Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Next Small Thing

The next big things in our world may start out as very small things indeed.  The quark is our imagining writ wondrously small; and so it may be with the next ‘big’ ideas.

One that has captivated my attention is Rolling Jubilee.

The idea is incredibly simple (as often truly great ideas are): contribute to a fund which will buy up debt that has been turned over to debt collectors.  Once the debt is purchased, it will simply be forgiven (hence Jubilee).

Personal debt that is in default is often turned over to debt collection entities, who actually purchase the debt for pennies on the dollar, giving the creditor some return on the debt.  The collector is then free to pursue all legal means to collect on the debt, in whole or in part.

What the Jubilee ‘debt collector’ will do is simply purchase the debt like any debt collector, but then discharge (or forgive) the debt.

The debt crisis around the world is not simply the burden of nations and large corporations.  Individual debt is a crushing burden on many with no hope of repaying in these challenging economic times.

Using existing systems to subvert them is as old as time itself.

If you believe that debt and debt structures are inherently unjust, this solution may just be one you can subscribe to.  If you or people you know are being held captive to the burden of unmeetable health care costs, mortgage balances even post-foreclosure, or even the more mundane credit card debt with its exorbitant interest rates, you may find this grass roots approach appealing.

And who knows, maybe you’ve got the next small-big idea.  Take a page from the Rolling Jubilee folks and get together and make it happen.  Sometimes, all it takes to change a world is the will to try.

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