November 2012

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Rolling Jubilee

I find The Rolling Jubilee concept to be radical, innovative, socially productive, and bi-partisan. It’s the bailout of society by the people, not the government. The Rolling Jubilee buys back people’s debt for pennies on the dollar and abolishes it. Seems like a utopian ideal where opposing economic schools of thought could unite. Markets are typically brutally rationale, but the Rolling Jubilee gives mercy and altruism a home in the market as it would be comprised of more compassionate, less financially motivated participants. Humans would forgive debt based on their own choices for what debt was worthy of forgiveness.

The risk to fail could be dramatically lowered in the pursuit of education and progress. Creativity and innovation will have more room and permutations to grow if the fear and cost of failure were dramatically lower.

Will debt forgivers keep coming back to the market and find value beyond its unique novelty offering? That’s the key question to scaling the Rolling Jubilee. I believe they will return if the Rolling Jubilee provides positive social recognition and a feel good emotion they will not get from other marketplaces or charitable causes. If it takes off will we flood the market with more bad debt? Will the incentive to succeed decrease if your debt can be easily be forgiven so defaulting borrowers face less severe consequences? People borrow money to learn, eat, and succeed, not to

fail and lose money. Since it’s a marketplace, there’s no guarantee that your debt will be trade-able or ultimately forgiven. Thus, a rationale debtor can not count on the Rolling Jubilee to bail them out as their debt may not be forgiven. Many questions to answer. The only way to figure it out is to start.

Much has been said about the government bail-outs in the recent financial meltdown of 2008. Seems to me like they were a success. The bailed out companies are generating profits and have paid back the loans. The policy and administration saved jobs that grew spending, which fed more jobs. The liberal government seems to have proved its philosophies, but the conservative approach is not wrong to minimize government involvement. Personally I am a social liberal but an economic conservative. I like to see humans get along with each other for the greater good and government play as small a role as possible. It works if we agree to not harm or take unfair advantage of each other. Unfortunately, I feel there will always be a few humans, the real 1%, who will inevitably wrong it up for the rest of us. This has always been the case in human history. Fortunately, though, humans inspire movements of extraordinary magnitude. We are witnessing it around the world, and it is happening all around us locally. The revolutionary potential is at an all time high and manifesting itself in ground-breaking thinking and action. Is The Rolling Jubilee one of them? Olympic level thinking focused on citizen awareness and action, it is simple, powerful, beautiful, and socially conscious with the potential of having a large-scale global impact. I love that the idea could appeal to socialist liberals and free market conservatives at the same time. We are defining a new class outlook. Let’s call it a “party” and have a good time in 2016.

If it worked completely, the need for a government funded welfare state would disappear. There would be welfare by the people for the people, or more specifically from their tag line, “A bailout of the people by the people.” It might be something that both Karl Marx and Ayn Rand agree on. Could that be possible economically and philosophically? Big ups to a fresh idea. I hope it takes hold.

Mad Respect.