Bankruptcy’s Ultimate Victims

Just a moment tonight but I want to pass along a link to Walter Russell Mead’s recent post on the Rhode Island legislature’s disenfranchising of their public employee’s. Specifically, they passed a law providing for the subordination of pension obligations to municipal debt.

You can read the details at Mead’s blog with appropriate links, but I was so taken with this quote from Carlyle that I wanted to pass it on. I hope that Mr. Mead doesn’t begrudge me borrowing it.

Great is Bankruptcy: the great bottomless gulf into which all Falsehoods, public and private, do sink, disappearing; whither, from the first origin of them, they were all doomed.  For Nature is true and not a lie.  No lie you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a Bill drawn on Nature’s Reality, and be presented there for payment, — with the answer, No effects.  Pity only that it often had so long a circulation: that the original forger were so seldom he who bore the final smart of it!  Lies, and the burden of evil they bring, are passed on; shifted from back to back, and from rank to rank; and so land ultimately on the dumb lowest rank, who with spade and mattock, with sore heart and empty wallet, daily come in contact with reality, and can pass the cheat no further.

Seems like a fair description of life in America right now, doesn’t it?

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