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Comp II - Economic Crisis, "The Great Divide": Readings and Videos

A LibGuide for Comp 2 for Spring 2013, taught by Shelby Myers-Verhage.

Recommended Readings


Our text for this class is They Say, I Say by Graff, Birkenstein and Durst. Pay particular attention to Chapter 18: “What’s up with the American Dream?” pages 561-664


Recommended resources by topic

"Enhanced" State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013


"The Great Divide" NYT Opinionator Series:

  1. The Great Divide Homepage of the series - browse articles from here.
  2. "Inequality is Holding Back the Recovery" by Joseph Stiglitz, January 19, 2013


  1. Future of Home Ownership: Should Government do More to Help Homeowners? CQ Researcher. Dec. 14, 2012.
  2. NYT: Living With Less - The Human Side of the Global Recession

  3. Paul Krugman answers questions about the economy at the New York Times
  4. America's Next Chapter, Tavis Smiley show from PBS. Links to full video and transcript. January 18, 2011.
  5. “Close to Home” episode from FRONTLINE
  6. “Recession Culture” from New York magazine
  7. For Many Families, Bad Times Require 'Doubling Up'. Published at on September 30, 2010.
  8. Making It In the U.S.: More Than Just Hard Work. Published at on September 15, 2011.

Labor, Labor Unions & Working Class:

  1. The No-Limits Job. New York Times, March 1, 2013.
  2. Doak: America's War on Workers. Des Moines Reigster September 4, 2011.
  3. Assault on Labor: Wisconsin is America. Los Angeles Sentinel, March 10, 2011.
  4. Walker Calls Contract Rules 'Strange But True': State Budget Crisis. Wisconsin State Journal, March 9, 2011.
  5. Opposing Viewpoints Database: click on "Issues" at the top of the page then "Labor Unions" for a selection of articles, news and videos.

Unemployment in Iowa:

  1. State of Iowa "Worknet" Quarterly Workforce Development Publication. Third Quarter 2012. Lots of statistical info!
  2. Iowa Current Employment Statistics Monthly Newsletter
  3. President Obama's Speech at Siemens Energy in Fort Madison, Iowa, April 27, 2010.
  4. Bill Moyer's Journal talks with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Links to video and transcript. April 30, 2010.
  5. More Job Seekers Making “Plea” for Work Online Published by Cedar Rapids' Business 380, October 4, 2011.

Young People and the Economy:

  1. Room for Debate: Do Unpaid Internships Exploit College Students? NYT.
  2. The No-Limits Job. NYT. March 1, 2013.
  3. Battling College Costs, a Paycheck at a Time. NYT. February 9, 2013.
  4. Poor Kids. Frontline, PBS. November 20, 2012.
  5. Child Poverty. CQ Researcher. Oct. 28, 2011. (may require login with your K number and EagleNet password)
  6. Student Debt: Is the College Loan System Fair? CQ Researcher. Oct. 21, 2011. (may require login with your K number and EagleNet password)
  7. On Campus It's One Big Commercial. New York Times September 11, 2011.
  8. 'Disturbing' Report Finds 31 Million U.S. Kids Close to Economic Catastrophe. PBS NewsHour, August 17, 2011.
  9. College, Inc. Frontline, PBS. May 4, 2010.


  1. Census: 2010 Saw Poverty Rate Increase, Income Drop Published at on September 13, 2011.
  2. Census Report: Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. Issued September 2011.

  3. Income Inequality: Is the Gap between the Rich and Poor Getting Wider? A report from CQ Researcher (may require login with your K number and EagleNet password)
  4. The Legal Aid Crisis: Do the poor have adequate access to legal services? CQ Research (may require login with your K number and Eaglenet password)
  5. The Nation: Put Poverty on the Agenda. Published at on January 18, 2011.
  6. Poverty Rate by State, interactive map, 2009 from National Public Radio.
  7. New Face of Homelessness: The American Family, from NPR's All Things Considered - audio and transcript. From December 25, 2010.


  1. Ten Trillion and Counting, from PBS' Frontline program. Links to full video.  March 24, 2009.
  2. Inside the Meltdown, from PBS' Frontline program. Links to full video. February 17, 2009.
  3. Opposing Viewpoints Database: click on "Issues" at the top of the page then "Federal Budget Deficit" for a selection of articles, news and videos. (may require login with your K number and EagleNet password)

Small Businesses:

  1. Attracting Jobs: Do tax breaks for business spur employment? CQ Researcher. March 2, 2012.
  2. Growing Jobs in Small Towns and Small Businesses: How to Fix the Economy. Nightly Business Report, August 17, 2011.


General News Resources Related to Poverty and the Economy

Room for Debate series from the New York Times

New York Times on Unemployment

Wall Street Journal on Poverty 

Wall Street Journal on Economy

Chicago Tribune and allied papers on Poverty  (includes LA Times, Associated Press, among others) 

Chicago Tribune and allied papers on Economy (includes LA Times, Associated Press, among others) 


General Writing Resources

Iowa City Kirkwood Writing Center 

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Tips on Procrastination and Writing from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center (You can see other helpful writing handouts from UNC here)

How to successfully revise your prose from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Subject Guide

Kate Hess

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