"I Give A Damn": A Capitalist Manifesto For The Productive Class

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

A guest essay by Zeus Y. on transforming our economy from corrupted capitalism to democratic capitalism.


I am honored to publish an essay by longtime contributor Zeus Yiamouyiannis that is drawn from his new book Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities. Readers have long looked to Zeus for help in demystifying the complex financial frauds at the diseased heart of American crony capitalism--what I call the neofeudal cartel-state financialization model.
Of Zeus' many essays published here on oftwominds.com, I suggest starting with one of his most recent: Endgame: When Debt is Fraud, Debt Forgiveness is the Last and Only Remedy (September 1, 2011)
Here is Zeus' latest essay:

“I Give A Damn”: A Capitalist Manifesto for the Productive Class

This essay is a call to citizens to put real work, ingenuity, and community above false promises and disgraced authority. 

Empowerment, in this essay, is not about pumping up self-esteem but rather equipping citizens to take control of the global economy. When political and economic leaders fail to act effectively, we will have to be the ones to succeed.

Capitalism stands and falls upon care, not the superficial “I-feel-your-pain” type, but the deep, committed “I-give-a-damn” type.

What does it mean to give a damn?

“I give a damn” means: I get broadly and deeply involved, I refuse to ignore what is going on around me, and I confront and respond to challenge. The operative word is “give.”

We’ve gotten a lot of I-feel-your-pain care lately, the mindless talk and cloying platitudes, the excuse-making b.s. It’s high time for I Give A Damn (IGAD) care to have its day.

I Give A Damn is the thoughtful, courageous, active care at the core of democratic capitalism, and we are going to need every bit of IGAD if we are going to rescue capitalism from predatory collapse.

Without I Give A Damn care, functioning capitalism does not and cannot exist. The stalwarts of capitalism--value, productivity, quality, customer service, transparency, accountability, entrepreneurship, attention to detail, successful management, enforcement of law--all require that you give a damn.

IGAD doesn’t require you to be liberal or conservative. In fact, it might help if you are neither. IGAD stands in sharp contrast to both unsustainable welfare state promises and corporate feudal monopolies currently masquerading as working in the people’s interest.

Democratic capitalism is about worthwhile production and exchange by communities of people who give a damn. It is expressly not about either crony-driven concentration of wealth or government redistribution.

IGAD doesn’t accept fake “compassionate (neo-) conservatism” or fake “get-tough” liberalism. In fact, IGAD would prefer that both of these big-mouthed do-nothing ideologies and their champions shut up and get the bleep out of the way.

Since members of the status quo are clearly not going to step aside, it will be up to a fast-growing body of social, economic, cultural, political, educational, and spiritual independents to lead the charge through the status quo camp and beyond.

Conquering greed and supporting productivity

Some people say that capitalism is built on greed or its euphemistic cousin “enlightened self-interest.” It is not.

Greed could be completely eliminated and democratic capitalism would be all the better for it. Capitalism in the absence of I Give A Damn, on the other hand, would collapse immediately.

Yes, Virginia, successful, healthy global economies are based on producing and giving something of value not on simply taking something of value. You wouldn’t know this from the current climate of credit-crazed consumption and crony-driven market manipulation. Right now functioning capitalism is about as scarce as the real spirit of Christmas.

Greed has become a consuming wrecking crew, cannibalizing, exploiting, and appropriating assets, dumping liabilities on responsible citizens, and concentrating wealth in the top 0.1% in an unprecedented spectacle of what I call “financial obesity.”

The economically starved productive class (the people who do actual work of value, i.e. middle and working classes) lies unaided and unseen behind the fat covering the eyes of the financial so-called “elite” (who should be called the financial “delete,” because their only real talent seems to be in either stealing, wasting, or erasing value.)

This is what greed (and greed’s crony, power) have brought us: a rising tide of debt and servitude built on exploitation and manipulation, quite the opposite of a rising tide of prosperity built on free enterprise promised by the so-called American Dream.

“But isn’t greed human nature?” Greed is no more human nature than suicide is human nature. Right now, imbibing greed is suicide just as surely as drinking spiked kool-aid. I Give A Damn care, by contrast, is essential to any human nature that concerns itself with thriving and surviving in our new interdependent reality.

