I just finished reading this article by Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that discussed how a teacher with over 27 years of teaching experience in the Kirkwood area of Missouri lost her job. The interesting thing about the story is that the archdiocese decided to get rid of her, even though she didn’t seem to do much of anything wrong. She was told that “she lost her passion” and would not be retained.
Although this is just one small story, I think it serves as a microcosm of the changing nature of the informal social contract in American society. One of the reasons why some people look back upon the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s with fondness is because it represented an American economic era in which you could put together a good life for yourself if you had a strong work ethic, showed up, and didn’t screw things up.