With the clock ticking toward a default on the national debt, some economists are predicting financial disaster if Congress fails to act before the August 2 deadline.

Many New Yorkers—about 1.5 million—already deal with a kind of daily economic disaster, in that their income is below the poverty line.

The number of poor people and per capita poverty rate both rose in the U.S. after the recent recession, but the “p word” is all but absent from the national political dialogue. Everyone, it seems, is tired of talking about poverty.

Everyone but poor people, of course.

So in City Limits’ July issue we hear from an unscientific sample of low-income New Yorkers. They’re tired too—not of talking about poverty, but of living with it, or more accurately, fighting against it.

But as reporter Neil DeMause learned, each low-income person faces a complex, somewhat different enemy. Below, he talks to Don Mathisen about it.

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