ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, March 11, 2005

Bankruptcy Bill

RedState contributor Josh Trevino provides some pretty effective arguments against the Bankruptcy reform bill. However, I think that some reform is required, although perhaps not in the form recommended by the the Congress.

First, there should be restrictions to keep consumers from abusing the bankruptcy system. The nature and form of those restrictions can be discussed, but the fact that consumers should be responsible for their over-consumption is something that I'm in favor of.

Second, there should've been added restrictions on the enticements that the credit card companies currently engage in. Their aggressive lending practices to those that are clearly unable to sustain the credit levels offered to them is problematic. However, I do NOT want to move to the European system (or return to 1970s America), where credit cards are virtually non-existent (resulting in fewer commercial transactions). Imposing cap on amount of credit extended to a person based on their income would suffice.

Credit should not be extended to those under the age of 18, given that they can quickly become saddled with debt before they even enter into the workfoce.

The protections for seniors is a noble gesture... however, imposing a cut-off on those protections based on age would be unfair (e.g. someone at 64, saddled by debt wouldn't receive the same protections as someone who is 12 months their senior). Protections (or lack thereof) should be applied across the board... if you're not willing to extend them to everyone, then perhaps you recognize the costs of this loophole.

Credit interest rates used to be low until the Carter years, when all interest rates skyrocketed. While other financing rates dropped, the credit card rates didn't and people continued to use them. Prior to the carter years, use of credit was limited as a percentage of US transactions... While our economy has become more sophisticated, some of its consumers have not. and this is the kicker.... what is really required is education education education about finance, economics, etc. Based on some of the idiocy coming from the Left, Center, and even some on the Right, there is an across the board lack of understanding about the economy, finance, or how the free market works.

But hey, I'm just a jerk posting on some blog...

***** UPDATE *****
JustOneMinute has an interesting proposal... force those offering credit to explicitly identify penalties, % of those paying those penalties/fees, etc. (instead of burying that info in the fine print).

I'm all behind it. Let's push for it. Sending a copy of his recommendations to my Senators/congressman.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler