Chris Arnade

'The Pill Mill of America': Where Drugs Mean There Are No Good Choices, Only Less Awful Ones

Portsmouth, Ohio, once known for making things (steel, shoes, bricks), is now known for drugs, and labeled by some as the “pill mill of America”. The city peaked at 40,000 people in 1940, and as it emptied of factories and jobs – some made obsolete, some moved away – it also emptied of people and hope.

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White Flight Followed Factory Jobs out of Gary, Indiana - Black People Didn't Have a Choice

Gary, Indiana, is dying. It’s a city built around a manufacturing industry mostly gone. The death isn’t complete; there are still a few factories and a few neighborhoods with nice, small homes. Other parts are only slightly scarred, with boarded-up or burned-down houses sandwiched tightly between well-kept homes. Some parts are just dead: overgrown streets lined by empty lots and broken buildings.

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I Worked on Wall Street - Here's Why I'm Skeptical Hillary Clinton Will Rein It In

I owe almost my entire Wall Street career to the Clintons. I am not alone; most bankers owe their careers, and their wealth, to them. Over the last 25 years they – with the Clintons it is never just Bill or Hillary – implemented policies that placed Wall Street at the center of the Democratic economic agenda, turning it from a party against Wall Street to a party of Wall Street.

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Is Atheism an Intellectual Luxury for the Wealthy?

They prayed whenever they could find 15 minutes. "Preacher Man", as we called him, would read from the Bible with his tiny round glasses. It was the only book he had ever read. A dozen or so others would listen, silently praying while stroking rosaries, sitting on bare mattresses, crammed into a half-painted dorm room.

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Ironic Injustice: My Visit to Imprisoned Occupy Protester Cecily McMillan as a Free Former Wall St. Banker

A former banker visits the only member of Occupy Wall Street to receive a prison sentence: it sounds like the set-up of a joke or a parable of the modern age. Instead, it was a real scene last Thursday, when I went to see jailed OWS activist Cecily McMillan at Rikers Island.

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The Pope, Obama and a Former Banker Walk Into a Slum - Does the 1% Still Win?

In the 1990s, I was part of a wave of investment bankers that invaded Argentina, evangelizing the mantra of the unregulated free market, which had made us millions. Free markets had become the religion of politics, and simple economic numbers like gross domestic product, the saints.

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Is the Powerball Lottery Really a Stupidity Tax?

"Don't they know how idiotic buying lotto tickets is? Don't they know they are just throwing their money away? It is a stupidity tax." That quote was from a banker sitting near me at work a decade ago. He was upset that his hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut was overrun with people from New York City (especially the poorer areas of the Bronx) coming to buy Powerball tickets.

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Look Closely and You'll See That America Remains a Deeply Racist Nation

A week after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I walked into my old hometown bar in central Florida to hear, "Well if a nigger can be president, then I can have another drink. Give me a whiskey straight up."

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Is Atheism an Intellectual Luxury for the Wealthy?

They prayed whenever they could find 15 minutes. "Preacher Man", as we called him, would read from the Bible with his tiny round glasses. It was the only book he had ever read. A dozen or so others would listen, silently praying while stroking rosaries, sitting on bare mattresses, crammed into a half-painted dorm room.

Keep reading... Show less

How Prostitutes and Drug Addicts Made Me Rethink My Atheism

They prayed whenever they could find 15 minutes. "Preacher Man", as we called him, would read from the Bible with his tiny round glasses. It was the only book he had ever read. A dozen or so others would listen, silently praying while stroking rosaries, sitting on bare mattresses, crammed into a half-painted dorm room.

Keep reading... Show less
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