John Moon lives a frugal life. A pot of black beans boiling on the stove fog up his plastic-covered windows. His room is now empty, though his walls were once covered from floor to ceiling with his colorful collages and art creations. This 64-year-old son of a sharecropper says he sold his work to simplify his life and pursue spiritual matters. A folk artist and a writer, Moonleft school after sixth grade until he went back to get his General Education Diploma decades later. In addition to his visual art, he’s written and self-published several books, which are now housed at the University of Georgia’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library. Despite local recognition, he never made money from his art. He scrapes by on social security income, food stamps, and help from one of his sisters when he falls short on the bills. “I was raised up to live low-income so I’m okay,” he says. “God is taking care of me so I am in good hands.” Despite living below the poverty line, he says he feels like he has had a successful career.
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Resources“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 PackeInvestigate