Elwood, Illinois (Pop. 2,200), Has Become a Vital Hub of America’s Consumer Economy. And It’s Hell.

In 2002, developers made a deal with the people of Elwood, Illinois: they’d bring high-paying jobs in the growing warehousing and logistics industry to the centrally-located town in exchange for two decades of tax abatement. Seventeen years later, temp agencies in the region are flourishing, but full-time jobs are few and far between. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of semis have wrought havoc on Will County’s infrastructure — and without enough tax revenue to offset the damage, the town of Elwood has gone more than $30 million in debt trying to fix the roads.

Published: Jan 9, 2019
Length: 21 minutes (5,349 words)
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