The story of a small rural town in Illinois that banked on warehouses as saving their town, and how the businesses have abused them:
I spent two summers in this area on highway construction. The amount of semi-truck traffic on local roads is astounding. And I witnessed so many truck drivers turn into the Abraham Lincoln Cemetery completely ignoring a half dozen "No Truck" signs; A few even asked us if they could turn onto the street even though it says they couldn't (I lost it a few times on the idiot truck drivers).Fifteen years before Amazon’s HQ2 horserace, Elwood had won the retail lottery. “Nobody envisioned what we have out here,” said Jerry Heinrich, who sat on the board of the planning commission that first apportioned the land for development in the mid-1990s. “It was never anticipated that every major business entity would end up in the area.”
But this corporate valhalla turned out to be hell for the community, which suffered a concentrated dose of the indignities and disappointments of late capitalism in the 21st century. Instead of abundant full-time work, a regime of partial, precarious employment set in. Temp agencies flourished, but no restaurants, hotels, or grocery stores ever came, save for the recent addition of a dollar store. Tens of thousands of semis rumbled through Will County every day, wreaking havoc on the infrastructure. And as the town of Elwood scrambled to pave its potholes, its inability to collect taxes from the facilities plunged it into more than $30 million in debt.