Manufacturing perfect Debtors: a comment on the Debt Industries

The growing issue of personal debt the so-called debt crisis is more and more being represented as an issue of individual financial capability and responsibility. Problems of personal debt are constructed as something that can be remedied through improved access to financial management education and by householders taking responsibility for their money. This ignores the impact of wider social issues. The ‘debt crisis’ cannot be understood without also taking account of stagnating wages, financial deregulation and changes in the international labour market. The emphasis on increased individual responsibility and improved individual financial management create a situation where policy makers implore people to ‘spend smarter’, when it is a lack of money, not a lack of acumen that is the problem. Framing the ‘debt crisis’ in this way means that the wrong solutions are offered for the wrong problems, with the real problems largely ignored.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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