Supply is not the issue. There are plenty of people capable of giving a damn. Any time natural disasters strike, I Give A Damn citizens pour out of the woodwork.

Though currently submerged, I Give A Damn productivity needs to emerge and start winning the day. That requires choosing between the parts of our human nature—the desire to give and the desire to take—and then deciding and following through resolutely on the giving part. This means elevating our character, conviction, and good sense instead of cannibalizing each other.

Are we going to give a damn and contribute to new life or are we going to try to take down the world as we escape into death? Are we going to stand up, man up, and woman up, or leave our children and our planet with an irretrievable mess?

Without this decision foremost, all the technical talk and analysis about the economy is ultimately junk, the same junk composing junk bonds.

“Unite and Win”: IGAD operational strategies

Since so much of the current global and national decision-making is being done by an exceedingly small band of incompetents and gluttons, we need not work to divide them. They are trying to divide us. We need to unite.

You give a damn, really? What have you been doing civically? Giving to Greenpeace or volunteering at the soup kitchen or attending Daughters of the American Revolution? Well, that’s good start and we need it, but all the food pantries in the world won’t make up for bad policies that eliminate food for hungry people!

Capitalist cronies will gladly take the surplus created by charity cost offloading to fund their military boondoggles and leave the middle and working classes both struggling on less and caring for the needy more. For any challenge to work, citizens need to get “systemic” and become smartly organized.

The time has never been riper to collaborate across the supposed dividing lines of ideologies. Haven’t you been paying attention lately? Even Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy appointees Bruce “Supply-Side” Bartlett and David “Trickle Down” Stockman are sounding a regretful, almost progressive, tone. They now admit that their wealth-coddling ideology weakened conservatism and gave strength to party extremists.

Economic productivity and participation have plenty in common with traditional conservative values (self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, etc.) and traditional liberal values (concern for “least among us,” etc.) not to mention activist, tech-savvy progressivism interested in creating sustainable ways to thrive.

The ad banner for unity should merely read: “Calling all sane, caring, inventive, substantive, hard-working people.” Qualifications: 1) Have your head upright, and not crammed into some orifice (yes, you Republicans who are not part of the bigoted nutjob segment of your party), 2) have some guts, (yes, you Democrats who remember what courage is and still utilize it), and 3) have an original, interdependent, creative, collaborative character.

Unity going forward does not require the promise of hope and change. Hope and change will be realized if we get down to business.

Citizens as savvy political entrepreneurs

So-called “Powers That Be” assume organized citizens will fall for transparent co-option. “What are your demands, Occupy Wall Street?”, they say. Demands? How about just good-ole fashioned competition and pressure and relentless engagement. (Oh, pardon me... That wouldn’t be fair. I forgot oligarchs no longer remember how to do competition with all their no-bid, insider contracts, and “cost-plus” accounting.)

I don’t have to make demands as a citizen. I’m a leader. I get busy, I organize, I pressure, I create alternatives, and I keep working, working, and working until financial, political, and cultural exploiters fold.

There are no appeals to be made to a financial caste system that has proven it will not listen or change. Instead there is citizen conviction. There are reality-based principles and actions driven by the knowledge that the world can be a better place tomorrow if we use our minds, hearts, and efforts today.

Be aware, idle rich: You are getting soft from the hypocrisy you keep slathering on your power lunches. We are not going to fall for promises, stop our activism, and then watch you fail to deliver yet again. (Obama, you’d better be listening, because you are and your sit-on-its-hands Justice Department are included.)

Nor are we going to watch you steal from us and then give us a cut of our own loot if we play ball. We are not going to agree to you borrowing from the future and piling debt on our kids.

Productive citizens don’t have to make demands to financial freeloaders. We are the ones producing the value. We refuse to recognize your alleged authority. You have failed. We will develop and conduct our own leadership, value, and exchange.

You, the idle rich, the financial delete, are expendable. You offer nothing, unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do some real work. So stop doing ‘God’s work’ by stripping commissions from production, and start producing something of value. Be a stakeholder. Participate in the market. Be accountable to the market.

Be a democratic capitalist, for God’s sake. That is our one and only requirement.

Confronting the false idols of corrupted capitalism

• Having money never makes you better than someone else. What is relevant is how you get your money. Any tool or crook can possess large sums of money.

