The Undeserving Poor

"If you don't have a good education, you could end up on the street," said Case. "Five years from now, I don't know what I'm going to do."

If he finds work, Case will have trouble getting there. His driver's license has been suspended. With virtually no income, he fell behind on child-support payments, and so the state has frozen his license.

On a recent day, Case set out for the Indianapolis suburbs, where warehouses operated by Amazon and other companies were advertising jobs. He took two buses and then walked 3 miles, a journey of about two-and-a-half hours, to look for work. He had no luck.


Edited by Michael Williams and Janet Roberts; additional reporting by Himanshu Ojha. See more at our Income Inequality homepage.


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Presented by

Kristina Cooke, David Rohde, and Ryan McNeill

Kristina Cooke is an award-winning investigative reporter at Reuters. David Rohde is a columnist and reporter for Reuters, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a former reporter for The New York Times. Ryan McNeill is a reporter on the Reuters global data team in New York.

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