Foreign Policy Magazine

Building on Sand

Out of cash and out of options, America’s cities need a new plan—and they might need Washington to design it.

When a debt crisis hits, it can cause ripples in all kinds of unexpected places. Even, it seems, on American beaches.

In decades past, the lifeguards who stood watch over the shores of Atlantic City, New Jersey’s iconic resort town, epitomized good-time summer living. And they did so during the heyday of good-time retirement perks: The former guards have been enjoying government pensions since 1928.

Alas, those prime Atlantic City times are long gone. Now drowning in as much as $550 million in debt, the town can no longer afford to pay the annual $1 million owed to these aged lifeguards. But a proposed state Senate bill might allow

You’re reading a preview, subscribe to read more.

More from Foreign Policy Magazine

Foreign Policy Magazine7 min readCrime & Violence
More Police Won’t Solve Haiti’s Crisis
Over the past decade, Haitians have been held captive by a political leadership beholden to gangs. Former President Michel Martelly had extensive ties to drug dealers, money launderers, and gang leaders. Under his successor and protégé, Jovenel Moïse
Foreign Policy Magazine1 min readInternet & Web
The FP Mobile App Is Your Guide To Global Affairs.
Dive well below the headlines, anytime, ANYWHERE. Configure a MY FP FEED of content based on your preferences. SAVE STORIES to read later or offline. Get the best digital experience of the PRINT MAGAZINE. Listen to FP PODCASTS all in one place. GROUP
Foreign Policy Magazine7 min readPoverty & Homelessness
Tinubu’s Reforms Harm Nigerians
As the day winds to a close, Janet Omole sits on a wooden bench under the stall where she sells smoked fish and pepper in Basiri, a bustling market district of Ado-Ekiti, in Nigeria’s southwest. Close by, small bowls containing tomato and pepper sit