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We were drowning in in record levels of debt before the COVID-19 crisis, and we are now deluged in it. U.S. private-sector loans have tripled relative to income since 1950 – and government debt is also at an all-time high. Soaring debt burdens individuals, stifles growth, compounds inequality, and brings falling living standards for millions.
Richard Vague’s new book argues that, contrary to mainstream assumptions, we cannot simply hope that the trend will correct itself. Mounting debt is a feature of our economic system, not a bug: debts perpetually grow and compound, polarizing and impoverishing economies if not overtly dealt with. He offers a detailed plan for how we can restructure a range of debts – such as student loans, auto loans, medical debt and more – and offer hard-pressed debtors a ‘jubilee’ now, not in some utopian future.
Vague’s bold polemic contains a wealth of ideas that will free millions from modern-day debt peonage, reduce inequality and bring new vigor to the economy as it struggles to emerge from the pandemic.