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Over the last few years, the Guardian talked to many people for whom capitalism isnt working here are a few of their stories

Work hard, get paid, thrive. Thats the way the system is supposed to work. If youre not thriving, according to this logic, youre simply not working hard enough.

But thats not the reality many people live, even in wealthy, industrialized nations like the United States. For many Americans, long hours and unrelenting dedication to their job are not enough to save them from homelessness, debt, and other humiliations.

In 2018, the worlds richest 2,200 billionaires saw a 12% increase in wealth, according to a report by the development charity Oxfam, while the worlds poorest half saw an 11% drop in wealth. And in the United States today, the richest three Americans hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country.

This widening gulf means, on the one hand, stories of the children of billionaires ruining their parents multimillion-dollar paintings with cornflakes and, on the other, the many employees of billion-dollar companies who struggle to pay rent.

Over the last few years, the Guardian talked to many people for whom capitalism as we know it isnt working. Here are a few of their stories:

Nicole Moore. Photograph: Dan Tuffs/The Guardian

The Lyft driver who says shes lucky to make $8 an hour, after expenses

Many Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States get paid less than minimum wage and struggle to cover the expenses of the job. Some drivers, like Nicole Moore, have begun to organize to fight for their rights as drivers. There is no reason this should be the fastest-growing low-wage job in America, she said.

The Amazon warehouse worker who lives out of her car

Numerous Amazon warehouse workers have filed cases against the company for leaving them to suffer through workplace injuries with little to no pay to cover health costs. Vickie Shannon Allen, who works at a fulfillment center in Haslet, Texas, hurt her back while working as a lineman. Between healthcare costs and weeks when her back prevented her from working and getting paid, she has become homeless. She started living in her car, parked outside the very warehouse where she works. They cost me my home, they screwed me over and I go days without eating, she told the Guardian last year.

The Virginia boy who takes classes in plywood trailers while the state promises Amazon huge tax breaks

With too many students and not enough space in its school district, Fairfax county in Virginia has turned to desperate measures to accommodate its students. Over 22,000 students in the county the third-richest in America attend classes in trailers made of cheaply constructed plywood. The states governor has proposed increasing education funding by $269m, yet he offered Amazon nearly three times as much in tax breaks, leaving teachers and parents feeling like their children are being robbed.

Rachna Sizemore, whose son is autistic and was transferred to a school nearly half an hour away because of overcrowding, is worried about the potential dangers of learning in a trailer. In this era of school shootings, having our children in trailers, which [are] open to the public without any of the security that we have for the buildings thats not safe and thats not a good learning environment, she told the Guardian.

Jonathan Galescu. Photograph: Josh Edelson/The Guardian

A Tesla factory worker who was told to keep working after his co-worker on the assembly line passed out from exhaustion

Ive seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open, Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla, told the Guardian in 2017. They just send us to work around him while hes still lying on the floor.

Fran Marion. Photograph: Tom Silverstone

The single mother of two who works six days a week at a fast food restaurant, yet is homeless

Fran Marion works six days a week at a Popeyes in Kansas City for $9.50 an hour. When the city condemned the house she was living in because her landlord refused to make repairs, she was made homeless. Her two teenage children live with a friend, and she stays with a co-worker. Not having a home, honestly, you guys, it makes me feel like I am a failure. Like I have let my kids down, Marion told the Guardian in August 2017.

The laid-off GM worker who feels cheated by Trumps broken promises

Its been two years now since [Trumps] election and all I see is more job losses, Tommy Wolikow of Lordstown, Ohio, said last year. I went back to school, Im a qualified diesel technician, I got my class A [commercial] drivers license. I did what you are supposed to do. The jobs that are out there in my area are all low-paying. I cant raise my three daughters on those wages. People are picking up and leaving.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/02/six-people-who-prove-capitalism-is-broken-in-america