Tess Vigeland: Most of us understand the importance of paying our debts -- on time and in full. But what if we didn't? Or I should say... what if we didn't have to?
Commentator Tim Bedore imagines a world in which debt is simply... wiped out.
Tim Bedore: The other day I heard an anthropologist saying that throughout history when there's a huge disparity, like we have today, between the money the rich have and the money the poor have, forgiving debt is the only way to get things back on track.
And even though I have no academic training in these matters, I want to weigh in and say, yes, he's right, let's get the world to agree to relieve all debt, all toxic assets are off the books, throw out those old spread sheets. And while this is unfair to frugal people like me, who played by the rules, to get our economy churning, we need a giant, worldwide do-over.
To help sell this to us frugal people who did not get underwater, we will be allowed to forcibly swap our houses for a bigger one with someone who did. I'm looking at a place on a nearby lake that the guy who invented the automatic breadmaker with an iPod docking station had to walk away from.
For, what is money? It's merely an agreement. A gallon of gas is worth X. A can of Coke is one-third X. As a comedian, I will tell X amount of jokes for X amount of money, because somewhere in the neighborhood of X makes it worth my while to leave my house. Money is not an arbitrary number, but it is certainly a ball park thing.
So, if money is a flexible concept, why can't we re-concept where it all is and start the game over again? Unlike Monopoly, our money should remain all one color. Otherwise, no one would take it seriously.
I know this sounds like absurd comic relief, but what I just said seems more like what we actually end up doing than anybody who went to lots of college and opines regularly on this stuff cares to admit -- except for that anthropologist and now me.