Since ancient times, societies have tended to polarize between creditors and debtors, but this tendency can and must be reversed.

Historical documents from Sumer, Babylonia, Greece and Rome through Byzantium provide a solution. Rulers or civic authorities created countermeasures against this tendency in order to survive. Royal Clean Slate proclamations that canceled debts, liberated indebted bondservants, and returned land that had been forfeited to creditors or sold under duress (identical in wording to the Judaic Jubilee Year) saved societies from suffering population flight, defection to enemies, or domestic revolt.

In many old societies, debts were forgiven so that the people could continue to live fulfilling lives. We could do the same today with debt that shouldn’t exist in the first place, such as student debt or medical bills debt.

Source: Breaking the Chains of Debt: Lessons from Babylonia for Today’s Student Crisis – Inequality.org

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