James leans back against the hard plastic of his seat on the train. He thinks about the man he had to let go today, envisions him telling his wife he's out of a job. He thinks of how a few years ago, before he became a supervisor, it could have been him getting his pink slip. Imagining the look on his own wife's face if he were the one breaking this sort of news makes him cringe.
James likes the house he and his wife bought shortly after his promotion, but the property taxes rose by an astonishing forty percent last year, an abnormal raise not likely to occur again but a painful one nonetheless. Between that and their mortgage, healthcare, pre-school for the youngest of their three kids, and a laundry list of other expenses, he can barely keep up.
It's okay, he thinks, as long as my kids get a chance. It's okay as long as they get an education and a clean slate. It's all okay if they can do something with this world.