Letters from our readers

14 March 2005

The following is a selection of letters received by the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “US Senate clears last obstacle for bill to punish bankrupt debtors” .

Many of our Democratic senators and representatives have again sided with the Republicans on a bill that will hurt many Americans. With a majority of bankruptcy cases involving people confronted with huge medical bills and others because of job loss or divorce, I can’t understand how the bill passed with meager dissent from the Democrats, unless they too are in the pockets of the banks and credit card companies. I have been a lifelong Democrat, but am now seeing the need to support a third party that will put the needs of average Americans before the interests of big business. Shame on the Democrats in both houses who voted for this bill. The promises they made after the disastrous 2004 election were empty.

KP
Old Saybrook, Connecticut

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One thing I read elsewhere not mentioned in your article is that an attempt to cap credit-card interest rates at 30 percent was rejected by the Republicans. I would guess then that some people are going to see interest rates higher than that on their outstanding credit card debt. The corruption boggles the mind. The Republicans clearly see nothing wrong with Mafia-style loan-sharking practices.

CG
El Drado Hills, California

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The idea of being able to start anew was so important an idea that it is even a primary part of the Constitution of this nation (Article I, Section 8), not an amendment, mind you, added after the fact, but an integral part of the document. Debtors’ prison was still fashionable in England at the time, and possibly some of the writers knew of persons in such conditions, or they may have known of another aspect of being in debt—the form of slavery known lovingly as “indentured servitude.” (And this was slavery, have no doubt about it). Either way, this current act by the “Government of the People” is one more example that a return to a Dickensian world of poverty and degradation is fast approaching. Debtors’ prison is next, then open slavery. Then...?

Empires that create a mass of hungry, impoverished people fail to understand the power of hopelessness and desperation. You are not slaves, quit behaving as if you are.

RV
Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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This is one area where I must somewhat disagree. I live in South Dakota, where video lottery has been in full swing for nearly 15 years now, and that has resulted in a dramatic increase in bankruptcy filings. I work at a company that employs approximately 200 people, and the percentage of new SUVs in the parking lot gives testimony to how many people simply must have nice things that they cannot really afford. As far as the medical bill factor, a lot of people could stand to take better care of themselves and avoid unnecessary medical expenses. Last year alone, our company sponsored gastric bypass surgery for six employees, causing everyone’s insurance rates to go up substantially.

NV
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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This is the biggest blow to the American middle class, elderly and poor that I have ever seen, all brought about by the money grabbers, American Medical Association, hospitals, doctors, and the controlled congress to do the will of the powerful, and not we the people.

The media pumps your head full of rubbish while they plan on stealing the power of the little man while he sleeps in the mind, mesmerized by the tube. I don’t consider myself a socialist, but I do associate with all you report on.

RS

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This is a day and age, where the rich are filthy rich and the poor—well, too bad for them. I don’t get how this guy Bush was voted in. I really appreciate the articles you send. I think they explain a lot, such as capitalist leeching. I live in New Zealand, and I am lucky, as the government here is still trying to stay in the shadows of socialism, although there is a slight whiff of capitalist leeching that does go on here too. I tend to think that at the end of the day, life is devalued by the paper with dollar value stamped on it.

RL
New Zealand