Axel Coletti, a 24-year-old from Peru, has worked as a waiter and bartender, but is currently unemployed. Having recently graduated from college with a degree in forensic psychology, he is trying to find a job as a social worker but says employers don’t call him back. Axel lives with his mother in the low-income housing project where he grew up. He said many of his childhood friends got involved in gangs, “Mostly Crips.” He was tempted to join, “but I knew that nothing good would come from it.” On the whole, he says violence in the neighborhood has gone down since the 1990s, but he has noticed a recent spike in shootings. He says crime and poverty in the South Bronx are linked because of a lack of education. “There are bad influences, there are weapons, there are drugs, says Coletti. “That’s the unfortunate reality in poor neighborhoods in the United States. There are mixtures of these bad factors.”

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“In 1978, it might have been economically feasible and perfectly legal for an executive to award himself a multimillion-dollar bonus while shedding 40 percent of his work force and requiring the survivors to take annual furloughs without pay. But no executive would have wanted the shame and outrage that would have followed any more than an executive today would want to be quoted using a racial slur or photographed with a paid escort.”

- The Broken Contract: Inequality and American Decline by George Packe