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Making America Better

posted by Jason Kilborn

Thanks to Bob for the very kind introduction, and thanks to the entire Credit Slips group for inviting me to be a guest on their great blog!  I am thrilled to have been invited to share my thoughts on the topics that interest me most:  why and how consumers worldwide are running into trouble with too much debt, and how more and more countries are implementing legal responses to this problem.

Though the most recent issue of U.S. News has gotten all the attention, the March 26 issue ran under a cover story that sums up my academic agenda:  Making America Better.  It presented 30 examples of "How They Do It Better"; that is, initiatives from outside the United States that countries had undertaken to make their societies more efficient, more productive, more humane, or just more comfortable.  While differences among our societies might make U.S. soil less fertile for similar initiatives--an issue that sensitive comparison always must bear in mind--recent years have seen a variety of parallel developments in consumer credit and debt relief in particular from which the United States and other countries can learn from mutual experience (both good and bad).

I really look forward to sharing some thoughts this week on a few areas where the United States might draw from the well of international ideas to make our consumer credit and debt relief systems--or at least our thinking about these systems--better.


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