The law does not always deliver what people might consider the “fairest” outcome. But setting aside the law and the various compromises made by elected officials when they crafted it in order to deliver a “fair” outcome would be a costly mistake—costly for every single city, county or state government that borrows money.Read more
My father is one of the reasons that student loans cannot normally be discharged via bankruptcy. Such an outcome was never his goal: quite the opposite, in fact, because exempting student debt from bankruptcy relief makes little economic sense and is patently unfair to the students saddled with such debt. A sensible reform of this law could slow tuition growth and put a lid on exploding student debt while sparing young adults the debilitating stress of a debt they can never hope to repay.Read more
From the moment Detroit filed for bankruptcy last summer, comparisons to the 2009 Chrysler and General Motors bailouts have abounded. Most highlight the differences, noting that the federal government is unlikely to pump billions of dollars into Detroit. But although the differences are real, the restructuring plan that Detroit has recently proposed suggests that the city’s bankruptcy may have more in common with the car bailouts than anyone imagined. Unfortunately, it’s the abuses of the latter that could be replicated—and even extended—if Detroit’s plan is upheld in its current form.Read more
It's been a while since Benjamin R. Barber, the left-wing political scientist and ex-Howard Dean adviser, attracted the attention of The Scrapbook. Barber is one of those anticapitalist types who is careful to disguise his unpalatable ideology in anodyne terms—see Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World (1995)—in order to be welcome at Davos, or the Kennedy School, or Foundation World.Read more
Although Detroit’s bankruptcy is only a few days old, it already has become clear that it could bring answers to two very important questions: whether municipal bankruptcy law is a plausible alternative to either bailouts or decades of fiscal malaise for large cities that are sagging under unsustainable debt, and whether it is time for Congress to enact a bankruptcy law for states too. So far, the answer to both questions looks like yes.Read more
The bankrupt city of Detroit may have found a way out of its health care woes for its retired city workers: shifting the costs to taxpayers nationwide via Obamacare. If Detroit and other struggling municipalities follow through, the result could be a "huge cost" to taxpayers. The New York Times has the story:Read more
David Moore: "The Panhandler and the President"Read more
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