By Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer
Jessica Compton’s family members of 4 might haven't any money source of revenue until she donated plasma two times per week at her neighborhood donation middle in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago usually haven't any meals yet spoiled milk on weekends.
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Additional info for $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
Brianna was doing well in school—she even made honor roll one semester. Modonna felt proud to be the provider for her little family. Then their apartment building started going downhill, fast. Deferred maintenance became no maintenance at all. . big water bugs,” and the other obvious hazards. She tried to get out of her lease and asked that her security deposit be returned. The tension between her and her landlord escalated, and she ended up calling a lawyer, who requested a list of the building’s code violations from the city.
Needless to say, all of these factors made it hard for Modonna to search for a job. Even so, she managed to submit dozens upon dozens of job applications, pounding the pavement week after week. Yet a new job didn’t materialize. At one point, Modonna found a temporary gig as a teacher’s assistant at a day camp based in her church. This job ended badly for her, though. When she went to pick up her first paycheck, she was told they didn’t have the money to pay her because the government grant they had been expecting hadn’t come through.
According to this narrative, supporting unwed mothers with public dollars made them more likely to trade in a husband for the dole. Once again, no credible social scientist has ever found evidence that the sharp rise in nonmarital childbearing was driven by welfare. While welfare may have led to a small decrease in the rate of marriage among the poor during those years, it could not begin to explain the skyrocketing numbers of births to unwed women. Yet Americans were primed to buy the story that AFDC, a system that went so against the grain of the self-sufficiency they believed in, was the main culprit in causing the spread of single motherhood.