Listen to Gary and his girlfriend Latoyia Lowe. Audio Producer: Sarah P. Reynolds

Gary Taylor, 47, plays with his kids outside their home in Fresno. More than a year ago, he lost his job at the customer service center of a food bank and had had trouble finding work since. He supports his fiancé, Latoya Lowe, and three kids, aged six, five, and three, with the six hundred dollars he gets from public assistance though he says the money does not cover all of his bills. “I’ll do any job to provide for my family,” Taylor says. “But if I don’t find anything that means I’m on the street.” However, he worries that employers will pass him over for someone younger.

 

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“In 1978, it might have been economically feasible and perfectly legal for an executive to award himself a multimillion-dollar bonus while shedding 40 percent of his work force and requiring the survivors to take annual furloughs without pay. But no executive would have wanted the shame and outrage that would have followed any more than an executive today would want to be quoted using a racial slur or photographed with a paid escort.”

- The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline by George Packe

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