines. The Daily is consistently excellent journalism, but the episode from yesterday was one of best in a series of phenomenal episodes. It told the story of Shannon Mulcahy, a factory worker in Indiana who worked at a factory that manufactured ball bearings.

Her life, and the lives of hundreds of other workers at the plant, were thrown into disarray when the company announced that it was closing the factory and moving many of the jobs to Mexico. President Trump gave them hope when he tweeted about their company, holding it out as an example of decline in American manufacturing that he intended to reverse. But the tweet had no effect, and the company proceeded with its plans to close the factory. Shannon and the other workers were given a choice: train their replacements to do their jobs, or forfeit their severance packages. The reporting is incisive and empathetic, and it’s an incredibly insightful story. Listen it to it right away.