Tag Archives: medicaldebt

Freedom Fridays and a talk handout on debt remission for justice?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As the descendant of slaves who are often presumed to have had less difficulty than others, due to our light complexion, I look at various ways to handle inter-generational wealth, or the lack thereof, and I wonder how to adjust our need for Truth, Reconciliation and restitution to take into account the realities of the various levels of access to resources that different groups of people had (or didn’t have). Racism had its effects, and debt-build up did too, for all poor people.

The ability to build up wealth and pass that on to one’s children requires a fair judicial system that allows one to both build and keep wealth, and then to keep that wealth within a family group safely. Unlike, say, Tulsa, OK in 1921, or many other cases of murder for Black wealth. In studying the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 15, I noticed that the Bible also has much to say about helping people build and keep their wealth.

First, a fair judicial system is a must.

Second, debts cannot be allowed to build up to far for too long.

From a class I taught in DC, in 2012.  (pdf DCBM20AugustReehClass here…)

Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 20 August 2012, Parashat Shoftim
Community is built pillar by pillar, and one of those pillars, as we see this week in this
week´s Parashah, Parashat Shoftim, is having a judiciary system which is fair and
impartial, handing down rules which are applied equally under law, yet expansive enough
to make exemptions when necessary (for instance, in the 6th aliyah, where newlyweds,
conscientious objectors and other young men are excused from going to war).
▪ Na’aseh ve Nishmah: {Laws = formal rules; Minhagim = informal
norms} Shoftim
▪ Rewards and consequences of unity and cooperation vs. separation from
the community: {holding the mountain over our heads} Shavuot
▪ Consensus based buy in from all of the people: {Every Jewish Neshamah
was there}
▪ Intergenerational endurance: {“Na’aseh ve Nishmah”} Parashat Re´eh
Some sources of each of the four pillars where discussed in last year´s Shavuot class,
notes for which are available upon request. We will focus today on the 4th pillar, from
Parashat Re´eh, that of Intergenerational endurance.
One major prerequisite for building lasting community is solving the problem of
short-term insolvency, and also preventing long-term building up of, as the Etz Haim
commentary on this parashah puts it, “a permanent underclass” of impoverished members
of the community. The Biblical mechanism for this is a regular Remission of Debt,
which is commanded Dvarim ch. 15.
Every seven years loans are forgiven
Loans, we learned earlier in Bahar, Lev. 25, must be made interest free to fellow Jews
An interesting repetition in Devarim 15:8 -openly open your hand to him
Why the redundancy? There are two sides to giving a loan
1. Short term financial help
2. long term community responsibility to
a. help the person make a sustainable living
b. create equitable structures that prevent neediness
Loan forgiveness and lending are short term solutions
Structural equity is the long term solution
Time Banking is one example of part of that long term solution
1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time adn withdraw that time later, it gives along term
incentive for each person to contribute to the community and have that time valued and
recognized by the community.
4. over time this strengthens individuals and communities
Thus lending is short term, while Time Banks is part of Teachng a man to fish and
feeding him for a lifetime.
Community and the building of community solidly at the center of Jewish practice.
Chodesh Tov L´Elul, and Gamar Chatima Tovah, posted Teach !   ShiraDest, 8 March, 12016 HE,
Shira Destinie Jones, Mphil, DC “Community Cooperation” Singing Tour Guide

So, it turns out that 1.) debt forgiveness is an old idea, and 2.) a fair judicial system is related to debt, both short and long-term, and all three need to be considered together as part of an inter-related justice system.  Today, the criminal justice system adds to the debt of many people who were incarcerated rather than educated, and even more people, White and Black, suffer from lack of learning via default judgements on Expired Debts (debts past their Statutes of Limitations, or SoL), and medical or health-care related debt (another reason that Europe has higher upward mobility than the USA).

More on my continuing striving with justice, both judicial and economic, next time:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “Never Again” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!


Preptober (October, Prep for NaNoWriMo!)

2020 CE, which is 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)


Moody Mondays: Take the Metro, or Take the Debt? Ir en Metro, o en Deuda?

Click here for English & Action Items (below Spanish)…

“ -Fuera lo espera un chófer con un coche oficial.

Prefiero ir en metro. ”

Como el subsecretario Salvador Martí del Ministerio del Tiempo, ojala que habîan màs funcionarios que nos darîan el buen ejemplo de usar los transportes publicos. A menudo, la falta de transporte publico llega hasta faltar las citas medicas y legales, con consequencia de perder los procesos judiciales que no han de perder, si la persona endeudada hubiera podido llegar a la corte para defender sus derechos.

A corto plazo, otros estados de los EEUU podrîan seguir el ejemplo del estado de Maryland, que ha prohibido las acciónes civiles por parte de colectores de deudas ya pasado la fecha limite segûn el tipo de deuda. Mientras tanto, a largo plazo, reconstruimos nuestra estructura economica para crear la igualdad en vez de crear la pobreza. Los dos puntos de vista, corto y largo plazo, nos urge.

“ -An official car and choffeur are waiting for you outside
-Thank you.
I prefer to take the Metro.”

Would that more of our public officials, like subsecretary Salvador Marti of The Ministry of Time, set the example of using public transportation in our modern day real life.  Mass transit is a crucial part of society’s infrastructure, allowing equal access to transport, and also moving people more efficiently on the roads or rails, while keeping down pollution, two key ways of reducing the background stressors that make it harder for citizens to take active part in the governing process of our democracies.  Lack of transportation also often leads, directly or indirectly, to default judgement on an expired debt which could have been avoided, had the debtor been able to defend in court.  After all, we no longer have debtor’s prisons, as they did in the time of my Work In Progress (or do we?).

Over the short-term, states could follow the example of Maryland, and prohibit lawsuits on all expired debts, while also rebuilding our economic structures to create equity rather than poverty, over the long-term. Both short-term and long-term approaches are needed, urgently.

Action Items:

1.)    Just look up the public transportation options available in your area.

2.)     Try riding them, if you can.

3.)      Look up times and locations for your local Transit Board meetings.

4.)       Ask your local law-makers to put in Light Rail stops to your local airport(s).

Quotes for an earlier important debt-related post came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker.

Let’s #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail and support these four key parts of our #PublicDomainInfrastructure:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19

September, 12020 HE

Paran yok mu? Tutsağı olabilir… No money for Medical Bills? You could be jailed…

Click here for English…

“ -Ne olacak şimdi peki? ”

Nazlı, Yunanistan’a uygun visa’le olmadan için tutsağı oldu, ama aynı şey bir ABD vatandaşı başına gelebilir…

“ -Well, now what’s going to happen? ”

Nazlı is behind bars for arriving in Greece without the proper paperwork, but the same thing can happen to a US citizen in many states for also not having the proper paperwork: debt caused by lack of healthcare, for instance. In both cases, putting a person who has not been convicted of a crime behind bars can result from simply not having enough money to pay medical bills, leading to a worsening spiral of debt which affects us all. The simplest solutions would be to halt the practice of Body Attachment, in the short-term, and enact a Single Payer System of Universal Healthcare in the longer term. The first requires action on a state-by-state basis, at least at the moment. Both short-term and long-term approaches are needed, immediately.

Read, Write, Dream, Walk !


20 April, 12018 HE