Lawanda Leary and her son Reginald sit on a bench at a massive housing project for low-income families. Leary, an unemployed single mom, is planning to join the military, as a way to get benefits and offer financial stability to her son, even if it means going into a war zone and spending time apart from him.

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“Happily, though, my fears turn out to be entirely unwarranted: during a month of poverty and toil, no one recognizes my face or my name, which goes unnoticed and for the most part unuttered.”

- Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich

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