While New York City's Mayor is once again attempting to squash Occupy by ordering Occupy Sandy off the streets, another group of Occupiers and allies is continuing unimpeded in its efforts to do something to make the world a better place. Rolling Jubilee, an action by StrikeDebt, an "offshoot" of Occupy Wall Street, has now raised enough money to retire over $9,000,000 in medical debt.
A week and half ago I reported that donations had topped $400,000, enough to retire $8,000,000 in debt. The debtometer has been turning continuously since then, and a few hours ago it hit $450,000.
It would only take $50,000 -- $5 donations each by 10000 people -- to hit that magic next decimal: $10,000,000. (Mayor Bloomberg could do it on far less than the interest he earns in a single day, but I digress). When it does hit, that will probably connect with the lame stream media much as the original effort did.
The point, however, of the Rolling Jubilee is not so much to forgive a certain amount of debt for a certain number of people -- although it is and will continue to do that -- rather the goal is more to restart the conversation about debt and how people got into it in this country. From medical bills that no person in any other industrialized country has to deal with, to fraudulent home loans from banksters who should be in jail, to usurious credit card rates and fees, to unforgivable student debt that is causing grandparents' social security payments to be docked, debt has because a plague upon the land.
When Iceland can jail its banksters and bail out its people, the only reason we cannot do it is a lack of understanding by the people of just how badly they have been screwed.
(For specifics on the Rolling Jubilee, please see the FAQ on this page. For an in-depth discussion of the tax issues (or non-issues) surrounding this endeavor, you can try to wade through the comments in my previous diary).
Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 8:22 AM PT: Money raised now up to more than $452,000. Less than $48,000 to go to reach $10,000,000 in potential retired debt.