JOBS: Challenging the 65 Barrier

"Ageism is as odious as racism and sexism." That is a favorite aphorism of Congressman Claude Pepper, the fiery Floridian who, at 76, is as oratorically opulent as he was four decades ago as a radical New Deal Senator. Democrat Pepper's latest crusade, gingered up by senior citizens' groups like the Gray Panthers, is aimed at halting what he views as discrimination because of age. His argument, delivered in his trademark soapbox-preacher style: "Mandatory retirement arbitrarily severs productive persons from their livelihood, squanders their talent, scars their health, strains an already overburdened Social Security system and drives many elderly...

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