• Real personal worth involves human character and choices. It is not a financial dollar figure. Without a sober assessment of human character and choices there is no way to make a distinction between producers and parasites, no social distinction between those who invest in constructive vs. destructive enterprises. These distinctions are crucial in functioning capitalism.

• Maximizing personal profit at any cost destroys capitalism and capitalist societies. Additional financial profit can always be made by plundering natural resources and abusing people. That is not the kind of profit we can tolerate in democratic capitalism, even if it is available.

• “Making money off the crisis” will drive capitalism into a sinkhole if it is dominated by profiteering from the misery of others, rather than from countering irrational exuberance.

• People who financially benefit from sucking, deceiving, lying, cheating, and stealing, should be thrown either into jail (fraudsters) or to the side of the road (talking heads, industry flacks, technocrats, etc.). If you make money by destroying people and their societies you are a corrupt capitalist, a looter, a thief, and and/or a murderer, period. If you are a government official who rewards these destruction-bringers, then both you and the private interests you prostitute yourself to must be defeated with democratic voting and citizen action.

Principled, effective actions for IGAD democratic capitalism

Revolutions start when growing groups of people congregate in cafes, taverns, meeting halls, and homes. For productive democratic capitalism to work, we need to get together and start doing the things that help our ability to survive and thrive, individually and collectively, and stop doing the things that harm.

• Get your money out of too-big-too-fail banks, all of it. Move savings, money markets, retirement accounts. Divest everything and both “strongly encourage” and help every family member, neighbor, and investor to do the same. If Bank of America can’t respect the laws and principles of capitalism, then maybe they will respect the laws of accounts: When you have no money, you can’t spend squat and you can’t make a profit. Welcome to what the rest of America is experiencing.

• Rebel against the consumerist “American Dream” that is making your life a nightmare. If there is one thing you should refuse to buy it’s the media mantra that the solution to everything is to just get consumer spending up, up, up. It’s a pyramid scheme run against a finite planet. This is a recipe for destroying, not aiding, future generations. And spend with what? Your great job that has not returned (or even materialized). Your growing debt? Make reality your ally. Stop buying from irresponsible corporations, buy second-hand goods from friends and neighbors, and support community business with the money you save.

• Say “no” to debt servitude! If you cannot pay your debt, seek legal, political, and personal solutions. Community-organize to provide low or no cost legal bankruptcy protection. Work politically to get student loans to be dischargeable debt. Research and get competent legal advice on how to renounce or negotiate down debts to large companies you cannot reasonably pay. “Moral sanctity of the contract” is demonstrated by accepting the legal and financial consequences of failure. The lendee loses equity and receives a bad credit rating for payment failure. The lender receives financial loss for asset failure.

• Say “yes” to strengthening, simplifying, and de-expensing your life. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Don’t eat garbage food. Exercise regularly. Take non-essential activities and luxuries (i.e. cable TV) off your plate. Attend a free book lecture. Donate or sell the things you are not using. Meditate. Contemplate. Vitalize. Organize. You are going to need every aspect of your health in peak condition to best meet and embrace the seismic world changes that will be coming much sooner than we all think.

• Pool your money, resources, and time. Even with their big infusions of taxpayer bailout money, banks aren’t lending to Main Street. Do we really need them? Why not gather momentum around crowd-funding and circle lending at all levels. Why can’t young people or young families move in together and share and trade their resources around childcare, meal preparation, elder care, professional skills and so forth. This mini “economies of scale” could free up significant space to develop an entrepreneurial business or spend more time organizing and developing the infrastructure for sustainable and fulfilling social and economic advancement.


Corruption thrives when good people do nothing. Societies rebound when good people do something.

Let’s do this. Let’s make democratic capitalism happen.

This essay is from the newly released book, Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities by Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Copyright 2013.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
docmac324's picture

That is the fastest way to get yourself disappeared, or suicided.  Out-right, outgunned.  Those days have passed.

It is now generational, maybe one or two generations from now, who suffer enough, will do something.  People today do not suffer enough to act.

strannick's picture

It is expressly not about either crony-driven concentration of wealth (elephants) or government redistribution (donkeys).

Stoploss's picture

This time is not different.

insanelysane's picture

We have met the enemy and it is us.

