DON’T MAKE ANOTHER PAYMENT TO A BANK OR CREDIT CARD
How much money do banks or credit card companies say you owe them? How much of that debt did you accrue buying things you think should be available to everyone, like housing, health care or education? How much happier and healthier would you, your family, and your community be if you didn’t have to make those monthly payments? How much better would society be if it wasn’t structured around a debt game, where there are winners and losers, and the losers don’t always get to eat? What if instead we worked together to take care of each other and meet all our needs cooperatively?
They might tell you this idea is a fantasy, but it’s your debts that are the fantasy, manufactured out of a few numbers in a computer somewhere. The same goes for the credit rating that they threaten to lower if you don’t pay. It’s a game of make believe we have all been tricked into playing.
Yet we can stop playing their debt game anytime. We just have to do it together. Simply stop making payments to all the institutions that say you owe them money; if we all stop paying them together, then the game is over.
When you stop paying, you might want to send a letter explaining why. To the right is an example letter that you can use, modify or ignore as you wish. If you want to stop the debt game, we suggest you reproduce this flier and letter to share with your friends and neighbors.
THEY ONLY HAVE THE POWER YOUR MONEY GIVES THEM: JUST STOP PAYING
I am writing to let you know that I will no longer be making payments for the debts you think that I owe. It is not simply that I do not have the money to pay: I no longer recognize your right to demand anything from me. I have also realized that giving money to you would not serve my health or happiness, or that of my family, my community, humanity, or the planet.
I admit that you had me fooled for a while. There were moments when I actually allowed myself to think that a credit score had something to do with my value as a human being. I guess it was all those shiny possessions flashed in front of me that clouded my vision: SUV’s, cell phones, personal computers, boats, and big new homes with two car garages. When I thought that I could easily have those things, I didn’t see that your debt game inherently involved winners and losers. I didn’t realize then that having a lot of toys requires ecological devastation and increased impoverishment and misery for poorer countries and poor communities in my own country.
But now the chickens have come home to roost. I see now that it’s both morally wrong and downright unenjoyable to live in a society based completely on a game where there are winners and losers, and the losers don’t get access to food, shelter, or health care.
I won’t play your debt game anymore. The money you think people owe you is a fantasy. And the sooner the human race stops believing that fantasy, and playing that game, the sooner we can get down to the more important business of building a world where everyone has access to food, shelter, health care, education, meaningful work, and human dignity. To this end, I am not going to give you my money anymore – and I am not the only one.
To the individuals who will read this letter: because you are people with the same basic human needs and the same capacity for sadness and joy as myself, I invite you to join me in ending the debt game and creating a beautiful new world. At the same time I warn you that I, and everyone who stands with me, will not be satisfied until the institution you serve is totally and permanently abolished.