Debt

Student debt activists and education advocates Kyle McCarthy and Natalia Abrams are tired of the ‘silence and complacency’ that our elected (and duly bribed) officials exhibit in the face of overwhelming evidence of…





Considering student loan debt is now a trillion-dollar industry, maybe this PayPal co-founder is on to something. Via 60 Minutes:

One of the wealthiest, best-educated American entrepreneurs, Peter Thiel, isn’t convinced college is worth the cost. With only half of recent U.S. college graduates in full-time jobs, and student loans now at $1 trillion, Thiel has come up with his own small-scale solution: pay a couple dozen of the nation’s most promising students $100,000 to walk away from college and pursue their passions. Morley Safer takes a look at Thiel’s critique of college.






254668516_97856d3d0fThe New York Times reports on a new model of emergency care—debt collectors posing as medical staff:

Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

To patients, the debt collectors may look indistinguishable from hospital employees, may demand they pay outstanding bills and may discourage them from seeking emergency care at all. The attorney general, Lori Swanson, also said that Accretive employees may have broken the law by not clearly identifying themselves as debt collectors…



Via the Huffington Post:

More than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.

That’s as much as $13.7 billion per year, but it’s still minimal when compared to the federal deficit, which hit $1.5 trillion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

While the economists don’t directly call for pot legalization, the petition asks advocates on both sides to engage in an “open and honest debate” about the benefits of pot prohibition.




Do tax cuts for the rich trickle down to the rest of us? And does taxing the rich hurt the economy? Is Social security a Ponzi scheme? Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, presents his list of seven popular-wisdom economic claims that are untrue. Feel free to debate.


“So my immodest proposal is simply this,” as posed by Alex Pareene on Salon.com: Individuals and households in the bottom 99 percent who owe debt to any large financial institution that received…


Writing for the journal Reclamations, George Caffentzis wonders why there is no movement in the United States to abolish our increasingly oppressive system of institutionalized student loan debt: Debt has had a…


Via Naked Capitalism, a fascinating interview with economic anthropologist David Graeber about the history of debt over the last 5,000 years (and the oft-intertwined history of slavery): Since antiquity the worst-case scenario…


Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media: Even though the U.S. military spends more than 6 times that of our next competitor (China), the GOP is still pushing the narrative that any more…



Is America’s bigger problem the economic decline or it’s political decay? Andrew Potter writes in Axis of Logic: The most telling moment of the recent standoff over talks to raise the American…