March 12, 2005

On Bankruptcy Law

Rick Heller rails against the tide of "libertarian" bloggers who deride the new bankruptcy-limiting bill as a one-sided piece of legislation, pointing out that it only affects people of means who choose to declare bankruptcy, leaving the way clear for the genuinely poor. He calls the backlash against the bill "yuppie rage." Heh.

The issue has provoked spirited debate at Dean's World, with great arguments being made on each side. I'm inclined to think that it would have been preferable to include some restrictions on the credit industry as regards pre-approved offers, but I have to say that as my credit score has slid, once again, into the gutter, I haven't been getting any of those lately—so the "predatory practices" only go so far.

What I've observed in my personal life has been that the people who declare bankruptcy tend to do it frivolously, in a fairly cavalier spirit. They tend to be either spoiled trust-fund babies or people with generous incomes who spend a bit beyond their means. There's often some form of wealth that's a bit beyond the reach of the law, such as family money that isn't theirs quite yet.

It's interesting to me that Debtors Anonymous used to prohibit bankruptcy as a tactic for its members, but now apparently takes the stance that in some cases it's permissible, leaving the matter up to individual conscience.

I'd like to see reform of credit-company practices; I really would. But I'm having a hard time advocating the current loosey-goosey approach to bankruptcies, which amounts to legalized theft.

There's got to be a middle ground.

UPDATE: Gail Heriot of National Review debunks the Harvard study that purports to show half of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. Among other methodological flaws, the study treats drug addiction and compulsive gambling as illnesses, and labels any BKs in which those factor in as "medical," whether there are any medical bills at all. In fact, 75% of the bankruptcies in the study involve medical bills of $1000 or less (not $1000 a year; $1000, period).

The study is very up-front about its bias, which is that there should be universal health-care coverage without any co-payments or deductibles or limitations at all. Yet its highly massaged data is being reported as gospel by the mainstream media. Scary.

Via Joe Gandelman, working the weekend shift at Dean's World.

Posted by Attila at March 12, 2005 04:17 PM
Comments

Agreed. I've seen one genuinely deserving case, but the rest of the BK's I've seen were the result of a mixture of stupidity and a lack of self-control.

Posted by: JD at March 13, 2005 05:47 AM


There was recently some press given to a statistic that not quite half of all personal bankruptcies are for inability to cover medical expenses during a serious illness. Further, approximately half of those bankruptcies were among middle class individuals with health insurance.

It surprised a lot of analysts, because the popular perception is that "credit card bankruptcy" is the most prevalent. (It certainly EXISTS, we know) The conclusion the CNN writer reached was that most Americans are one serious illness away from bankruptcy.

From my own experience of losing my father a year and half ago, I can see where that would be true in the case of a lingering illness.

As usual, comments are welcome.

Posted by: douglas brown at March 13, 2005 09:07 AM


Yes, but I've heard that there's tremendous controversy over that study, and that others find that medical expenses drive very few BKs--a tiny fraction.

We should be able to get some facts on this.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 13, 2005 11:21 AM


Great. That is one report I would dearly like to learn is false.

Posted by: douglas brown at March 13, 2005 03:53 PM


See my update on the main post.

Posted by: Attila Girl at March 13, 2005 05:44 PM




Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.


8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)


button01.gif
Buy Blogads from the
Conservative
Network here.



AttilaInLCF.JPG
This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }



My Amazon.com Wish List


ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



TESTIMONIALS:
"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
"Old-school."
—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigars—
Cigar Jack

Science—
David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats
Slashfood

Travel—
Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

Cars—
• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

THE BLOGOSPHERE ACCORDING TO
ATTILA GIRL:


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Argghhh!!!
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Bolus
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Gregory!
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
IMA0
Iowahawk
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Instapundit
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway
Oxblog

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
RightGirl
Right Wing News

Scrappleface
Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
Triticale
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
VodkaPundit
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Wizbang
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


milblogsicon.jpg

Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

LinkGrotto
Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!