Robert Tamayo


Debt Jubilee

With the announcement of an upcoming student loan debt forgiveness today, many people have suddenly found themselves with ten thousand reasons to be happy. I don't know the exact details of the plan, nor do I know where the money will come from to pay for the loans. But I do know that debt jubilees are a pro-civilizational practice, and they go all the way back to the Old Testament where debt would be forgiven once every 50 years.

I don't have student loan debt nor a mortgage, but I would be happy if others had their debt forgiven.

I don't have anything to gain from this decision to forgive student loan debt. But it doesn't bother me in the slightest that people are going to be considerably more free from their debt. Debt is one of the most crippling forces on a civilization. Being in debt is also not much different than being a slave. So forgiving people's debts seems amazing to me, even if I won't have anything forgiven myself.

There is the technicality of my wife's student loans, though. One might argue that since I do stand to gain something from student loan debt forgiveness, that's why I'm happy. There isn't much I can say beyond "trust me bro" to get one to believe my sincerity in this subject, but I will offer another example in my defense.

A while back, I was talking to a coworker about debt jubilees. I argued that it would be a good thing for all debt to be wiped clean. He asked if I would feel cheated if such a thing were to take place, given that I had no mortgage or debt of my own which would be forgiven; in such a scenario, he would get his house for "free", but I would have to still buy one with my own money. Without hesitation, I replied with the fullest honesty that it did not bother me in the slightest; what was important to me was the good for society. In such a scenario I would be happy for him, and not feel like I was cheated. The effect on society would be good for everyone, and that was what was good.

Debt is slavery; freedom from debt is good for everyone

Our debt-driven economy is not good for humans. Living in debt is bad for our health. It's bad for our minds, and it weighs down on our souls. The Bible makes it clear in numerous verses that being in debt is a horrible state to be in. It's our duty as citizens to be happy for those who get themselves out of it.

Most people that are upset by this decision will argue that it is not fair to those to have paid off their debts on their own. But the able-bodied help the disabled, not the other way around. In this case, those with student loan debt are unable to move forward. One can blame their choices all day, but that doesn't help them at all. And when they fail to "move forward" in life and find meaningful work because of their debt, it affects all of us. 

So don't be upset about this. Be happy for those who see some glimmer of hope from this announcement. Hope itself is powerful, and this announcement alone may have saved lives.

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