Nigel works three jobs to make ends meet.
He is black, single, progressive politically and determined to live the American dream — “as long, of course, that it does not kill me first,” he said, navigating his cab through Capitol Hill traffic.
He lives on the fringes of poverty, in the economically challenged part of Washington within spitting distance of the railroad tracks that transport businesspeople to New York or Boston a couple of dozen times a day on the Acela Express.
The irony is not lost on Nigel. He understands, despite his economic struggles, that he literally lives along the Acela corridor, the famed connector of the highest concentration of the most elite people in America.
The hard truth is that no one has any idea what to do with the under-employed, high-school-educated people who once were able to carve out good, middle-class lives with their own hands, as long as they were willing to work.
But somebody had better figure it out soon: With nearly 70 percent of Americans lacking college degrees, this corridor will eventually crack, just like the dislocated voters of the Rust Belt.