This thread should probably be moved to Random Discussion.
But anyway, I'm glad you brought up the show. I did enjoy the episode and remain hopeful (but somewhat skeptical) that it turns out to be a good show, however I found the parts where they are talking about eradicating debt for the good of the regular people so incredibly frustrating and naive (as well as how the anti-corporatist slant of the show often seemed to instead devolve into anti-capitalism).
First, these are contracts entered into by consenting informed adults, so how is it morally justified to say they shouldn't have to pay anymore simply because it has become more of a struggle than they anticipated.
Second, having the option
to go into debt is a fantastic thing. What would a world look like where people were too afraid to enter into such financial contracts (say because they were too afraid of the risk that hackers would be capable of completely erasing all credible information that the parties had entered into such a contract in the first place)? You might no longer be able to live in a house until decades later when you could actually afford to purchase it in full, but hey at least you would be able to die with a larger net worth because of all the interest you avoided paying
. But with loans, you can live in that house earlier when it matters more (like when you can enjoy it more, or the bigger size is important to provide room for the children) at the cost of dying with a smaller net worth. Parent/grandparents giving their inheritance to their kids/grandkids can help smooth this out without debt, but people shouldn't have to be so dependent on that generosity (or just the financial ability of their parents/grandparents) to be able to have a good life. It is even more problematic when you look at high cost of certain goods/services that are an investment into ones' future income earning potential, such as a college education or a even just a car to drive to work. Those that cannot get loans to get an education or a vehicle will be more likely to be trapped in a low-wage job from a limited selection pool (since their ability to reach other potentially more profitable job opportunities would be limited by lack of adequate transportation or lack of qualification). And this isn't even mentioning how businesses would be negatively affected without the ability to go into debt to get funding to grow their business.
Third, there is another human being on the other side of that contract even if there are a lot of intermediaries in the form of the big bad corporation
in between. So what about the regular households that will for example lose their retirement funds if all the other households could just stop paying their mortgage and college loans?
Fourth, I find it funny that their plan is to try to destroy financial records to put people on a more equal playing field. Putting aside the practical difficulty of the task (especially destroying offline backups), I just find the whole thing to be a bit ironic. Although I don't think Bitcoin was mentioned in the pilot episode, the lead character seems like the kind of person that would support Bitcoin and blockchain technology. But blockchain technology is exactly what would significantly reduce the risk of losing these important financial records from hacks or cyber attacks. The immutable nature of the blockchain and the fact that it is distributed to many different computers that are part of a decentralized network means that their grand plan would be considerably more difficult than it already is if they lived in a world where all financial instruments (such as loans) were recorded on a global decentralized blockchain.
But again, with that all said, it still looks like it can be an entertaining show. Also, I like how the hacking on the show is far more believable than most other Hollywood movies