Saturday, August 20

Lots of Poor People 

So says the NYTimes:
"Here in Idaho, the soundless wave of Americans going broke washes up at the clerk's office in bankruptcy court, with nearly 20 fresh declarations of desperation every working day.

There is the Moore family of Boise, Kevin and Linda, listing a $10 cat and a $5 toaster among their meager assets against a medical bill of more than $18,000. There is Delores Hawks, going into debt to learn a skill, and never getting out because of endless credit card interest on the self-loan that once looked so manageable.

'Someday, I think we'll eventually get ahead,' said Linda Moore, a 41-year-old part-time school bus driver who said she did not know of her husband's medical bills when she married him. 'I don't know when that day will be.'

Bankruptcy filings rose eightfold over the last 30 years, from 200,000 in 1978 to 1.6 million last year. Although filings vary from month to month, the pace for this year, if it holds up, projects to about 1.8 million bankruptcies. The overwhelming majority of them are personal, not business.

Economists say bankruptcy has become more likely as household debt has continued to rise while the savings rate has fallen precipitously. The Federal Reserve reported that household debt hit a record high last year, relative to disposable income."

Maybe if the rich people weren't criminals, there would be more money to go around for everyone. Some people are taking more than their share.

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