Are you acquainted with our state's stringent usury laws?

Personal bankruptcy laws are a double-edged sword; while they provide a legitimate way out of desperate financial situations to individuals facing bad luck or genuinely poor business decisions, they also provide an escape clause to debtors who engage in irresponsible spending, thereby removing a disincentive for risky behavior. I'm of the opinion that the positive social benefits outweigh the possible abuses, as most liberals are about the various social safety nets we (used to) have in place in this country.

Last year (or maybe earlier this year), the Republican majority was able to push through changes to federal bankruptcy laws that make it more difficult for individuals to file for bankruptcy (I don't believe that any corresponding changes were made to corporate bankruptcy laws, which is, you know, shocking). This was a basically a freebie to the credit card industry–and yes, the credit card industry directly employs two-thirds of my immediate family, so I understand that I'm part of the problem. Or something.

The tougher personal bankruptcy laws are scheduled to go into effect October 17. The Times reports that those people who were effected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will almost certainly not have time to file for personal bankruptcy (which needs to be done in their home town with accompanying paperwork) before the new laws go into effect. Furthermore, the full economic effect of a disaster like a hurricane often reaches it's peak two to three years after the disaster, so those people whose lives were destroyed by the storm will most likely need to file years after the new laws are in place.

Bush rightfully received criticism for his delay in even acknowledging the destruction that Katrina wrought, and for nepotistic appointments of unqualified administrators to critical disaster-response posts. It's harder for people to get outraged about a more abstract connection like the one between Katrina/Rita recovery and stricter personal bankruptcy laws, but it just amounts to more indifference to human suffering on the part of this administration.


  1. Wow, this is a lot of content to take in in two days.

    To segue from bankruptcy to another instance of this republican regime, is anyone else worried about the new rumblings at increasing federal power? I read about Bush's suggestion that we give the federal government power to send the military into states that haven't requested its assistance when "major natural disasters" occur. This seems like another step towards a totalitarian state. Even in Rome, the republic had rules against bringing legions into Italy to prevent military dictatorship (Sulla and Ceaser violated this rule). Also, I heard rumblings on an unnamed sydicated fox show about the federal government's proposal to pay churches back for their voluntary assistance during the hurricane. Not to mention the constitutional problems with this proposal, this kind of charity payback scheme defeats the purpose of having charities and making donations to them in the first place. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Anywho, just wanted to mention Rome.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I can't believe this.I do mention the constitutional problems with this proposal.


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