To many the city of Flint in Michigan has come to symbolise much of what is wrong in present-day America. In the 60s, Flint boomed. It was the home of General Motors and the relatively high-paying blue collar jobs the auto industry supplied gave Flint one of the highest average household incomes in the country. But in the late 70s, GM cut its workforce in the city from 80,000 to 8,000 and Flint’s fortunes plummeted in parallel. Its population fell, crime rose and, to top it all, a disastrous decision to switch the source of its water supply in 2014 left many of its citizens without drinking water for years.
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