Although all of this is set out in the white paper, I thought it would help to go through parts of it and see if you agree.
So the starting point is that debt is a bad thing – not just for individuals but also for countries and ultimately the world as a whole.
Lets start with countries and I have highlighted Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and also Highly Indebted Rich Countries (HIRC); but there may be other countries where debt is a problem – China for example is laden with debt – money owed to its citizens, rather than by it – and it seems that may be stifling its economy.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign and associated organisations have been campaigning since the mid 1990s to get debt waived for countries who are paying so much in debt repayments that they cannot afford basic services such as health care and education. Many of the debts themselves have been categorised as “unfair” because of the way they were incurred either on the lifestyle of the country’s leader or on “vanity projects” which whilst they exist were not a high priority for the country (such as palaces and infrastructure).
This sort of debt is a bad thing and the world has agreed to waive debt after agreeing suitable criteria for determining whether it is right to waive the debt.
The question is whether that is sufficient reason for outlawing all debt or whether an alternative solution would mean we can avoid these sorts of bad debts in the future. My argument is that when added to the debts of impoverished rich countries and what happens when personal debt becomes national debt that we cannot manage debt well enough and the right answer is to outlaw it all.