After the birth of her first son, the economy tanked and Kelly Kinley, 38, found herself without a job and relying on her husband’s income as an automobile fabrication worker. To boost the household finances, Kelly started picking up aluminum cans for recycling when she would take her son on daily strolls. Her hobby expanded into searching for metal and scrap wood from dumpsters at construction sites. Recycling has become a way of life for her. “Finding things that we need that we can use is better than going to the store and buying it,” she says. But over the past few years, this material has gotten tougher for Kelly to find because builders and other businesses have started recycling their own metals.

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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