March 09, 2005

What's Next, Debtors' Prisons?

Disclaimer: I'm not sure how Rusty feels about this issue, and for all I know we're diametrically opposed... so just make sure this post isn't attributed to him. I should also note that I'm not exactly a "liberal pushover." I believe, wholeheartedly, in the "ownership society." That said:

I'm sorry, but there's just something obscene about the way this Bankruptcy Bill is sailing to passage, without even token opposition from anyone. It seems almost self-evident to me that if it's such a walk in the park to file bankruptcy under current statute then the appropriate reaction from a responsible credit industry would be to... lend less, or at least cut the predatory lending, deception, etc.. That being the case, there's simply no way to interpret the desire to make bankruptcy as painful as having the skin stripped off your back by a cat-o-nine-tails (instead of just losing a hand or something), unless it's an over-arching GRUNCH (what R. Buckminster Fuller used to call the "Great Universal Cash Heist.") Gosh, you'd think that'd be a Democrat issue, right? I mean them being the guardians of the poor and disadvantaged and all.

We know how that worked out, for Iraq and the Middle East.

A few years ago I wrote a dissertation on the influence of money in elections, concluding that it was about as important as ideology or incumbency, which is fine with me frankly. I'm not a purist. But this is something else. This is rather clearly a case where an industry has both bought and sold a congress... to the detriment not only of most of the middle class, but quite possibly the country itself. And nary a soul to stand and raise their voice against the invisible tide. Not even those bastions of progressive activism on behalf of the downtrodden: Kennedy and Byrd. You'd think Democrats weren't really progressive any more, or something.

Is there no shame? None at all? Yes, I know we're "new conservatives," but this smells like something that's been under an ancient Danish dock since before the Great War. Glenn Reynolds is willing to say so, while he posts a challenge to the blogosphere from Jim Bennet:

It has occured to me that the bankruptcy bill (which I detest for the same reasons that you have mentioned) would be an interesting test of blogospheric power. Here's a situation where the Democrats are planning to make a major issue out of Bolton's appointment to the UN -- where his crime is merely speaking out loud what most Americans already feel about that place -- while rolling over to the corporate lobby on something most Americans would want some opposition to. If the blogosphere could mount an effective campaign for people to write to their senators, it would mark its emergence as a genuinely independent force in US politics.

Is it too late? Let's post the names of some of the honorable legislators in the odorous back pockets of the credit card industry, starting with Jim Moran (VA) and Hillary Clinton (NY). But the mugging continues...

As Louis O. Kelso, the inventor of the ESOP said once: "every step that concentrates ownership and control of capital is a disguised leap toward socialism." This is an evil bill. Yes, evil. And if bribery weren't implicated in the bum's rush to get it by, it wouldn't even be on the agenda.

Update: Armed Liberal is on the same soapbox (and has been for some time). He says calls are better than emails.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia and Anticipatory Retaliation)

By Demosophist at 01:11 AM | Comments |