Sent time:   Monday, October 24, 2011 8:02:50 PM
Subject:   Re: Re: [september17discuss] Initiative on Student Debt

 I like the basic plan of the pledge to stop paying when a certain threshold is reached.  Just the threat of that might lead banks to renegotiate.  After all they are high interest, no risk loans (backed by the FED).  When things go wrong for giant corporations they are often able to renegotiate their debt, or at worst go into bankruptcy, but individuals are not able to either with student debt.  Stephen Lerner put out similar (but less well developed plan) to have large numbers of people stop paying their mortgages at the Left Forum this year.  Glen Beck called it economic terrorism and the rightwing blogsphere went nuts.  ): ) 
On 10/24/11, Vicente Rubio<> wrote:

2011/10/24 Vicente Rubio <>
Some points like the ones raised here were discussed with the audience right after Andrew's presentation, and of course will influence the final form this initiative takes. It was a proposal by Andrew, Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, and as such, is just a starting point to be discussed within the movement. If you are interested, this initiative will be presented as a project under the Empowerment and Education WG meeting, this Friday, 8:30pm at the Public Atrium 60 Wall Street. Please come by, and/or let me know how can we engage more people within the existing OWS working groups to develop this.

Thank you!


2011/10/24 Vicente Rubio <>
Thanks for the information, Rob!

2011/10/24 rob hollander <>
From the Chronicle of Higher Education (the professional journal of higher ed)
Black Graduates Owe More Debt Than White, Asian, or Hispanic Graduates

Blacks have a higher percentage of private debt

However, far fewer blacks and latinos attain an undergrad degree (see the chart). So debt impacts whites and Asian demographics more than blacks and latinos, but among blacks in college, debt impacts them more than whites or anyone else. So also see the last link that shows that non-whites incur more college debt than whites

All non white categories incur a higher percent of college debt that whites

On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 11:45 AM, Doug Singsen <> wrote:
Is that really true? I feel like there are a lot of low-income students of color who are in debt. Yes, rising tuition has forced many low-income students of color out of the education system, but many have been able to hang on, thanks in part to taking on large amounts of debt, and they could really use some debt relief.


On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM, J.A. Myerson <> wrote:
Student debt forgiveness is a great idea, but essentially one that helps white folks. Let's not make our campaign's result be the calcification of systems of racial dominance.


On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 6:46 AM, <> wrote:
I am REALLY glad a campaign around student debt is being considered.
But this is TOTALLY the wrong way to start it.
Rather than getting the campaign bogged down in debates about whether students could or would refuse repayment in sufficient numbers, and therefore whether the numbers were adequate for the campaign to succeed, the campaign from the start should simply demand: "Cancel the Debt!"
It's true that in Liverpool (in the '80s?) there was a hugely successful campaign to refuse paying poll taxes. But the much more common demand, for instance throughout the Third World, especially after overthrowing a dictator who took out the loans from Western capital in the first place, has been "Cancel the Debt!"
And the PRACTICE of revolutionary governments has always been to cancel the debt when first taking power.

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Vicente Rubio <>
To: september17 <>
Cc: Andrew Ross <>
Subject: [september17discuss] Initiative on Student Debt
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 12:51:15 -0400

Hi all,

there's a video recorded by a youtube user of last Wednesday's Open Forum, "Is Student Debt a Form of Indenture?" with Andrew Ross (NYU, EduFactory).

This event was especially important, imo, because it helped to start an initiative on student debt. Andrew (with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, who also discussed debt issues this week at the Open Forum) read on Wednesday a draft for a pledge of refusal of debt payment. This fostered an interesting debate, and a subcommittee for this initiative is being formed under the Empowerment and Education WG. This student debt initiative subcommittee is still not approved, it will be presented next Friday at the E & E wg meeting, but nevertheless I wanted to share the videos with you, and asked you for your collaboration on this. I would like to know if there are other working groups currently working on similar actions, so we can join forces and help this initiative grow. Please let me know. I copy here the draft for the pledge of refusal. Further explanation on this can be found at the video.




Pledge of Refusal

Higher Education is more and more financed through student debt. Even
in times of fuller employment, this system is morally unsustainable.
Now, with chronic underemployment likely for decades to come, the most
indebted generation in history will carry an intolerable burden into
the future. The time has come to refuse this debt load. Education is
not a commodity and it should not be a vehicle for generating debt or
profit. Public Education, at the tertiary level, should be publicly
funded and should be tuition-free. Student loans, whether in the
public or private sector, should be interest-free.Many other countries
support tuition-free university systems. The U.S. should join that list.

As part of a national unity campaign to abolish student debt, I pledge
to stop making loan payments after one million others have signed this

J.A. Myerson

Rob Hollander
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
622 E 11, #10
NYC, 10009