Ralph Nader has the blog post The Wild and Cruel Gap Between Debtors and Creditors.
In his fine new book Debtors’ Prison, Robert Kuttner recounts the history of debt, including the centuries when under Anglo-American law debtors were imprisoned or executed. He also describes how large corporate debtors today get bailed out or go through bankruptcy proceedings that save the company under a sweetheart rebirth process, complete with allowing executive compensations past and present.
The individual debtors, however, are driven deeper into debt with fiendishly high interest rates (as high as 30% on unpaid credit card balances to over 400% on rolled over payday loans and rent-to-own rackets). Then there are the hundreds of different fees, penalties and costly fine-print impositions that ravage consumer borrowers.
I am surprised at how few people seem to understand all that is going on. The people who don’t seem to understand include Joe Biden who pushed the draconian tightening of bankruptcy laws for individuals, but not corporations.
This just proves that the Supreme Court was wrong in proclaiming that corporations are people. In fact, corporations are better than people according to our laws. We need an addition to the Bill of Rights that would say that all people will be accorded all the same privileges that are accorded to corporations. Or would it be better to say that no corporation can be given a privilege that individual people do not get?
Who remembers this from the 14th Amendment “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Does abridgment include giving someone a right not given to others? What about immunity from punishment because of childhood affluenza?