Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: Book Club, Session 4

Debtors have been mocked, scolded and lied to for decades. We have been told that it is perfectly normal to go into debt to get medical care, to go to school, or even to pay for our own incarceration. We’ve been told there is no way to change an economy that pushes the majority of people into debt while a small minority hoard wealth and power. 

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed that mass indebtedness and extreme inequality are a political choice. In the early days of the crisis, elected officials drew up plans to spend trillions of dollars. The only question was: where would the money go and who would benefit from the bailout? 

The truth is that there has never been a lack of money for things like housing, education and health care. Millions of people never needed to be forced into debt for those things in the first place. 

Armed with this knowledge, a militant debtors movement has the potential to rewrite the contract and assure that no one has to mortgage their future to survive.

You are invited to join our Debt Collective Book Club where we will explore these topics as we read Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: The Case for Economic Disobedience and Debt Abolition. Reading schedule is below.

Week 1 (May 18): 

  • Foreword 
  • Introduction: We Own the Bank 

Week 2 (May 25): 

  • Chapter 1: You Are Not a Loan: Recognizing Our Power in the Age of Debt 
  • Chapter 2; How Did We Get Here?: Financialization from Haiti to the Household

Week 3 (June 1): 

  • Chapter 3: Debt Strike: Cities, Countries, Empires 
  • Chapter 4: Disrupting Dystopia: Algorithmic Extraction and Digital Redlining 

Week 4 (June 8): 

  • Chapter 5: The Future of Finance: Economic Disobedience and Reparative Public Goods