Why Occupy’s plan to cancel consumer debts is money well spent

Posted on Nov 12, 2012
Why Occupy’s plan to cancel consumer debts is money well spent

A new initiative is re-energising the Occupy movement. Called the Rolling Jubilee, it is a plan to use money from donations to buy distressed consumer debt from lenders at a marked down price, just as debt collection agencies normally would. But instead of hounding debtors for payments, it will simply cancel the debts. The hope […]

We Can’t Grow Ourselves out of Debt

Posted on Sep 3, 2012
We Can’t Grow Ourselves out of Debt

You can find a French translation of this essay here.   Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s pledge at Jackson Hole last Friday to “promote a stronger economic recovery” through “additional policy accommodation” has drawn criticism from economists, liberal and conservative, who question whether the Fed has the wherewithal to stimulate economic growth. What we actually […]

A Coal Pile in the Ballroom

Posted on Apr 19, 2012
A Coal Pile in the Ballroom

Economic growth turns social reciprocity and gift relationships (two components of GNH) into paid services. It converts pristine ecosystems into sources of timber or minerals. It converts silence into noise, starry skies into urban lights, kitchen gardens into supermarket purchases, mom’s cooking into fast food takeout. It replaces the village storyteller with the TV cartoon, […]

A Review of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years

Posted on Mar 5, 2012
A Review of Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years

I was immensely impressed by this book. For as long as there has been such a thing as money, morality and debt have been intimately intertwined. We see this today in discussions about the debt crisis. Do mortgage debtors, credit card debtors, and student loan borrowers have a moral obligation to pay back their debts? […]

Money: A New Beginning (Part 2)

Posted on Sep 10, 2008
Money: A New Beginning (Part 2)

This article has been translated into Spanish.   Our present monetary system generates a necessity for endless growth, embodies linear thinking, defies the cyclical patterns of nature, and drives the relentless conversion of all forms of wealth into currency. Furthermore, the concept of “interest” is the wellspring of our economy’s ever-intensifying competition, systemic scarcity, and […]

Money: A New Beginning (Part 1)

Posted on Sep 7, 2008
Money: A New Beginning (Part 1)

This essay has been translated into Spanish. An irremediable structural flaw lies at the base of our civilization. I call it Separation, and it has generated all the converging crises — economic, health, ecological, and political — of our day. It manifests as separation from each other in the dissolution of community, separation from nature […]