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The end of the middle class?

Kudos to Pat Grant for his excellent column (“Taken For Granted: Declaring war on joblessness,” July 24).

He points out that the number of unemployed Americans is frighteningly close to the unemployment figures during the Great Depression. As bad as that news is, an article in the AARP Newsletter pointed out that many companies automatically — and cruelly — reject job applicants who are unemployed, preferring to hire people who are already employed under the demented reasoning that the jobless must have been unsuitable in their previous jobs or they would still be working.

Any thinking person knows that this policy is rotten, as people lose their jobs for many reasons completely unrelated to their job performance. Through an outrageous loophole in the U.S. government’s anti-discrimination laws, unemployed people are not a protected class, like seniors or racial minorities are.

You can bet there will be a thundering chorus of howls from businesses and their Republican allies if legislation is proposed to end this practice. This country is heading back to the early 1900s, when the middle class was extinct.


How does anyone expect the economy to ever be strong if no one, except a few rich people, has any money to buy products made by U.S. businesses?

Steven Asimow