Segments in this Video

Paradox of 1990s Economic Boom (04:15)


During times of economic boom in the late 1990s, many working-class families struggled to make ends meet. Many jobs did not offer full benefits such as health insurance. A husband and father is hospitalized, leaving the family $30,000 in debt.

Options for Working-Class Families After High School (03:11)

In 1998, twin sons of a working-class family graduate from high school. One gets a job in a department store, and the other enlists in the Navy so he can get four years of college when he gets out.

Work Schedules Stress Family (03:35)

A working-class wife and mother works for an armored car company for $9.05 per hour. Her husband works as a machinist during the night shift because it pays higher wages. As a result of their working patterns, husband and wife are drawing apart.

Challenges in Two-Income Family (04:46)

A father, stressed from working the night shift, has more conflicts with his boys, and little time for his daughter. Armed teens threaten the lives of the family. Both boys want guns to protect themselves.

Experiences of a Naval Trainee (03:07)

A 19-year-old Navy trainee describes his fear and tentativeness in the first days and weeks. He misses his family but is determined to do his best to make them proud. The Navy has tested his values and his endurance.

Economic Opportunities of Two Generations (04:08)

The difference in economic security between two generations is demonstrated. The Grandparents were able to retire with income, but their children live paycheck-to-paycheck with little chance to save.

Challenges of Small Business Owners (03:12)

An entrepreneurial wife and mother attempts to open her own real estate business. Her husband quits his business to become a certified home inspector. They will have challenges as small business owners.

Two-Income Families: Stress and Exhaustion (02:31)

A working-class couple considers living on one income, but it does not seem possible, yet the stress between them is taking a toll on their marriage.

Stressed Family Goes for Family Therapy (03:22)

Stressed, overworked parents find little time to support their children emotionally. Most of the work of raising the children falls to the mother. The family goes into family counseling.

Credit Cards for College Tuition (02:29)

In his last year of college, a young man talks about the stresses and strains of making it through college without adequate income. He turns to credit cards to pay his way.

Second Generation On Their Own (03:48)

At a direct marketing seminar, a young, struggling college senior discovers options for himself he had not seen before. He and his brother and sister are concerned for their parents who continue to live in the "hood."

Family Therapy: Disputes and Resignation (04:40)

A family in therapy has conflicts over what the end results should be and who should actually attend the sessions. Everyone refuses to go except the mother, who feels her husband has already divorced her emotionally.

Second Generation Successes with Education and Jobs (02:51)

A close-knit family continues to support each other. Mother and father are committed to keep their own business and run their own church. One son works for the Pentagon, and the other graduated from college and is applying for business school.

Family Torn Apart by Stress (02:44)

A family that has struggled with their jobs, teenagers, family therapy, and emotional distance, continues to struggle though the father is now making more money. The eldest son plans to move out. Mother has changed jobs for more money.

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Surviving the Good Times: A Moyers Report

DVD Price: $179.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $269.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $179.95



During the longest economic expansion in American history, many people had never had it so good. But for others, the boom only resulted in working longer hours at lower wages simply to keep up. This eye-opening program tells the story of the Neumanns and Stanleys, two working families in Milwaukee whose efforts to make ends meet in the new global economy reveal what life was like for millions of Americans during that period. Filmed over ten years, this intimate documentary captures their struggle to cope with economic upheaval and to keep their families intact with both parents working, children facing challenges in school and in the street, and family values being threatened by problems with no easy solutions.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL10452

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5378-0

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.