Many Do Not Get Counted

Robert London was a Ford car salesman with his share of the comforts of middle-class life in Southern California, He drove a leased Mazda RX 7, rented a pleasant apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale and had a closetful of sports jackets and ties. A bachelor, London spent almost all of his income, which in better times reached $2,000 a month.

Then interest rates rose and public enthusiasm for American cars fell. London's sales skills were not enough to overcome those obstacles, and a year ago his monthly take-home line dropped to $250. His...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!