Anti-black Friday ideas? (#OWS)
I’m trying to put together a post with good suggestions for what to do on Black Friday that would not include standing in line waiting for stores to open.
Speaking as a mother of 3 smallish kids, I don’t get the present-buying frenzy thing, and it honestly seems as bad as any other addiction this country has gotten itself into. In my opinion, we’d all be better off if pot were legalized country-wide but certain categories of plastic purchases were legal only through doctor’s orders.
One idea I had: instead of buying things your family and loved ones don’t need, help people get out of debt by donating to the Rolling Jubilee. I discussed this yesterday in the #OWS Alternative Banking meeting, it’s an awesome project.
Unfortunately you can’t choose whose debt you’re buying (yet) or even what kind of debt (medical or credit card etc.) but it still is an act of kindness and generosity (towards a stranger).
It begs the question, though, why can’t we buy the debt of people we know and love and who are in deep debt problems? Why is it that debt collectors can buy this stuff but consumers can’t?
In a certain sense we can buy our own debt, actually, by negotiating directly with debt-collectors when they call us. But if a debt-collector offers to let you pay 70 cents on the dollar, it probably means he or she bought it at 20 cents on the dollar; they pay themselves and their expenses (the daily harassing phone calls) with the margin, plus they buy a bunch of peoples’ debts and only actually successfully scare some of them into paying anything.
Question for readers:
- Is there a way to get a reasonable price on someone’s debt, i.e. closer to the 20 cents figure? This may require understanding the consumer debt market really well, which I don’t.
- Are there other good alternatives to participating in Black Friday?