Visual poetry in this case.
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According to Oxfam’s Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality, 85 of the world’s richest people own the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.
Expand the focus to the richest 1%, and Oxfam reports they have about $110 trillion in wealth (46% of the total) which is 65 times the $1.7 trillion (about 0.7% of the total) held by the bottom half of the population.
Makes you feel that “The Owner” is not just a Neal Asher dystopian fantasy.
Naked Capitalism has more about Why Strike Debt’s Rolling Jubilee Puts Borrowers at Risk. Serious tax stuff. Not only isn’t this simple, but it actually does seem to carry real risks all around.
I wrote previously of Occupy Wall Street’s plan to buy and forgive distressed consumer debt. A commentator on that post noted that it created a tax issue, and a colleague agreed it was a risk. A fuller treatment of the problem, and some instant revisionist thinking about the ‘Jubilee’ program in general is over at the excellent Naked Capitalism blog, Occupy Wall Street’s Debt Jubilee: A Gimmick with Tax Risk.
Like most of the things they run, well worth a read.
This is very cool: The People’s Bailout — Occupy Wall Street plans to buy distressed consumer debt for pennies on the dollar … and then forgive it.
OWS is going to start buying distressed debt (medical bills, student loans, etc.) in order to forgive it. As a test run, we spent $500, which bought $14,000 of distressed debt. We then ERASED THAT DEBT. (If you’re a debt broker, once you own someone’s debt you can do whatever you want with it — traditionally, you hound debtors to their grave trying to collect. We’re playing a different game. A MORE AWESOME GAME.)
This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need — to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy. As you can see from our test run, the return on investment approaches 30:1. That’s a crazy bargain!
Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program LIVE and NATIONWIDE, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.
As Rafe Colburn says “Incredible example of hacking the system for positive change.”