HardAssets's picture


My earlier comments were too cynical.

At the least the author is trying.

Dr. Engali's picture

60 millon guns have been sold since the beginning of the one's presidency. There are 270 million guns in the U.S. The only way we can be outgunned is because we choose to.

madcows's picture

Huh, guns without bullets....  Janet Carpetmunchie fixed that little problem.

Dr. Engali's picture

There are a lot of bullets out there. Have you ever bought a gun without something to put in it? Sure they ware hard to get now, but most gun owners were stocking up during the first term. Serious gun owners have been stocking up for years.

nmewn's picture

Bought a thousand rounds in November...of 2008 ;-)

MachoMan's picture

In the south, we like to call guns and ammo, "currency"

JuliaS's picture

Get your wallet out of my face!

XitSam's picture

Really?  How many 22LR has DHS bought? Why is none of that on the shelf? Because of Janet?

oldschool's picture

FWIW, one of the more apparently credible explantions I've read for the .22 shortage is a production shift toward .223 and perhaps other high-demand calibers.

prains's picture


Not to point out the obvious but how many TANKS have been sold to the public in tha same time period.Personally I'd prefer to bring a tank to a gun fight.

prains's picture

You CAN"T take back what you NEVER had, unless all you want is words, then go ahead have all you want.

Arrowflinger's picture

I totally disagree.

A group somewhere in flyover USA  have test marketed reform,  so to speak, using a collaborative effort that capitalized on social media in arguably the most corrupt city in the entire USA. The results were stunning. The people really don't LIKE manipulation and the corruption. It cannot be said that the reformers totally triumphed, but the political battles and reversals managed against a pretty damned powerful figure who ran that city (with an iron fist) were stunning (fought him to a standstill for 10 months.), with most of the old guard just plain amazed. They did their own investigative reports, using techniques that the local media were forced to emulate, and  demonstrably affected 3 elections. They did this for 15 months before taking a breather. They never asked for money, because the power of the methods cured that need. If that place can be fixed- there are plans - it can be done across America.

How everything that has happened is playing out in flyover USA gets NO media coverage, not even from the alternative economic blogosphere.

Collectively, we the people have the tools and we have the force to right this place.

One really has to dumb things down so that even a child gets it. More than that, you have to have a sense of humor.

If you believe, pray. If you don't, find courage.Corruption always turns upon itself.

There is a wave building. It will become an undeniable, irresistable force. This is AMERICA and don't forget that.

When you get past being enraged or fearful, this stuff becomes outrageously funny.

The folks who did this are just average guys and gals.......but they are not afraid.

You won't find that the "media" reported a word, because they were implicated.......

COURAGE takes a lot more than a blog post, though.




orez65's picture

This is a nice article about being "good".

But it doesn't address the root problem of our economy.

Damn it, why is it so hard to get people to understand somehting so simple!

It's even written on the US Constitution:

1. Only gold and silver shall be used as money.

2. Only Congress shall have the power to declare war.

Add the following: All bankers engaging in fractional reserve banking shall be put to death.

All this deficit spending, derivatives fraud and countefeiting would then not be possible.

LongBallsShortBrains's picture

The fractional reserve banking isnt the problem. The legal tender laws which use force ( or the threat of force) to make one accept federal reserve notes as legal tender of all debts.

And being unable to pay one's income taxes without using federal reserve notes.

Factional reserve is a problem when it is imposed on us by force. If you volunteer to allow it, that is between you and your bank. When the government FORCES us to accept fractional reserve debts as payment on debts, that is unconstitutional. Unless you are in e .gov and see nothing wrong with it.....

Beuker's picture

Are'nt all 'isms' dogmatic? I certainly apreceate the intention of the article.

malikai's picture

If voting ever changed anything it would be illegal.

Urban Redneck's picture

The votes that actually change things don't happen in November

smartstrike's picture

Productive Class? That implies existence of non-productive class! There are only two classes in a capitalist economic system: consumers who pay all the bills and parasites who make profits from consumers and rent seek.

MagicHandPuppet's picture

The non-productive class grows exponentially.  The welfare state ensures that it is here to stay (until the welfare state collapses in on itself).

Steve in Greensboro's picture

The only meaningful ideological dividing line is the one between those who think the U.S. government should get bigger and those who think it should get smaller (preferably back to the size it was at the Founding).  I can't tell from the Babbitry above which side the author is on.  Not that i really care.

azzhatter's picture

Teddy Roosevelt once said "There is no such thing as being neutral in the issue where something is right or wrong- if you are neutral you side with wrong" This is america today, all the fucks sucking on a slurpee watching american idol are siding with the corrupt assholes in DC.

Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island's picture

+1 hatter.


  The real battle is fought in the foxholes -- getting our culture to believe in right or wrong.  Here's the not-easily-digestible morsel: right and wrong without a theistic narrative, are illusions.  It was proven in 400BC, it was re-proven in the 1800's and it's now heralded in our culture like the corpse of some poor tribal indigent. 

  Without a master narrative by which to live, we are morally relative, truth is relative, right and wrong are circumstantial and relative.  The further we depart from the master narrative, the more diminished our abilities become to tell the difference between right and wrong. 

  No progress will be made to this issue without Judeo-Christian truth, which is the apogee, the crescendo of all good to be brought about in the world.  We have reaped what we have sown.

Jean Valjean's picture


Also correct are those ranting about "dishonest scales".


Solon the Destroyer's picture

This article misses the huge point:

It is impossible to have either Capitalism or Democracy, while the system is based upon an irredeemable fiat currency.

See: http://www.professorfekete.com/articles/AEFTheSignficancOfTheGoldStandard.pdf

That must be the starting point and all the efforts he highlights above will be subverted if the currency regime remains unchanged.

HardAssets's picture

Yes . . . people have to first educate themselves on at least the basics of money & the banking system, before they can begin to have informed political opinions.

nmewn's picture

"Let’s make democratic capitalism happen."

Does that include subsidizing windmills, solar panels and mortgages people couldn't afford? I thought we just did that?

nmewn's picture

And sail foenz...and ObamaMoney...lining up around the block for it, all it takes is prostrating oneself before the One.

So much misplaced pride.

Graph's picture

Also, does that require a NEW PLANET?

This one is raped to the bone.

nmewn's picture

Enjoy the ride bucko...I'm sure there are other atoms to conquer and light years to go before you sleep.

sbenard's picture

Just finished David Stockman's book, The Great Deformation. Great book! I recommend it to all!

The Abstraction of Justice's picture

They who do nothing are not the good people.

disabledvet's picture

The whole purpose for creating a middle class after World War II was to prevent the instability of the Great Depression era which is eerily similar if not identical to what we have right now. Obviously the whole project was considered "dorky" at the time...after wiping the Soviet Union off the map and creating the idea of "exurbs" while engaging in successful bubble reinflation after 2008 however and I think a SLIGHT reassessment is in order. If Japan goes bye bye then that's all the convincing I need. We'll see...treasuries are really expensive here...I recommend buying them here as I think we've hit the highs of the year in them. I mean Ballard power up 125% in a week? And I'm suppose to buy that? Freaking boilerroom b.s. in my book.

MedicalQuack's picture

It's all about the models and yes I agree with much of what is said here, but we have the other side that has the tools to manipulate and move money.  We all read about the quants and their talent in what they do and they are not the big money winners, it's the front office folks.  Ask one and they will tell you that nerds are never in control. 

So  now the latest SAAS software is what I call Models Without Borders to where one can upload a spread sheet and create their own model and either give it away or sell it to others.  Ok, so where's the accuracy or validity?  Seems if you can soak enough folks with your marketing, they will buy it:)  Sure there will be a few good ones to come forward but I want to hear what the Quants who do this for a living have to say too, as this can be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands without making sure of accuracy, data, and a lot of other things. 


So I ask, is this the deal now?  Economist might even start using it, who knows as they need new tools, but again the same thing applies here with them being novices in the "model" area.  I said the odds of some good models will be right about the same percentage of start up companies that make it...I guess we shall see:)

sitenine's picture

Stupid article. There are VERY few 'good' or 'productive' people anymore. That generation no longer gives half a shit so long as their SS and pension checks are in the mail. You can't fix stupid, and it's NOT just the politicians who are stupid. This bullshit fantasy of raping the World's resources for the benefit of a few is OVER, so get over it and prepare to live with less. Conversely, you can cheer on the CBs, and fantasize about how ridiculously wealthy they are going to make us all. There's no middle ground here. The system is terminal! Can't be fixed! Shouldn't be fixed! There will NOT be good or productive people showing up until it is necessary for such mystical creatures to exist. BRING IT DOWN, BITCHEZZ!

