A homeless man carries lumber to the encampment under the North Avenue Bridge, where they sleep on the ground or on old mattresses and burn wood to keep warm when the temperature drops below freezing. Many of the people who live under the bridge have jobs but don’t earn enough to put a proper roof over their heads. With the economic downturn and overflowing homeless shelters, the number of people living in tents, cars and under bridges in Athens has tripled since 2006, according to the Athens-Clarke Human and Economic Development Department.

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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