Filed Under: Economy, Featured
Sunday potluck with the extended family. It turns out I am the ‘Detroit’ of the family; the lost age of promise still lingers in the wreckage.
Detroit was the place that epitomized the whole “American Dream” sales pitch, where anybody could scrape up a second chance and win a decent living for yourself and your family. The landless, the uneducated, the minor hooligans, and even people so stupid that they wasted their youthful years chasing graduate degrees could get a fresh start in work that mattered and be rewarded their efforts. Detroit got there first.
It ended long ago, but a car can still roll on for a while after engine cuts out. It is now grinding to a halt; the final halt.
So far in this presidential election cycle I have seen both Gary Johnson and Ron Paul bluntly declare that the most serious problem we faced as a nation was that we are bankrupt. After hearing this comments I started reflecting on the nature and effects of bankruptcy, and if we are actually bankrupt as a nation.
For corporations, bankruptcy is declared when the company cannot pay its debts as they fall due. It doesn’t mean that the company is worthless; in fact, bankrupt companies can have assets valued in the billions of dollars, and these assets don’t simply disappear because a company files for bankruptcy protection. What actually happens is that ownership rights to these assets are shifted from the company to the creditors. In …