Great column today from the Inquirer's Maria Panaritis on the besieged American worker -- in this case, one particular besieged American worker.
He's been stocking shelves and moving groceries through the checkout line for the same Philadelphia-area chain since the Vietnam War. It's how he put a child through college, bought a $28,000 rowhouse, and pays for the occasional movie when he and his wife go out for a treat.
He is reluctant to have his name published in The Inquirer, even though he belongs to a union. Partly, it seems, because he belongs to a union. And partly because it feels like a scary time to be a worker in this country at all - union or not.
Says Mr. Anonymous:
It's interesting, he says, how some people think nothing of beating up on unions: "How one group of workers is always annoyed at how somebody else got a raise - instead of aspiring to do the same." But up close, he says, they all have something in common, and it's the one thing he believes is truly threatened by the changing U.S. economy and the harsh winds of political opportunism:
"There's a million of us, and unfortunately, we're the core of this whole country. When you attack the middle class, which is what I think is happening," he says, it's attacking "what this country is all about."