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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“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

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