I went to the Strike Committee’s breakout room and have some practical suggestions that will follow. However, there I learned of the Debt Collective’s central flaw that will ensure its inability to secure any debt cancellation whatsoever—the Debt Collective will not politically threaten the Democratic party. Based on everything I’ve seen the Debt Collective is attempting to persuade the Democratic party and Joe Biden, whose career-long fealty to the debt industry earned him the nickname “Senator Credit Card.” The only thing politicians will respond to is coercion—including withholding one’s vote at a minimum.
In organizing a Debt Strike, there are practical mitigation measures that this org could make Strikers aware of and maybe even facilitate:
- Make sure you don’t get a refund from the IRS. Since a striker’s refund can get seized, they should make sure they never have one coming. I wrote about that here: Getting your tax refund with a defaulted student loan now & in the future - Disputing Your Debt - Debt Collective | Community
- There’s an easy way for a striker to get a good credit score–have someone with good credit issue the striker a joint credit card on their account. Granted, that seems like a big ask. However, the striker never needs to receive the card,use it in anyway or otherwise access the account. Just being attached to the account repairs their credit score. Given that, it seems like some intrepid organization (like the Debt Collective) could implement some system to act as a trusted third-party and connect strikers with those willing to issue such a card.
- Train Strikers in maximally using the scant legal protections at their disposal. Before Debt Collective, I learned of an online forum that trained debtors to maximally use these protections. The forum advocated a practice, which when fully implemented often resulted in the Striker successfully suing the debt collector in small claims court. And after a debt collector has to PAY a striker (hundreds to thoursands), the collector tends to leave them alone. Collectors lose because they routinely violate the law when going after collections. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the site’s name, though I did show it to Tom several years ago at a NOLA DSA meeting. If anyone else can find that site it would be great, but otherwise, it’s enough to know those legal protections do exist if one is prepared to use them.
You make a crucial point about coercion. I think it is important, in order to achieve our goals, that we be a radical movement and not look to merely reform the system from within, but to use our collective power to extract concessions in the short-term, while working towards transforming the system into something that meets our common needs.
Well, I wish this wasn’t the case, but here it is: