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The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence

In Harpersville, Alabama, a traffic violation can lead to months in jail and a never-ending stint in a work-release program – what some refer to as a modern-day debtors’ prison.

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Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

“The dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant. It’s not the cost of the loan that’s the problem, it’s the principal – the appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008.”

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Crushing Debt Drove Me to Kosovo — And Then to Iraq

On working in a war zone to pay the bills.

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My Misspent Youth

Life, and debt, in New York.

I've historically been pretty good at getting by on what I have, especially if you apply the increasingly common definition of "getting by," which has more to do with keeping up appearances than keeping things under control. Like a social smoker whose supposedly endearing desire to emulate Marlene Dietrich has landed her in a cancer ward, I have recently woken up to the frightening fallout of my own romantic notions of life in the big city: I am completely over my head in debt. I have not made a life for myself in New York City. I have purchased a life for myself.

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Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds

Riots in Athens, the shadowy Vatopaidi monastery, and a quarter million dollars in debt for every citizen. Welcome to Greece.