tional (Ninth Amendment) rights. Indeed,rnthe Court has become the instrumentrnbv which minority interests rulernthe majority. The Congress would be arnmore logical institution to provide thernmechanism. Since its members also takernthe oath to uphold the Constitution,rnCongress could enact legislation establishingrnthe national initiative and referendumrnto define Ninth Amendmentrnrights. The result of such a processrnwould be binding, and not subject to appealrnin the federal courts.rn—Joseph M. SalmonrnDothan, ALrnDr. DeRosa Replies:rnI can appreciate Mr. Salmon’s NinthrnAmendment romanticism; unfortunatelyrnjuridical developments and congressionalrnpolitics make it highly improbablernthat the Ninth Amendment will be utilizedrnas a meaningful check on the nationalrngovernment’s usurpation of thernpolice power prerogatives of the states.rnTo the contrary, the Ninth Amendmentrnwill—in the not too distant future—berncontorted into an even more significantrnweapon in the national government’s arsenalrnof political power aggrandizement,rnthe Framers’ intentions notwithstanding.rnIt is this realistic view of things to comernthat I explicate in my book, which I hopernMr. Salmon will read.rnCULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnPERSONAL BANKRUPTCIES arernbeing filed at a rate 25 percent higherrnthan in 1995, and if the current rate isrnmaintained, the absolute numbers, estimatedrnat l.I million, will surpass thernrecord of 900,000 set m 1992. The situationrnsurprised the New York Times (Augustrn26, 1996) because normallv highrnbankruptcy rates occur during recessions.rnWe are in the hfth year of economic recovery,rnhowever, according to the experts.rnThe problem, therefore, must berndue to greed and personal irresponsibility.rnBanks are offering credit cards to peoplernwho would not have qualified in thernpast and, anyhow, the American peoplernno longer feel that bankruptcy is a disgrace.rnTom, a practical nurse from CambridgernSprings, Pennsylvania, said of hisrnChapter 7 bankruptcy, “I don’t look at itrnas a cop-out. I’m just taking advantagernof one of the opportunities the Governmentrnoffers.” He relieved his guilty consciencernby referring to the bankruptcyrndeclared by Rockefeller Center. WernAmericans are so irresponsible. It is hardrnto see why the Times puts up with us. (Itrnwas a Japanese consortium that ownedrnRockefeller Center, but let that pass.)rnOther explanations lie near to hand.rnFor one thing, we no longer measurernprosperity by the Cross National Product,rnbut bv the new Gross DomesticrnProduct, which, inter alia, counts asrnAmerican prosperity profits made in thernUnited States by foreign firms, for examplernon tele’ision sets or VCRs.rnA study issued by Visa Internationalrnseems to show a striking difference fromrnearlier periods. In 1991 neady half thernbankruptcies were attributed to “jobrnproblems.” Now 15 percent are attributedrnto “unemployment” while 29 percentrnare filers who are “overextended.” IrresponsiblernAmericans again! Lawyer AlanrnA. Aaron of Midland, Texas, describesrnthe vast majority of recent personalrnbankruptcies as “a husband and wifernworking where everything seems to berngoing the right way, except they havernmore money going out than coming in.”rnMr. Micawber, call your office! Otherrnobservers have a different view. “Downsizingrnis the current theme here,” saysrnJonathan Kohn of Newark. Ms. JeanniernSeeliger of Jersey City told the Times,rn”We have people who have lost jobs inrnbanking, on Wall Street, you name it, everyrnfield I can think of, and it has a ripplerneffect.”rnThe role of downsizing in the currentrnbankruptcy crisis is disguised by the flexibilityrnof the United States economy. Arnrecent government study, reported in thernTimes on August 23, discovered 8.4 millionrnpeople pushed out of their jobs involuntarilyrnfrom 1993-1995. Most ofrnthem found new jobs, but only a thirdrnwere paid their old salary or better. Yournand your wife are both working, a situationrnhistorically true of economicallyrnprecarious times. One of you is downsizedrnand has to take a job at a considerablerncut in pay. There is no comparablerncut in your continuing expenses, whichrnmay include a mortgage, and the cost ofrncollege or private school. For many familiesrnthe choice is between a life reducedrnto the level of the Victorian shabbygenteel,rnor borrowing. Consumer debt isrngrowing at the rate of nine percent, withrna current total of $1.2 trillion, $350rnbillion of which is on credit cards. VisarnInternational estimates that one out ofrnevery 100 households will declarernbankruptcy this year, with a debt averagingrn5.3 times its annual income, as opposedrnto 3.5 m 1988.rnGovernment figures show unemploymentrnat 5.1 percent, a seven-year low.rnAccording to the papers, this good newsrncaused Wall Street to rebound from a seriousrndrop on the day before the newsrnwas announced (September 6). LouisrnRukeyser of PBS had a different version.rnThe news of low unemployment wasrnleaked on Thursday, September 5, andrnWall Street, in fear of Alan Greenspan’srnraising interest rates, sank some 50rnpoints. When the full report was releasedrnthe next day, careful readers couldrnsee that about a third of the new jobsrnwere in government and so no sign of arnhealthy economy. (Much the same isrntrue of the 10 million jobs the Presidentrnkeeps telling us he has created. His policiesrndid have a role in creating many ofrnthem, but they are paid for with taxes,rnnot vice versa) As a nation and as individuals,rnwe owe far more than we can repay.rnIs there a way out of this mess? Yes,rnbut first we must face the fact thatrndownsizing, the loss of good jobs overseas,rnis the result of our headlong plungerninto the whirlpool of the global economy.rnOur first mission is to protectrnAmerican jobs by protecting Americanrnfarms and businesses. Economic historiansrnAlfred E. Eckes, Jr., in OpeningrnAmericas Market (1995), and PaulrnBairoch in Economics and World History:rnMyths and Paradoxes (1993), have shownrnthat America’s rise to world economicrnhegemony and the spread within Americarnof general prosperity occurred at timesrnDECEMBER 1996/5rnrnrn