[EconTalk] Chris Arnade on Dignity

Chris Arnade on Dignity

22/07/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=76502897
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Arnadedignity.mp3

Photographer, author, and former Wall St. trader Chris Arnade talks about his book, Dignity, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Arnade quit his Wall Street trading job and criss-crossed America photographing and getting to know the addicted and homeless who struggle to find work and struggle to survive. The conversation centers on what Arnade learned about Americans and about himself.

Listen Date: 2019-10-08


  • Maybe I need to read the book to get over my prejudice with Chris Arnade, but I eyerolled my way through this episode, and occasionally got angry too.
  • What I got angriest about was Arnade exalting ‘connection to place’. But the front row he disparages rebuilds that connection to place wherever they go, and, I think this is the really crucial part – he doesn’t see the opportunity cost of that ‘connection to place’. The opportunity cost is having your own kids being stuck in a dead end, missing out on a world of potential, hell, it’s even that if everybody moved away, that small town could go back to being wilderness.
  • There is also absolutely no acknowledgement that family can fuck you up, that small towns can fuck you up, and the value of place and connection is seen as only unalloyed positive.
  • As for having dignity in this sort of dragging-along-existence – it seems like wanting to be loved without wanting to be lovely.


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