Nov 16, 2012
If someone is looking for material for a book with a title like “Profiles of an Inhuman Economic System,” consider what follows to be a contribution to the cause. It’s about a man I know whom I’ll call Joe. The story was told to me by his wife.
Joe is an honest, conscientious guy who, a couple of years out of school, went to work for a very large, nationally known company. He wasn’t exactly crazy about his job, and after a while he became aware that the company was systematically extending preferment to women and minorities, while people like himself—ordinary white guys, that is—got short shrift. But by then he was vested in the retirement plan, so he kept on conscientiously doing his work.
Recently, after 28 years, he was let go with little notice and no severance. His performance was satisfactory—otherwise, he wouldn’t have lasted nearly three decades. The problem evidently lay somewhere else—age and money, to be precise.
Joe is in his early 50s. The company is well aware that it can get somebody 25 years younger to do essentially the same work while costing it a great deal less in salary and health benefits. So, at an impossible age and in a dreadful job market, Joe was heartlessly canned.