One of my favorite pastimes is mining YouTube for for quirky, cool and interesting clips. I particularly like local news clips from the 80s and 90s. Part of what I like is pure nostalgia. Seeing the people and buildings that are stuck in my memories. I especially look for the cars and the clothes. See what is the same, as much as what is different. More often than not, the people in the clips would not look out of place in the twenty-teens.

Another part of what I find fascinating about them is the unfiltered look at our past. You get a look at the 90s without an ironic detachment. It's as close to a day-to-day look at life in that time as we can get without a time-machine.

This latest video I found is a segment from CBS Sunday Morning, that aired in February of 1993. It's about Sioux Falls. A magazine had just named the city as the best place to live in the US. There's some great video of Sioux Falls in 1993, and they talk to some local folks.

There's lots of talk about Sioux Falls low unemployment and crime rates. Which had attracted some businesses to relocate to the area. But, the story is also about sluggish economic recovery after the early 90s recession. And the struggle of the working poor within the boom-town of Sioux Falls. It's a look at the beginning of the rise of the service economy.


  • It's both fascinating and frustrating to see that the problems of the working people were the same then as now. Stagnate wages, access to healthcare, government representatives that are responsive to their needs as well as the business community.
  • It was great to see a respectful depiction of people who are in a position where they have to use public assistance. They are not vilified or pitied. It's presented as a fact of life that is necessary sometimes.
  • Sioux Falls has always been a special place. We are not immune to the struggles of life, but we have a strong belief that no one should be left behind, and we try to build a society where that is real.
  • The Banquet was and is a city treasure.
  • The question of "Is the American Dream Still Achievable?" is as relevant today as it was in 1993. But, I think that because this seems to be an eternal American question, it highlights something great about the US. We work to ensure opportunity for all, but we also recognize that access to that opportunity is not available to everyone all the time. That combination of our aspirations and an understanding of reality propels us to reexamine our systems to make sure as many as possible can flourish in our society.

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