Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quotation for Today: Courts Used to Redistribute Income and Wealth to the One Percent

The quotation for today highlights another tool -- bankruptcy procedures -- that is being used to redistribute wealth to the One Percent.

“There are a bunch of cities in bad shape, and pensions are part of the problem. If you have a string of Chapter 9’s [bankruptcy procedures for states and local governments], I don’t think every one of them is going to say, ‘This enormous obligation can’t be touched.’ I think one of them is going to take the plunge.”
David A. Skeel, Jr.
David A. Skeel Jr., who writes frequently on bankruptcy, is a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

The highlighted article, from which Professor Skeel's comments were taken, is about the bankruptcy of Stockton, California; another tale of how the nation's democratic institutions are being used against the 99 Percent. Instead of addressing the insufficient revenues to operate our states and local governments -- i.e., taxing at the necessary rate -- the states and local governments are attempting to use the courts as instruments for stealing the money in the pension funds of their employees.  

This style of bankruptcy procedures is already a mainstay for non-governmental corporations (see here), and everyday we see how well that has worked out for employees of these corporations -- think Mitt Romney and Bain Capital and how they "managed" firms they took over, see here and here.

Walsh, Mary Williams. "Untouchable Pensions May Be Tested in California." The New York Times 16 March, 2012: online edition.

(Update) Related information:

Kaplan, Thomas and John Eligon. "New York Lawmakers Vote to Limit Public Pensions." The New York Times 14 March, 2012: online edition.

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