Friday, March 11, 2005

An Irony of the Bankruptcy Bill

by Tom Bozzo

One thing you sometimes hear from conservative economists is that the poor never had it so good. For example, here's Arnold Kling at TCS last summer (commenting on John Edwards' "Two Americas" theme):
In the 1970's, ordinary working people drove Vegas and Pintos. They did not eat out much. They rarely traveled by airplane. Many of their jobs were dangerous. Do you really think that there are many working Americans today who would trade places with their 1970's counterparts?

The new message, thanks to the "personal responsibility" framing of the bankruptcy bill, seems to be, "Never mind." The poor and working classes aren't poor because they have access to better cars, occasional air travel, VCRs, microwave ovens, and washing machines. However, they shouldn't have spent their (or their creditors') money on any of it.
Dear Mr. B.:
My half-brother Albert has this scheme. He is using plastic to buy all kinds of expensive guns, jewlery, gold coins, electronics, cameras, power tools. He is going to stash it all on our cousin's shed. Then he is going to file bankruptcy and pawn all the loot. Will this new law hold him back at all?
Curious in Canton
Dear Curious in Canton:
Probably not.
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