HIGHTOWER: Bankers Bonkers Over Bankruptcies

Whoa! Not only is the Dow Jones average soaring, not only are corporate profits and chief executive salaries riding high ... but so is another economic indicator: Personal bankruptcies.

Wait, that's not good news.

No indeed, but there it is. In the midst of our so-called booming economy, Americans are going broke in record numbers -- more than a million of us had to declare bankruptcy last year, which was 29 percent more than the previous year. The rate is even worse this year as so many families find that their stagnating incomes just don't cover what they owe. The typical filer for bankruptcy these days is a white, married homeowner working full-time for under $30,000 a year.

Not to worry, though, congress is riding to the rescue! To the rescue of the bankers, that is. You see, much of this personal debt has been piled up on credit cards, so it's owed to the banks -- the very banks that keep foisting more and more credit cards upon us, pleading with us to run-up more debt. But now that they're left holding the bankruptcy bag, they've gone bonkers, running to congress whining that the laws need to be restricted so fewer people can use them.

Interesting, isn't it, that they don't whine when Donnie Trump goes bankrupt, or when corporations use bankruptcy to terminate pension plans for workers, or when bankers themselves go belly-up, as they did in droves during the S&L robbery of the '80s. But when ordinary folks need protection to get back on their feet ... Oh, do the bankers turn pious! They're in Washington right now blaming the victims and demanding that congress "make people take individual responsibility."

It's not the bankruptcy laws that need fixing, it's our economic policies -- so that working families can again have good-paying jobs, good health-care coverage and the other basics that keeps one out of bankruptcy.

Source: "Going broke: bankruptcy stigma lessens" by Christine Dugas. USA Today: June 10, 1997.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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