By Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer
Jessica Compton’s relatives of 4 could don't have any money source of revenue except she donated plasma two times every week at her neighborhood donation middle in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago frequently don't have any meals yet spoiled milk on weekends.
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Extra info for $2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
Sometimes evidence, however, doesn’t stand a chance against a compelling narrative. Americans were suspicious of welfare because they feared that it sapped the able-bodied of their desire to raise themselves up by their own bootstraps. By the mid-1970s, with the country grappling with what seemed like a fundamental societal shift, another reason for wariness toward welfare arose. In 1960, only about 5 percent of births were to unmarried women, consistent with the two previous decades. But then the percentage began to rise at an astonishing pace, doubling by the early 1970s and nearly doubling again over the next decade.
Perhaps most important, a system of tax credits aimed at the working poor, especially those with dependent children, has grown considerably. The most important of these is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is refundable, which means that if the amount for which low-income workers are eligible is more than they owe in taxes, they will get a refund for the difference. Low-income working parents often get tax refunds that are far greater than the income taxes withheld from their paychecks during the year.
She suggests, making only brief eye contact. When queried, the woman admits that an online application won’t get Modonna very far. She will still have to come in for an appointment. Modonna was right, and her friend was wrong. This was a waste of time. Modonna is convinced now more than ever that they just aren’t giving out cash at the DHS office anymore, and to a certain degree she’s right. Out of every one hundred Americans, fewer than two get aid from today’s cash welfare program. Just 27 percent of poor families with children participate.