Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Immodest Proposal

Russell Shaw proposes the following (emphasis his):
Congress should pass a Hurricane Katrina Debtor Relief Act. Such an Act could, and should, help these people by establishing a speedy procedure for certifying the direct, and indirect economic victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Then, retroactive to Sept. 1, there should be a 120-day period in which creditors would be forbidden to engage in any of the following credit and collection practices toward those Hurricane victims thus certified:

1. Prohibit all foreclosures.

2. Prohibit the accrual of any additional interest on credit card balances owed by these people;

3. Establish a "do not call" registry of affected people, and forwarding that registry to creditors and collection agencies. Such businesses and agencies would be prohibited from calling people on this list unless called first.

4. Prohibit the accrual of any past due or overlimit fees on these credit card balances;

5. Prohibit the "aging" of past due credit balances in monthly reports provided by these companies to credit bureaus;

6. Prohibit repossessions of automobiles or other major appliances for the 120-day period;

7. Prohibit cancellation of health, automobile, life, casualty and other insurance due to non payment.

8. Prohibit utility service non-payment interruption by phone, gas, electric, water and Internet access providers.

And finally:

9. Delay implementation of the new Federal Bankruptcy Guidelines past October 17 for at least the next 120 days.

Who's listening? Senator Russ Feingold and Rep. John Conyers have been talking publicly about proposing some sort of financial relief legislation.

Why is it that so many people view government as the solution to every problem? Those who call for more government action are deluding themselves, especially in light of the happenings of this past week. Let’s face the facts, there are very few things that politicians and bureaucrats do well…very few.

Beyond that, why would one assume that banks and other lending institutions would risk the tremendously bad PR that would undoubtedly be accrued if they were to do what Mr. Shaw seeks to prevent? It appears to be no more than the false assumption that all capitalists are evil and only an Act of Congress can mitigate their ‘potential’ predatory behavior.

Anyone remember the Patriot Act? You know…the little gem that was passed in the wake of a certain tragedy. The irony is that collectivists—those that crave more and more centralization of government—fail to realize that their constant calls for Federal action is precisely that which greases the wheels for more right-wing authoritarian laws as well as their coveted, mandatory entitlement programs.