Chronicle of Higher Education, October 4, 2007: The Crisis of the Near Poor
By KATHERINE S. NEWMAN and VICTOR TAN CHEN
Tamar and Victor Guerra support three sons on her income as a factory worker and his as a street vendor.
They rent a two-bedroom apartment in the northern outskirts of New York City. They don’t receive welfare. They struggle day to day, unprotected by union membership and vulnerable to any crisis a layoff, divorce, illness that could hurtle them into poverty. Meanwhile their sons are trapped in underperforming schools and sorely missing the supervision of their working parents. Unless things change soon, the boys appear destined for minimum-wage careers.