President Obama’s recent announcement of plans for student loan forgiveness comes at an opportune time especially for those already embracing the models of Economics of Compassion. Indeed one of the Work Circles of the Economics of Compassion Initiative – the 2019 Jubilee Prophecy Project – invites the community to figure a path to forgive debts of the poor and needy in 2019.
Jubilee is of course a Hebrew Bible concept, a divine plan of alleviating the burden of debt every Jubilee year and thereby creating a just and plain ground for everyone. Just think of the young men and women who come out of college every year only to begin life with an enormous burden of student loans, which they have to pay for the rest of their working life.
As expected, notwithstanding expert opinion that student loan forgiveness would boost the economy, there are already nay sayers who are worried of government deficits. This is not surprising in our present economic narrative of deficiency and scarcity. It is the mindset that is driven by profits, accumulation, deprivation and exploitation.
It is what comes to mind when one reads the story of the feeding of the four, or five thousand, in the New Testament. According to Matthew 15:38 and Mark 8:9 four thousand (excluding women and children, per Matthew) were fed with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. Luke 9:13 and John 6:9-10 have about five thousand fed with five loaves and two fish. The figure four or five thousand is merely an estimate of what could have been ten thousand or even more.
Note also that in John, it was a boy who supplied the loaves. And yet, in all the accounts, the disciples look at the situation from the perspective of deficiency. It is typical of our economy model.
Yet, the moral story here is abundance: There is enough of everything. There is enough compassion, enough love, enough to eat. There is no doubt that all creation, the universe, is self-sustaining, meaning there is enough to go around. That is the model of Economics of Compassion as opposed to the economics of deficiency and scarcity.