Our goal with this project is to inspire. The Arab Spring inspired all of us. This graphic was inspired by a chant which rang through the streets of Cairo during the first anniversary of the uprising. The artist brought the chant home to remind everyone that all it takes is a spark, belief and a communal spirit to change our world.
We read that the British anti-hunger organization, Oxfam, had released a report saying that the wealthiest 100 people in the world made enough money last year to eliminate extreme poverty in the world four times – that means a quarter of the money they made in one year could wipe out all the poverty in the world. This is truly an astounding statistic, especially at this time when we’re seeing deep cuts to the fragile safety net that so many in this country and other countries depend on for survival. We live in a time when scarcity is taken for granted, but the only real scarcity is of compassion.
We can’t wait for these billionaires to decide that they want to give enough of their wealth to charity to eliminate unnecessary suffering. They won’t do it. Most of this money came from other people’s labor. The people have a right to it, and taxation is the answer.
The Oxfam press release calls for:
- a reversal of the trend towards more regressive forms of taxation;
- a global minimum corporation tax rate;
- measures to boost wages compared with returns available to capital;
- increased investment in free public services and safety nets.
Rolling Jubilee is a bailout of the people by the people
To quote their website:
“Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.”
Since announcing themselves in November, Rolling Jubilee has raised over half a million dollars! to eradicate over $11 million of debt. This really shows what the people can do when we take matters into our own hands. It also makes it clear that the banks could easily reduce people’s debt without losing any profits, or probably make more profit, but they won’t do it.
BAAQUP was inspired by this brilliant initiative, and since our goal is to inspire others by letting you know about the projects that inspire us, we decided to give RJ a shout out. When we started working on the design, the amount of debt they had erased was under $5 million; by the time we were ready to install it (and our production timeline is pretty short), they had already doubled it! Hence, we updated it by hand. These have been installed in Berkeley and San Francisco.
Your donation of $50 to RJ can eliminate $1,000 of debt for someone who is suffering. Could even be someone you know! Visit their website to learn more and see how you can help.