BANKRUPTCY AND DIVORCE….John Quiggin makes a thought-provoking observation today: the number of people who declare bankruptcy in America is now greater than the number of people who get divorced:

If this trend continues (and since debt is growing more rapidly than ever), bankruptcy must become a very common life experience. In fact, it seems reasonable to project a situation in which most people go bankrupt at some time in their lives, and a significant number go bankrupt more than once. Obviously the social stigma that is still attached to bankruptcy would have to dissipate, just as it has with divorce.

Society has survived the advent of routine divorce and no doubt it will survive the advent of routine bankruptcy….

Here’s the odd thing: I know lots of people who have gotten divorced, but I don’t know anyone who’s gone through bankruptcy. Does that mean that bankruptcy is stratified by class and region in some way, and doesn’t affect my social circle much? Or have more of my friends declared bankruptcy than I know?

Hmmm, bankruptcy as common ? and as socially accepted ? as divorce. Gotta think about that a bit.

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