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Published on Sep 19, 2011
DemocracyNow.org - As President Obama prepares to outline a deficit-reduction plan that includes tax increases, as well as cuts to programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, anthropologist David Graeber proposes a radical solution: cancel the debt of the nation's poor. "Debts between the very wealthy or between governments can always be renegotiated and always have been throughout world history. They are not anything set in stone," says Graeber, author of "Debt: The First 5,000 Years," on Democracy Now! today. "It's generally speaking when you have debts owed by the poor to the rich, debts becomes a sacred situation, more important than anything else. The idea of renegotiating them becomes unthinkable." On the Occupy Wall Street protest, Graeber says, "If you look at who showed up [in Egypt and Spain], it was mostly young people, and most of them were people who had gone through the educational system who were deeply in debt and who found it completely impossible to find jobs. ... The system has completely failed them ... If there's going to be any kind of society worth living in, we're going to have to create it ourselves."
For the complete transcript, to download the podcast, or for additional Democracy Now! reports about the U.S. financial crisis, visit http://www.democracynow.org/