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You know, its funny, years ago I wondered and toiled and studied, how will we save the world?

The answer was rather alarming, in that, the world in its current state does not deserve to be saved.

Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Yeah it is a compelling question everytime I ask myself it I keep coming back to one conclusion you can't help or save those that don't want to be saved. You have to answer the question why and then you might be able to fix the mess before it implodes. I think I have a good idea why and it is topic I touch a bit and so does ZH about information manipulation and manipulation in general clouding people's view of reality. It is like all the key choke points have been inflitrated by a bunch of grima wormtongue types poisoning minds with bullshit from every which direction that most the poor bastards don't have chance from the get go since they never get to see the other side of the fence and think abnormal is anything but. Diversity and perspective allows you to see things from different angles but like everything else in the fabian socialist inversion techniques they use it to clamp down on all diversity and perspectives except for the ones they want to be the narrative. Turn the ideas inside out to do the exact opposite to exert control over people.

Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island's picture

To say that the world isn't worth saving is giving up.  It's also wrong -- that is, if you believe in right or wrong.


 It's saying that if you had the chance to save it, you wouldn't because it's not worth it.

  You're lazy, and you gave up.


  You represent a darkness that I would hope most ZHers would not join.

sitenine's picture

Don't despair.  As it turns out, you are just simply missing the point. The World WILL NOT end if we decide to destroy this miserable ponzi. End the ponzi, and you SAVE the World.

azzhatter's picture

A lot of people spend all their time in a small circle of friends and don't even realize how bad it is out there. Most of america is clueless, spineless, fat, lazy and stupid, ignorant of what's going on, much less to what will happen to them. How else would you explain Facebook?

New American Revolution's picture

That's real interesting Dr. Zeus, but what is your end game?  We know the problem, but pray tell you have a solution to share, not suggested actions, but a real end game.   If you haven't got one, you can get one at www.electanewcongress.com.   The Declaration of American Liberty and the 2014 Congressional campaign HM 535 used in conjunction to achieve the end game of the total restoration of political Liberty in the daily operation of our government.  It's simple, quick, to the point, and works in all elections, it's catalyst effect rampant and immediate.  Unless of course you have other ideas, I mean, What's the frequency Kenneth?

e-recep's picture

the essay is full of emotion and lacks wisdom, intelligence and preparedness. it seems to be written by a complete rookie. you can't fight the rascals like that.

Fuku Ben's picture

Let the American proletariat eat cake

Catullus's picture

Greed isn't a base human emotion? I suppose envy isn't either. And neither is avarice. These are like suicide, which is an act, but like a thought. Whatever they're the same thing.

This entire essay needed to be put in front an editor. Meandering. Mindless. Contradicting from paragraph to paragraph. It's actually a great article to show that the IGAD crowd can't rub a cogent thought together. You can't identify a real problem.

The second thing is this adding "democratic" as an adjective to things as if this somehow holds a morally superior outcome. "democratic capitalism". WTF is that? Is that where we all agree to let each other deploy capital as the individual sees fit? Or is that too greedy? Or does it mean "we" decide how to deploy other people's capital? Or do "we" just steal people's capital that "we" determine doesn't deploy it to our liking and then deploy it for them? Because that's sounds a lot like "democratic" socialism.

Then this:

• Say “no” to debt servitude! If you cannot pay your debt, seek legal, political, and personal solutions. Community-organize to provide low or no cost legal bankruptcy protection. Work politically to get student loans to be dischargeable debt.

That's called stealing from people who loan you money. Basically, if you can't pay, get a bunch of other people to scream down the person you owe money. Fuck this guy. He's just another socialist pissed that he's not in power.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

If you were fraudulently induced into borrowing large sums of money, under the premise that you would be getting a 'valuable education' in return, then its odious debt, not 'stealing from people who loan you money'.

There is a difference.  A crucial one.  Its the difference between the housing bubble being the fault of poor folk, or the housing bubble being the fault of regulators and banks without lending standards.