Reset the Debt, a strategy to save the world

Luke 3:11 ESV / 135 helpful votes
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

This time the losses won’t be passed along to the tax payer. When the next derivatives bubble bursts, and it will sooner rather than later there isn’t enough money on the planet to bail us out of this one. Here is the funny part, the global derivatives market is roughly about $1.2 Quadrillion. The output of the entire world economy is less than $100 trillion. Under the current more or less integrated global economic system in the event of a global economic collapse somebody owes somebody about $1.1 quadrillion, which would require every man, woman, child and nation on Earth 11 years to pay back, if 100% of the global economic output went only to that effort. Here is the really funny part; derivatives essentially represent nothing but emotion.

But this isn’t about derivatives. It is about debt and the absurdity and perversity with which our global economy has and is being managed. It is a measure that much of the world’s economy now is built on debt rather than output and production. The production of and profit from debt has replaced true innovation and creation, or even simple repair and sustainability. In America mounting and choking debt inhibits repair of a critically crumbling infrastructure. It impedes and restricts efforts that would restore communities and is even used as a weapon against profitable companies, such as Bain capital’s dismantling and selling off of the Sensata factory in Freeport Illinois back in 2012.Freeport_Romney_protest

Ironic, since Bain was owned in part by then presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had made the nation’s debt a campaign issue. Not a single corporate news outlet, and painfully few so-called liberal or progressive sources mentioned at the time that much of Romney’s fortune came from buying companies, borrowing money against those companies, saddling them with his monstrous debt liabilities, while he walked away with the cash. The closing devastated Freeport. Such is the basic philosophy now at the heart of modern economics. Supply and demand? What century were you born in?

It is hardly a secret that far too many college and university graduates emerge from school crushed by debt. It is of course their choice to incur that debt. Their hand signs the contract. Then again had they decided to forego school, well, Starbucks wants a degree these days. Try finding a job without a degree, and now without the “right” degree. Communities are likewise sapped and stymied by voluminous debt, preventing the repair of bridges and roads and necessitating the closing of schools, hospitals and public institutions. Programs critical to feed or help the poor, elderly and disabled are cut, and our federal government has remained at a virtual political stand still over fights about the national debt.

Internationally the debt crisis feeds poverty, extremism, starvation, war and global instability. It sets nations up to be abused, and for their workforce to be abused by international corporations. Debt is a tactic used frequently in human trafficking and child pornography. Debt has not served humanity well at all, and indications are growing loudly and starkly that debt may soon lead the global economy off a cliff that will dwarf the 2008 crisis and plunge it over a cliff to a historic crash from which it might not recover. American-Dollar-Toilet-Paper

What is needed is a Reset the Debt effort, in which global debt on the international, national, local and personal is reset to zero. The planet must choose a date and cancel out all debt on the planet. Wealth at that moment would be based entirely upon possession. If you live in a home, drive a car those things would be the basis for your personal wealth. On day two the debt clock would begin again, stimulating a whole new era in humanity. Poverty would all but disappear. Starvation would be eliminated, and the root causes and environment feeding extremism would be catastrophically undermined or eliminated. Trade between nations would rise to historic levels. Essentially the world’s economy would stop on day one and begin new and fresh on day two, with investments, leveraging and borrowing bringing a new economic renaissance based upon true vision and innovation.

I understand the criticism of ending debt only to create new debt. The difference here is that debt would be based upon reality, where now it is based upon pure abstracts and fraud, which essentially, if you remove the element of trust, is what derivatives represent. And a new system of laws and oversight would guide this new economy. The world would instill and enforce an international minimum wage based upon the nation’s trade output and GDP. A debt to GDP ratio would protect nations from over leveraging and penalize corporations, predatory interests or belligerent government.

What is the alternative? Clearly the system we have is not working. The root cause of that breakdown is debt. The current system is not part of our DNA, nor a necessity like water or food. It is an invention of accommodation and agreement. It can be changed, and those who refuse to accept that it can be changed, scrapped or re-envisioned are holding the rest of the species back from a fundamental aspect of our humanity; the mandate for survival by predicting the calamities threatening us. That we are the architects of the coming global debt implosion but refuse to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves points to a fundamental flaw that must be corrected if we are to survive and progress.

It is time. Reset the debt!

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$500 mill of debt’s a-burnin – More great action from Chile on Student Debt

As we demonstrated on a previous show, in an interview with Chilean Anarchists, Chile has some strong grassroots mojo. Due to our concerns over student debt, and the quality of education in general, this story caught my eye.

This act of political fire sports pairs nicely with Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee initiative, to student debt relief. But this action has a distinct 1971/old-school flair.

Headline from the 1971 break-in of the Philadelphia FBI office.

It’s inspiring to see a multifaceted set of tactics coming together to address the grossly disproportionate debt that exists within our culture of higher education. If you’re curious about how school debt resistance is carried out, be sure to check-out Strike Debt’s “Debt Resisters’ Operation Manual (DROM).”

If you want a good introduction into what the grassroots student movement is doing in Chile, check-out our interview with Melissa, Gabriel, and Pablo, three Chilean organizers visiting the US.

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