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D. P. Lubic

Does this translate directly? My own family background is that of immigrants in the early part of the 20th century. My family, and that of my wife, went to work in steel plants and coal mines. This was the world of my grandfathers, and of my wife's father (he was older than my father). My grandfather's children went into semi-high tech jobs (such as X-ray technician, aircraft factory worker, photographer, film archivist--and my father became a grocery store clerk, who was working his way up a bit, but then the company fell apart). My wife's brother wound up in sales at a company that produced a variety of special rubber gaskets, with a good deal of custom work--but as you can imagine, with the failure of its sales base to industrial plants, he's had a rough time of it lately, and the aging management hasn't helped matters much.

My wife's nephews do some high-tech stuff today (i.e., computer technicians, physical therapist), and I have a brother who works with mentally handicapped children, and another who is a state inspector of "group homes" (i.e., nursing homes, homes for the mentally disabled). I'm an auditor for the state myself.

What is bothersome is that the group in the middle--those who entered the workforce in the postwar era--were the ones who did well. Both those who came earlier and those who have come later have had harder times. This suggests the possibility of an unusual time for this middle group, when things just went well.

Can we really anticipate this happening again, or have we used our allotment of luck? In particular, will the changes we need to see, such as the trains and light rail systems we want to see, even be allowed to take place, given the combination of commercial interests that don't want to see them, and the cowardice of the politicians who would make the policy to let this happen?

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