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Fake News Gets It Right

posted by Angie Littwin

Today the satirical newspaper The Onion unwittingly parodied one of the central debates in consumer bankruptcy – whether American consumers are choosing to spend too much money on luxuries or being forced to spend too much money on necessities.  The "news article" is entitled "End-Life Crisis Marked By Extravagant Spending Spree" and describes the "indulgent" spending of a 75-year-old grandfather on items such as blood transfusions and visits to the cardiologist.  The article "quotes" friends and family members who criticize "all those fancy new breathing tubes he now wears" and ask, "What's he going to do next, gallivant off to some $10,000-a-day, all-inclusive hospice?"

After spending time immersed in data showing that American families are being squeezed by stagnant wages and job insecurity on one side and rising costs of housing and health care on the other, listening to commentators who criticize what they perceive as Americans' extravagant spending habits can sometimes feel like reading The Onion.  Next time I read a quote such as Alan Greenspan's famous "personal bankruptcies are soaring because Americans have lost their sense of shame," I'll think of the words of The Onion's "psychologist," who opines that, "Individuals in the middle of an end-life crisis are usually easy to spot, as they tend to foolishly acquire big-ticket items such as liver transplants. . . ."

Comments

Is there a rebuttal to Professor Zywicki's paper somehwere?

Angie pointed me to another gem from The Onion about bankruptcy reform here: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38228.

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