Dignity Not Debt: A Conversation with Chrystin Ondersma on Financial Insecurity

G12, University House, Birmingham Business School, Online
Monday 1 July 2024 (16:00-17:30)

Helen Harris: chasm@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Join us for a conversation with Professor Chrystin Ondersma (Rutgers University) on American household debt from her new book Dignity Not Debt: An Abolitionist Approach to Economic Justice published by University of California Press

American households have a debt problem. The problem is not, as often claimed, that Americans recklessly take on too much debt. The problem is that US debt policies have no basis in reality. In her book Ondersma debunks the myths that have long governed debt policy, like the belief that debt leads to prosperity or the claim that bad debt is the result of bad choices. In place of these stale narratives, Ondersma offers a flexible and reality-based taxonomy rooted in the internationally recognized principle of human dignity. The promise is that these new categories of debt—grounded in abolitionist principles— will revolutionize how policymakers are able to think about debt, both in the US and elsewhere.

Discussant: Joy Malala (Warwick University), Chair: Lorenza Antonucci (University of Birmingham).