Occupy Wall Street Launches A Charity To Bail Indebted People Out

Some people identifying themselves with Occupy Wall Street have an ingeniously cost-efficient and politically symbolic charity plan that can provide crucial aid to epxloited debtors–even if it will probably only help a relatively very small number of affected people:

David Rees explains:

Like many folks, Occupy Wall Street has been some doing good work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping people on the ground.

Now OWS is launching the ROLLING JUBILEE, a program that has been in development for months. 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.

We’re kicking things off with a show called THE PEOPLE’S BAILOUT at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, November 15. It will also stream online, like a good ol’-fashioned telethon!

Read more about what they’re up to and how to get involved.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • John Moriarty

    Beware the law of supply and demand; act stealthily people!

  • Vision_From_Afar

    Is there a way to do this on our own? While I applaud their efforts, what I’d like to do is set up something local…

    • http://songe.me asonge

      This debt is mostly anonymous in that you don’t know who holds it before you buy it. It’s a national market, though you do have some information.

  • baal

    What a novel and great idea!

  • Antonio Lorusso

    This and Occupy Sandy is the kind of grass roots DIY action Occupy should have been about from the beginning, instead of agitation for political action which is the same as saying “somebody else do something instead of me”.

  • hiatt

    I applude the work for the downtrodden. However based on previous OWS actions, I feel justified in asking if the $500 for $14k helped one of your founders, participants or truly a “person at random truly in need.” Of even more importance is the review updertaken to help a person of character falling on bad times vice a person “working the system.”


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