Sunday, March 14, 2010


is way too good to disappear into the shared items in the reader.

One of the biggest problems of lefty theory is that it is often seen as solely a critique without alternatives. Shit, even I'm guilty of it. But that's one of the reasons I play Queen for a day, it gets me to imagine the possibility of a better world.

From this piece, I've just had my brain boggled by the idea of imagining a world where credit is democratic. What if everyone got access to a reasonable loan to own a home, or start a business, or shit, just was able to have a checking account? (Lack of checking accounts is a HUGE problem among the poor, the better off of you all might not realize that those of us on the poor end get our accounts closed for being overdrawn and then have to wait 5+ years before you can open another one. We're called the Unbanked- I'm sure it's google-able).

My brain is whirling at the idea of a world without overdraft charges that are more than you spend on groceries. What if everyone was guaranteed a low interest rate home loan for a specific amount (say the average home price for a home big enough or small enough for your household in your area) that kept all housing costs under a specific percentage of your income? Rich people could still buy ridiculous houses, but they'd have to do it with their own cash, and poor people wouldn't be relegated to slums or exurbs only. What if we mandated living wages and eliminated consumer debt? With the wages people wouldn't have to go into hawk every month using credit cards to pay basic living expenses, and paychecks would go back into the production (industry) side of the economy instead of to the speculative side in the form of credit card payments.

What if credit was not a hierarchial system? Perhaps then the wealth gap between races and sexes would not be so grand, but the "deserving" white folks with their good credit scores might have to give up a wee bit of paternalism towards those of us who they keep trying to teach middle class values to. But in the end it would benefit all of us (well all meaning everybody not stealing, I mean earning a fat paycheck in the banking industry).

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