A Debtor-Prison Nation

The United States has often prided itself that we no longer have debtors' prisons.  Debtors' prisons were, for the most part, outlawed in the United States by the end of Reconstruction. While debtors' prisons were commonplace in the New England early in the formation of our nation, the entire idea of such prisons was met with revulsion by most Americans. Debt demands and high taxes were even a major reason for Shay's Rebellion in Massachusetts.  The 1787 rebellion ended in defeat for the farmers seeking relief, but the war cry of oppressive debts did not fall on deaf ears. Today, however, massive debt load in the states and our nation has potentially propelled us into becoming a debtor prison nation! The idea of bankruptcy and not meeting one's moral obligations to repay debts and to prevent creditor abuse caused our founding fathers to devote an entire section of the United States Constitution on bankruptcy in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4. Even Madison observed...(Read Full Article)