Growing up in Greeley, Colo., Justin Luke Riley says he heard lots of anti-drug messages at home, school and church. But he ignored them to escape his insecurities and fit in better with his high school tennis team; at age 15, he got hooked. A little pot turned into a lot, and then alcohol, cocaine and whatever else he could get his hands on, Riley says. At 19, when he entered rehab, he was broke and homeless.
Despite his best efforts to hold on, the foreclosure drag on his community near Lithonia High School became too much for Donavan McArthur. McArthur, 50, pulled up stakes and bought a new home in an area where fewer homes are vacant, bear foreclosure signs or are rundown with overgrown and littered yards. "Some of the foreclosed homes are rented out and the renters don't keep up the homes as well as if they owned it," he said of his old neighborhood, where he, too, plans to rent his old house but vows he'll keep it up. "There are a lot of unruly kids and unemployed people who just hang out in the neighborhood now."
Sometimes the real crime consists of activities considered "legal," despite the damage they cause. That adage has never been more apt than when applied to the termination of pension funds by U.S. employers large, midsize and small. Over and over, loyal, deserving employees with modest incomes have watched their planned retirement savings disappear because of corporate managers and pension industry consultants. Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers