Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Personal Bankruptcy More Difficult—Giant Bailouts Of Banks And Big Firms Okay

I’m not going to pretend I understand all the ins and outs of this most recent financial meltdown.

(Below is Three Mile Island where a meltdown was also avoided.)

I don’t need to know all the details to get the drift of who gets bailed out and who does not.

In 2005, a bill was passed and signed by the President that made it more difficult for Americans to declare personal bankruptcy. Click the link to see how Joe Biden and Harry Reid voted the wrong way.

( Below is the King’s Bench Prison which was used as a debtor’s prison in 19th century London.) 

Here is more on Senator Biden’s support for the bankruptcy bill and on the kind of person who is left with no option but to file for bankruptcy. Some good news is that Barack Obama has at least mentioned that bankruptcy laws need to be changed for the better. John McCain has offered no relief for average people. 

We are told that the institutions being bailed out are “to big to fail.” I guess that means everybody else is not big enough to matter.  

I’m not suggesting these most recent bailouts are the wrong idea. It seems we were just a few days from a real panic. Nancy Pelosi’s insistence that their be more regulation of Wall Street as part of any bailout seems prudent.

( Below is a crowd that assembled outside the New York Stock Exchange after the 1929 Crash. I guess today we might just text each other.) 

Yet I’ll also say that a lot of well-educated, well-paid folks who made bad business decisions, engaged in predatory lending practices, and bought into a lousy system of finance must be getting bailed out. At the same time, more average folks and poor folks are getting nothing but trouble.

It is stuff like this why people are so unwilling to trust government, even when it is government that is the most likely source of possible solutions to big social and economic problems.

September 21, 2008 - Posted by | Campaign 2008, History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Income inequality has skyrocketed in the past couple of decades in the US. Look up “Gini Coefficient” in Wikipedia if you are interested. There is a huge corelation between income equality and national prosperity. Basically, it doesn’t look good for the old US economy right now.

    I agree that a bailout is the last thing these institutions need. Most financial institutions in their current state are like a tapeworm for the US economy and feeding them is not the answer unless you have a parasite fetish i guess. To continue with the horrible analogy, credit institutions need to be symbiotic like the bacteria in our tummies that help us digest cheeseburgers, mmm cheeseburgers. A credit system that moves capital in a manner that enables economic growth by empowering people to be productive rather than ripping them off.

    Comment by prfx | September 21, 2008

  2. Right on, Neil.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot–words like “responsibility” and “accountability” are thrown around when the subject is individual finances, and they just disappear when big corporations are involved.

    My deep-seated cynicism usually makes me immune to disgust, but this is a really disgusting situation.

    Comment by Brendan | September 21, 2008

  3. it would have been nice if they had bailed out all the poor bastards that have lost their homes in the last 4 years. some of them were not ready for ownership, some over bought, some lost their jobs. but to bail out these insurance fuckers is a disgrace.

    Comment by bill brady | September 22, 2008

  4. We’ll see what package we end up with. Hopefully it will protect little people and make the system more subject to oversight. We’ll see if our Democrat officeholders have any backbone in this face of this crisis.

    Thanks for all these helpful comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 22, 2008

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