'The Stanley kids pick up odd jobs to help their parents. The Neumann kids start to struggle in school as their parents’ work lives leave a vacuum at home. There are never enough hours of work, or hours together at home, or dollars to pay the bills. Vacations disappear; health crises become disasters. The oldest Stanley boy, Keith, goes to college at Alabama State on a credit card. Neither family can get back to where they were before their economic slide began—a slide that coincides with those booming nineties.'