Harsher world

When electrician Ron Burtless, 50, joined Bethlehem Steel nearly three decades ago, he could count on a comfortable middle-class existence. Today he's deep in debt after a work injury that the now-failed company isn't paying for. "Am I going to have to go bankrupt?" he wonders.

( Béatrice de Géa / LAT )

When electrician Ron Burtless, 50, joined Bethlehem Steel nearly three decades ago, he could count on a comfortable middle-class existence. Today he's deep in debt after a work injury that the now-failed company isn't paying for. "Am I going to have to go bankrupt?" he wonders.

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