What was it like to open up a letter announcing that the burden of a large medical debt had been taken away? "I was dumbfounded," replies Terrance Lavalle, referring to a letter he received in November from Occupy Wall Street's working group, "The Rolling Jubilee."
Judaism recognises that unemployment has a psychological as well as economic dimension. As a matter of religious principle, job creation must be at the centre of any long-term welfare policy. Human dignity requires no less.
That the Occupy movement would embrace the jubilee, a biblical concept, suggests something new and intriguing about the progressive movement, which has in recent decades been more likely to show contempt than respect when it comes to religion.
The link between money and morals isn't limited to the pages of ancient sacred texts. You can spot it in today's news thanks to a creative new project called the Rolling Jubilee, part of the Strike Debt campaign.
A coalition of Occupy groups called StrikeDebt is encouraging people to combat debt by way of popular resistance... up to and including complete default. Occupy hasn't left its "radical" roots, but has evolved as a voice on the subject of banking and finance.
This week I spoke to Karen Scharff of Citizens Action New York and Mark Hannay of Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign to talk about the so-called "fiscal cliff." Then I spoke to Yates McKee about Occupy Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee movement.
When the camps were evicted, the media breathlessly reported about the official death of the movement. Yet despite the Occupy funeral dirge that's been played in dozens of headlines, the movement has flourished in its post-encampment phase.
It has never been more important to raise the issue of debt forgiveness and do something about it in concrete ways than it is in 21st century America. But how could the biblical Jubilee possibly be an economic plan in today's economy? Enter Occupy Wall Street's "Rolling Jubilee."
If we libertarians emulate the creativity and activism of the Occupy Movement to solve problems with non-state solutions, we can propel the Liberty Movement forward and truly foment a revolution outside the constraints of electoral politics.
We're in debt, as individuals, because of a lack of services. If Washington lacks the political will to address these issues and kick a little ass, we'll do it ourselves. Our message to Americans is simple: You are not a loan. And you are not alone.
Organizers are buying up consumer debt for pennies on the dollar and instead of collecting on it they are forgiving it. In my opinion the effort is misguided because this strategy can result in those with their debt forgiven, owing the IRS.