From Robert Reich
Richmond, CA ·
Last Friday, a federal appeals court rules that billionaire Carl Icahn, who now controls the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, doesn’t have to honor the labor agreement the casino has with its workers.
That’s how bankruptcy now works -- courtesy of legal changes in the federal bankruptcy code favoring big investors like Icahn and Donald Trump (who, when the casino he founded filed for bankruptcy, gleefully praised himself for his “great timing” in selling most of his investment beforehand).
But if you’re a worker, you’re screwed. And if you’re a homeowner who can’t make your mortgage payments (say, because you lost your job or wages at the Trump Taj Mahal), the current bankruptcy law doesn’t allow you to reorganize your mortgage debt. And if you’re a college graduate who can’t make payments on your student loan (say, because you lost your job or wages at the casino), the bankruptcy law doesn’t allow you to reorganize your student debt.
Why? Because Icahn, Trump, the big banks, mortgagors, and major student loan creditors have had the political power to get the bankruptcy law they want. Workers, mortgagees, and student debtors have not.
That’s what this election is all about: Getting the power back.