Bankruptcy laws were meant to allow us the freedom to take risk, and yes, fail. Among new
businesses, about 50% fail within the first five years, and about 70% fail within ten years. The
key part, and where bankruptcy comes into play, is that we get up and try again. Oddly enough,
this point can be made quite clear by explaining why Dubai’s police force drives high end
Dubai is the most populous city in the UAE, most expensive city in the Middle East, site of the
world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and those amazing man-made islands shaped like
palm trees and a map of the world for the ultra rich to build luxury homes. Its police force is
known for driving Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porches, Land Rovers and Mercedes. The reason?
Until 2010, there was no bankruptcy law in Dubai, and bouncing a check was a criminal offense.
The result – even businessmen with amazing cars found themselves in a dilemma if they couldn’t
pay their bills on time: flee the country, or go to jail? In the wake of the global financial crisis,
foreign businessmen and locals alike faced this threat and decided to take one last ride in their
best cars to the airport before leaving the UAE for more understanding countries. More than
3,000 were left abandoned at the Dubai airport in 2010. And that’s how the Dubai police get
such amazing cars.
How does this relate to us here in the United States? The USA, as far back as its founding, stated
in the Constitution that Congress would be able to make bankruptcy laws for the whole nation.
We as a people would much rather see a person get up when knocked down than to see them flee.
We want that risk taker to try again. To make that business that will employ others and make this
nation a better place. Even if your police get stuck in Crown Victorias and not Mustangs and
Cadillacs. Bankruptcy, in short, is every person’s financial safety net. Debtors’ prisons were
done away with in the United States around the mid-1800s, just about the time Congress started
to develop our bankruptcy laws. Coincidence? Not at all.
Again, why do we have bankruptcy laws? So that when you fall upon hard times, when life
hands you a raw deal, the business just didn’t pull through, or the medical bills just keep piling
up, that you can see a light at the end of the tunnel. And it won’t be the headlights of a police