Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

People have been complaining that the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act is an Orwellian misnomer. It is true that the bill prevents only bankruptcy "abuse" conducted by poor people. It is also true that consumers, as a whole, actually lose protections under this act. But the Act is not inappropriately named...if you think like a Senator...

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention: The word "abuse" is actually just Senate-speak for the word "use." My friend uses marijuana, but the Senate passes laws to curb drug abuse. If I make a political documentary, I am using my right to free speech. If Michael Moore does it and it becomes famous, he is abusing his right to free speech for personal or political gain. See how it works? So really, this is just an act meant to prevent bankruptcy use. And it certainly will.

Consumer Protection: Hey, they never said which consumers. Ordinary people like you and me are consumers. But CEO's are consumers too! Stockholders are consumers too! Actually, they are better consumers than you or me because they have so much more money to buy things with. They are not lying when they say they want to protect consumers. They just want to protect the TOP consumers who buy yachts and ferraris. It doesn't do much good to protect the piddly little consumers like you and me...we just go and spend it all on food and gas.

So, the bill does what it says--it prevents bankruptcy use and protects consumers like Bruce Hammonds, CEO of MBNA Corp.

(I have linked to a great piece on Daily Kos that gives a detailed explanation of the bill and the proposed amendments that didn't make case you want a little more than a lesson in Senatespeak.)


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