Monday, November 22, 2004

You're fired!

When did bankruptcy become not merely the refuge of the scoundrel, but his succor?

Growing up, my impression of bankruptcy was that it was a bad thing - to be avoided like the plague. It signaled a failure - the opposite of success. (Not to say that there are not occasions when it can not be avoided, due to no fault of one's own...) To me bankruptcy meant "you've run out of money, and now you have less than nothing." In recent years, this has ceased to be the case.

It seems that filing for bankruptcy is now a clever dodge by which to avoid paying back creditors, or to similarly avoid one's debt to Uncle Sam's trick-or-treaters, the IRS. The Donald, for instance, is now faced with the fact that his casino empire is facing bankruptcy - no, strike that; they are "seeking bankruptcy protection." What does Trump say about this? Yahoo! reports that "Trump denied the bankruptcy was a setback." Here's what Trump said:
"I don't think it's a failure, it's a success... We [will] have one of the most powerful gaming companies the day it comes out [of bankruptcy]. There's no way we could have done that without the 'B' word... the future looks very good."
I, for one, am repulsed by the thought that bankruptcy is seen now as a mark of progress, or just a roadbump on the way to greater success. When you are unable to pay your debts and own up to your responsiblities, it is a clear sign that things are not going well. And yet Trump maintains his standing as a man to be imitated and idolized, as seen on his NBC sitcom, "The Apprentice."

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