ICBC could withold licence for outstanding court fines, student loans in default

The [BC] provincial government has introduced legislation to expand ICBC’s ability to refuse driver’s licences to those in debt.

The insurance company is already able to withhold licences from people who owe money, such as toll fees, but the new bill — if passed — would affect people with outstanding court fines or student loans in default.

Zachary Crispin, the chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students B.C., said the proposed change is troubling.

"Missing a student loan payment, or paying late, might warrant a telephone call, but certainly not the loss of your driver’s licence," he said.

Crispin said B.C. charges the highest rate of interest on student loans of any province, and according to the government’s own figures, half of all B.C. graduates leave school in debt.

He called the proposed legislation both unhelpful and unnecessary.
"If we take away people’s driver’s licences because they’re having a hard time paying back their student loan, they’re going to lose their jobs. And that means they’re going to default more often," he said.

"So the government is essentially ensuring that people are going to lose their jobs, because they’re already having a hard time paying down their student debt."

The province said it will give people 30 days’ notice before getting ICBCinvolved, after warning letters have been sent and debtors have had time to comply voluntarily.

Here Is What Americans Spent Their "Gas Savings" On

Last quarter, in “This Is What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q4" we showed that according to the first estimate of Q4 GDP data, the American consumer spent a whopping $20.4 billion in nominal dollars on healthcare, which also resulted in the biggest consumption contribution to GDP in years.

Today, following the first revision of consumer spending, we learn that in the fourth quarter Americans spent even more on healthcare, pushing the total up by $1 billion more, to a whopping $21.4 Bn, or 18% of all spending on goods and services in Q4.

This upward revision on healthcare, of which Obamacare was the primary source of mandatory spending, takes places even as the bulk of the key spending line items were revised lower following the revision.

In any event, the math is clear - the next time anyone asks you what Americans spent their so-called “gas savings” on in Q4, and why retail sales in the end of 2014 (and the start of 2015) were so weak, show them this chart.

Croatia is canceling the debt of 60,000 of its poorest citizens 

For most of the poor, debt is debilitating. When the cost of living consistently outpaces what one makes for a living, attempting to pay off debts is as demoralizing as it is financially punishing.

Under Croatia’s new “Fresh Start” program, about 60,000 citizens are eligible to have their debts canceled and their bank accounts unfrozen.

The U.S. would never even consider a plan like this.



My name is Alexis. In the photo that’s me and my mum.

My parents split up in september 2012, since then things have not been going too well. Recently my father has gone bankrupt due to being too far gone in debt, thus not being able to pay me and my mother much money every week to give us enough to pay for our animals, vet bills etc. Last week my dad said he will soon no longer be paying my schools bills which are extremely price-y.

We, of course, do not have the money to pay these bills as my mum is only a cleaner, however she is studying a course for Equine Massages so we can get more income, and I myself can not get a job as I have no resume and I’m only 15 in May this year.

We recently found out I have astigmatism, which is an optical defect in the eye because the optics of my eyes can not focus a point object onto a sharp focused image on the retina. This makes it extremely hard for me to focus my eyes in class and read simple work. I need glasses but we currently can not afford them and it could be months before I do get them, which is not helping with my studies.

We have also been told that we could be kicked out of our house any day because we don’t have the money to make repayments. We haven’t made one since August 2014.

So, the point I’m trying to get across is we desperately need money to help both me and my mum get on in our lives. Any donation counts.



From the article:

Starting Monday, thousands of Croatia’s poorest citizens will benefit from an unusual gift: They will have their debts wiped out. Named “fresh start,” the government scheme aims to help some of the 317,000 Croatians whose bank accounts have been blocked due to their debts. 

Given that Croatia is a relatively small Mediterranean country of only 4.4 million inhabitants, the number of indebted citizens is significant and has become a major economic burden for the country. After six years of recession, growth predictions for Croatia’s economy remain low for this year.

“We assess that this measure will be applicable to some 60,000 citizens,” Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opacic was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Thus they will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt,” Opacic said earlier this month. … Although the program is expected to cost between 210 million and 2.1 billion Croatian kuna ($31 million and $300 million), according to conflicting reports by Austrian press agency APA and Reuters, the Croatian government expects economic long-term benefits that will outweigh the short-term investment. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has convinced multiple cities, public and private companies, the country’s major telecommunications providers, as well as nine banks to clear some of their citizens of their debt. The government will not refund the companies for their losses.

Read More.

Credit makes you free! Neoliberalism, politics of debt and the subjugation of the working poor.

Under the rubric of ‘financial inclusion’, lending to the poor – in both the global North and global South – has become a highly lucrative and rapidly expanding industry since the 1990s. A key inquiry of Susanne Soederberg’s penetrating and original book Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry: Money, Discipline and the Surplus Population is what is ‘the financial’ in which the poor are so kindly asked to join. 

Refuting the mainstream position that financial inclusion is a natural, inevitable and mutually beneficial arrangement, Soederberg convincingly argues that the structural violence inherent to neoliberalism and credit-led accumulation have created and normalized a reality in which the working poor can no longer afford to live without expensive credit. Credit is an instrument of capital accumulation, class regulation, and symbolic subjugation. The book transcends economic treatments of credit and debt by revealing how the poverty industry is extricably linked to the social power of money, the paradoxes in credit-led accumulation, and ‘debtfarism’. The latter refers to rhetorical and regulatory forms of governance that mediate and facilitate the expansion of the poverty industry and the reliance of the poor on credit to augment/replace their wages.
Through a historically grounded analysis, the author examines various dimensions of the poverty industry as well as the machinery that combines the poverty industry and the state, ranging from the credit card, payday loan, and student loan industries in the United States to micro-lending and low-income housing finance industries in Mexico. Providing a much-needed theorization of the politics of debt, Debtfare States and the Poverty Industry is a timely and stimulative contribution to the scientific and civic reevaluation of the role of finance in the workings of neoliberalism as a distinctive form of rule.


Warrior Culture : US Veteran

We are the unwanted, doing the unthinkable, for the ungrateful, often sacrificed, rarely thanked, we are the tip of the spear, and we would do it all again. We have fought for you in every climb and place, but we need you to fight for us, here and now.

Our culture teaches us about shame- it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren’t born craving perfect bodies. We weren’t born afraid to tell our stories. We weren’t born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren’t born with a Pottery Barn catalog in one hand and heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us- from the messages and expectations of our culture. What comes from the inside of us is a very human need to belong, to relate.
—  Brene Brown