The Rolling Jubilee will bail out the 99 percent

In Opinion
Courtesy of StrikeDebt.org

Debt is something almost everyone is familiar with. Times will be hard come the holiday season when debts begin to pile up higher and higher. Thankfully, Occupy Wall Street is back in the news and back in the game with a plan to help that now-infamous 99 percent.

Though Occupy Wall Street has been out of the spotlight for some time, the movement’s organizers have returned with a plan to help ease the load of debt that plagues this nation. With their offshoot, Strike Debt, Occupy Wall Street has created the Rolling Jubilee, a hopeful vision that has the potential to grow into something incredible.

The Rolling Jubilee is a new plan to help ease debt through donations. Derived from word “jubilee” in the biblical sense, to erase debt and set free of bondage, the plan is to buy out debt from banks before collectors get a hold of it and simply do something unheard of in this day and age: Forgive debt.

In these rough economic times, to forgive a debt, especially where money is involved, is a monumental deal with so many struggling with finances across the country.

Who’s to say ‘no’ to a freebee, but although the plan sounds great and simple enough, how can it be done?

According to an article by BusinessInsider.com, Rolling Jubilee initially began a test run in which they spent  $500 to purchase $14,000 of distressed debt. As they now own the debt, and thus can do whatever they want with it, they will simply erase said debt and forgive it with no strings attached.

This means people struggling to pay off medical bills and student loans can rest easy if the Rolling Jubilee lends them a helping hand.

Though it is near impossible to buy the debt of a specific person (anonymous accounts are bundled together when purchased), obviously the more money the plan raises, the more people they will be able to help.

The Rolling Jubilee has set an admirable goal that goes hand in hand with the spirit of both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though this daring escapade may be nothing more than a optimistic dream, most miracles start with nothing more and often a whole lot less.

This is, essentially, a noble cause.

On Nov. 15, 2012 the project officially launched, making major strides in its first week alone. As of the week of Nov. 21, Rolling Jubilee raised a total of $368,428 and hosted the an event called the “People’s Bailout,” a variety-type show featuring various bands, comedians and performers supporting their cause, according to the New Yorker.

As of publication, Rolling Jubilee has raised $433,840 so far to abolish a goal of $8,669,100 of debt. And while the project has hosted concerts to help raise funds, its majority comes from the kindness of strangers. Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter are filled with people around the world supporting Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee.

Donations can be made through RollingJubilee.org. The site also provides more information about how the money can help others and what Occupy Wall Street is building towards to help the nation.

Though it could be argued that this is simply a way for Occupy Wall Street to garner publicity and get back into headlines, the thought and care that went into the Rolling Jubilee is probably a tad more impressive than, let’s say, James Van Der Beek volunteering at a soup kitchen.

In the end, the project is an act of charity and kindness that is rare sight in these times. A few bucks here and there may end up helping more than one would expect.

After all, ‘tis the season.

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One commentOn The Rolling Jubilee will bail out the 99 percent

  • As much as this sounds like a good idea to me as a college student, I think this could cause some serious problems in the long run. I believe that if too many people’s debts get settled, then other people in debt will think that eventually their debt will be closed and they will get lazy and not pay what they owe. This could potentially cause an even worse debt crisis than the United States is already in. Honestly, there is no possible way to bail out the ninety-nine percent. If there was any possible way for this to happen, i think it would have to be through a different approach. Instead of completely alleviating a person’s debt. Lower the rates at which they have to pay and also lower the amount that the person actually has to pay. Coming out of college, I will owe something around $35,000. Yes, it would be nice to have it go away, but it is money that is given to me and I have a responsibility to pay it back. Everybody has a responsibility to at least pay most of what they owe. Occupy Wall Street has a good idea, it’s just that they aren’t approaching it the right way.

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