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Point one: while I know it is fashionable to assume that those in the US in great trouble with their debt loads have gotten to where they are by consuming unwisely and/or otherwise making individual choices (like too rich a home, too big a car or whatnot) the fact of the matter is most people who end up in trouble do so because of one of three reasons:

  1. Catastrophic illness of themself or a loved one;
  2. Loss of spouse (either by death or divorce/separation)
  3. Loss of job.

These three factors accounted for roughly four of five bankruptcies in the US prior to bankruptcy "reform"; since Democrats and Republicans came together to make it far more difficult, unlike for the wealthy (via their businesses), for middle-income Americans to discharge their debts, the credit crisis becomes the logical proxy for what in the past simply was classified as "personal bankruptcy".

Point two: You will never succesfully cast a progressive frame on this issue when you lead your argument with a reference to debt due to "shopping sprees". That's a right-wing frame you are employing, best to not even go there. (It's an inaccurate one to boot.)
 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Mon May 26th, 2008 at 12:54:24 PM EST

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