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...

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