I have been pretty harsh on liberal blogger Allison Kilkenny in the past for her playing the Nork Card on John Bolton and the “sexy” card on Sarah Palin, her hysteria over Catholic charities, and her misfire on Bill Sparkman. She was a big cheerleader for the Occupy movement.
All her hard efforts have paid off because she’s now a columnist at The Nation. She has a post which is of great interest involving a plan by progressive groups to buy up consumer debt on the cheap and then walk away from it.
I have no problem with the concept — in fact, I kind of like it if that’s how they want to spend their money, Occupy Wall Street Activists Buy Up Debt to Abolish It:
Strike Debt, a movement formed by a coalition of Occupy Wall Street groups looking to build a popular resistance to debt, plans to hold a telethon and variety show November 15 in support of the Rolling Jubilee, a system to buy debt for pennies on the dollar, and abolish it.
The telethon, which has already sold out, will feature artists including Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, plus other surprise guests.
Strike Debt hopes to raise $50,000, which the group claims can then be used to purchase, and eliminate, around $1 million in debt….
Business Insider called the test run “impressive” and “noble,” although Alex Hern at the New Statesman points out that, while the law is on Occupy’s side, the banks may not be. Hern points to Felix Salmon’s discussion of the American Homeowner Preservation, which sought to buy up distressed mortgages and find ways for the homeowners to stay in their homes and pay off their debt.
Here’s the almost unbearable video for the program, called Rolling Jubilee:
I’m not seeing any problem with this, assuming the logistics work that the debt for specified individuals is relieved. There would seem to be a potential tax issue as forgiveness of debt generally is taxable to the debtor, but I’m sure (?) they have thought this through.
I’d much rather see progressive donate money to retire consumer debt than to candidates to run up our national debt.