Reset the Debt – Global Economist agrees with Batley lad.

A few months ago now, I came up with a rather radical idea to get us out of this financial pickle we’ve found ourselves in.

That idea was catchily called: Reset the Debt.

(I know, I know, I should get paid for this sort of stuff.)

Anyways, it wasn’t just a catchy slogan, the idea was to reset everybody’s debts to zero so we can start spending again. Yippee!

A bit like winding back the milometer on your car. Not that I’ve ever done that, you understand.

I posted it on TED and got pilloried for it as being economically naive. I might not be a global economist, but I am in the business of coming up with ideas to solve business problems.

And most radical ideas can be a bit frightening.

Well now, (he says, blowing onto his fingernails and polishing them on his lapel), Steve Keen is a global economist, and he’s advocating exactly the same thing.

Basically, the reason people aren’t spending is because they’re paying off their debts.

The government is giving money to the banks who aren’t passing it on to their customers. Presumably because they don’t want oiks like us getting into even more debt. They’d rather give it to their employees in the form of big fat tax free bonuses.

Mr Keen’s point is: Get the government to invest the money by paying off its citizens’ debts to kick-start the economy. [Obviously measures would have to be put in place to prevent people from getting back into debt and living within their means.]

The economy won’t grow if people don’t buy anything.

Otherwise, Mr Keen argues, the way the government is handling the Great Depression at the moment, it could take us 20 years to get out of it.

Who’d a thunk it? A Batley lad solving the world’s economic crisis.

Reset the Debt. I can see the placards now!

Hang on a sec. Just let me stick one of them © thingys on it.

Reset the Debt!©

Economist Steve Keen, Hardtalk

Economist Steve Keen on Hardtalk.

I’ve decided to set up an e-petition to garner some support for this idea. I need 100k signatures to get the Govt to discuss it in the House of Commons. If you think it’s an idea worthy of discussion, please add your name and share to as many people as possible.


Filed under community, Ideas, Inspiration, Inventions, Politics, Strategy

9 responses to “Reset the Debt – Global Economist agrees with Batley lad.

  1. I think an important element of Keen’s argument is that everybody gets the money — not just the people in debt. It’s important because only about half the UK population has debt (apparently). The other half is going to get pretty miffed if they see that people who haven’t been as careful as they have, or who haven’t worked as hard, are getting a ‘windfall’ to clear their debts while they struggle on. By ensuring that the entire population gets a slice of the cake, and then making sure that the system is fixed so that people can’t get into that level of debt again, surely it wouldn’t be long until the economic problems of mass unemployment and stagnation turn into a shortage of labour instead. Then taxes could be increased to tackle the deficit (instead of cuts) WITH the support of voters. Politically, it’s a radical thing to do — but imagine the support the government would get from the voter for doing it. Christ, I’d even vote Tory if they did this!

    • Good point. If you’re not in debt – you simply get a bonus for being good with your money. Everybody wins!

      Addendum: Thanks to Joseph for initially sharing the Steve Keen clip from HardTalk. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known how clever I am!

  2. This requires a social media campaign (#ResetTheDebt) to create a hundred thousand-strong petition to at least get it discussed by the powers that be. Yep, radical is scary, but scary can be brilliant. I for one would back this idea wholeheartedly – shout me @LarnerC – and I’ll shout it from the rooftops. See, there’s already three of us! Let’s get the hash tag rolling. And that’s not a euphemism!

    PS. If you’ve seen any of Nick Robinson’s How We Spend Our Money slots on the Beeb, it doesn’t take long to realise that this is perhaps a more affordable, perhaps even less radical solution than first appears.

    • David Milligan-Croft

      Nice one, Larner. I’ve set up online petitions before. Are there any you’d recommend? Appreciate your input.

  3. Chris

    This was my suggestion when the economy first took a nose dive in 2008.

    If Gordon had forced the banks to zero every ones debt with the bank bailout money instead of protecting just savings lost too bad debts, what if?
    The population would have spent there wages and kept businesses afloat.
    It would have been the same money paid out to save the banking system but used in a better more fairer way.
    If you had your credit card payments & mortgage money available too spend how much richer would you be?
    How much more likely would you have been too spend spend?

    The way we all view money has changed entirely and irreversibly…

    “Wheres my bail out?” seems appropriate.

    Hopefully the above makes sense, I was inspired.
    I will start linking this up with facebook.

    Another thing get the banks to realise they are not going to get the interest back they have charged to debts since the start of this in 2008, ever.
    Banks should just stop charging it entirely for the next 10 years at least.
    Banks are a business they should adapt or left to fail.
    Banks should take back debt Government debts to December 2008 figures.
    It is a radical idea but its a radical situation we are all facing.

    This might be too simplistic a point of view. I might be wrong.

  4. bob

    I got sent a link to the petition and found my way here. The problem with this solution is that even the journalist interviewing him didn’t understand exactly what he meant (you would expect a journalist interviewing an economist to have some knowledge about the financial system). What hope does the average voter have. If she understood that debt (and money as a by-product) is created through the fractional reserve system she may well agree with him as would anyone else who truly understands the financial system (0.0001% of people). A lot of people won’t support this because they believe that the banks lend out money they actually own. The first thing we have to do is educate people into what money is and how its created. Search and watch “Money as Debt” on YouTube if you don’t know what I mean and spread the word.

  5. Hi Bob, thanks for your comment, and your advice. Have watched the first part of the film – very enlightening. Appreciate your input.

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