As a young person with inherited wealth who is public about my identity, sometimes my friends will ask me for a gift or for a loan. I don’t always say yes, but when I do lend money, I don’t charge interest. This comic makes a case for people with more than enough financial wealth to lend money without charging interest. It opens lots of questions and provides some possible answers. I’m still collecting ideas and frameworks and facts and feelings about making 0% interest loans and am open to dialogue, please email me.
About Kate Poole
Kate Poole is a leader of Regenerative Finance, a collective of young people with wealth working to shift control of capital to communities most affected by racial, economic and climate injustices. Regenerative Finance is framing investments as reparations, moving investors to shift both capital and power to radically-inclusive, non-extractive, community-controlled funds. Kate is also a member-leader of Resource Generation, working with the Philadelphia chapter to redistribute land, wealth and power. Kate creates comics and zines about Buddhist economics, Jewish economics, racial justice and wealth redistribution, and the intersection of economic and spiritual practice. You can read more of her comics at comicsbykate.com.
I really liked the cartoon and thought the interest-free loan idea was a great one. Many working class people operate that way–a loan is paid back exactly as it was incurred without thought of interest, so in that way, you are participating in a working-class practice and making it a cross-class practice. Sometimes my loans don’t get paid back. When that happens, I look around at what the person spent money on and whether it seems reasonable that he/she could have paid me back before say, buying a gazebo. It takes a lot of discernment. Sometimes I can see that I’m being codependent by continuing to fund someone who’s irresponsible. Other times, my loan turns into a gift since I don’t need the money to live on, and I feel good to be able to help others in need.
Will Szal says
This is awesome Kate! Beautify illustrations too.
My favorite resource on this subject is David Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years,” [which I’m guessing you’ve read].
As I’ve mentioned before, I also like to point out that when we lend money, it’s not as though we get the same money back. It’s an indicator of our psychosis and unconsciousness surrounding money that we’re usually not aware of this. It’s different money from different people, so getting a certain amount back is totally arbitrary. Some people use revenue share models or other systems [although you still need to decide how and when such systems taper off]. I think one of the major degenerative aspects of money is when we try to equate it with anything not money. Because any time you simplify something from reality down to an abstract figure you’re losing something, and pushing those things into become commodities.
Most great wealth was not earned by those who own it, anyway. It was historically stolen in various ways. Pure theft, extortion, ruthless exploitation, very cheap labour, very sharp banking practises, etc. Not to mention land grabbing.
We’ve had redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the richest for 40 years or so. Time to redistribute wealth when earned from the richest to everyone else. How? End the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, and have a living minimum wage. The American style neo liberal economy just doesn’t work.