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Debt Jubilee
The history of debt cancellation and Jesus's economic justice activism 
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Left Out, a podcast produced by Paul Sliker, Michael Palmieri, and Dante Dallavalle, creates in-depth conversations with the most interesting political thinkers, heterodox economists, and organizers on the Left.

The Hudson Report is a new weekly series produced by Left Out with the legendary economist Michael Hudson. Every episode we cover an economic or political issue that is either being ignored—or hotly debated—that week in the press.

In this episode we discuss the ancient history of debt cancellation, the untold life of Jesus as an economic justice activist, and more largely Professor Hudson’s forthcoming book, “…and forgive them their debts,” out in summer 2018.

Michael Palmieri: Professor Michael Hudson welcome back to another episode of The Hudson Report.

Michael Hudson: It’s good to be back here.

Michael Palmieri: I know we usually cover topical or current event that’s been either ignored or hotly debated in the weekly news cycle. But I thought it would be much more interesting this week to talk about your forthcoming book “…and forgive them their debts credit and redemption through the Bronze Age to the Jubilee Year” scheduled to be released early summer 2018. And I thought it was interesting in two ways, one–Easter’s three weeks passed and yet a lot of your work is centered around Christianity and the life and activism of Jesus. The second reason is that you’ll be leaving for the next few weeks to teach at Peking University in China.

But can you explain or maybe give a little bit of a summary as to what the book looks at and describe it. I know it’s focused on the origins of debt and debt forgiveness. But can you elaborate a bit more?

Michael Hudson: It’s a history of the origins of interest bearing debt – the origins of interest and Sumer in the third millennium BC, in an epoch when most debts were owed to the palace, either for taxes or for fees for services. Periodically for a thousand years, from Sumer, Babylonia, and other Near Eastern countries, when new rulers took the throne, they would begin their reign with a debt amnesty.

We’re familiar since medieval times for European rulers often freeing the prisoners when they came to power. But the amnesties in Sumer and Babylonia extended to everything that was owed to the palace. They were general cancellations of personal debts, mainly agrarian debts by cultivators – citizens who also manned the military.

The idea was to restore the economy to the stability that existed before widespread debts ran up during the preceding ruler’s reign. What was “restored” was an idealized “original” or “normal” state in which nobody owed debts to the palace.

These debt remissions extended in due course to debts owed to palace collectors – and, by Babylonian times (from about 2000 to 1600 BC), to debts owed to individual creditors. Most agrarian and personal debts were cancelled, but not debts among businessmen that were owed to each other. They were left in place.

The guiding logic of these debt cancellations was spelled out by Egyptians. If rulers had not cancelled these debts, they would have faced a situation in which indebted cultivators were falling into permanent bondage. Their labor would have been pledged to their creditors, and thus would not be available to perform the corvée labor that had to be mobilized each year to build basic infrastructure – walls, temples, palaces and other basic construction that was public or communal in character.

Also if the debtors on the land had to pay private creditors, they wouldn’t be able to pay their stipulated fees or taxes run up to the palace. So for two thousand years throughout the Bronze Age (circa 3200 to 1200 BC), there was a tension between the rulers and the emergence of a private wealthy class of creditors who used their money to try to become landowners. By about 1800 BC you had cultivators pledging their land to creditors and losing it. You begin to find large aggregations of landholdings, all at the expense of palace authority and its ability to levy taxes on labor, crops or money.

The big picture therefore is that for thousands of years you have a tension between centralized authority, which needed to preserve economic balance and wanted the population (and hence, the army) to keep growing, and wealthy creditors, traders and land buyers who made gains by impoverishing the rest of the population. That was the same dynamic found in early Greece and Rome. In fact, it’s a dynamic that you still have today.

The difference is that today’s governments have been taken over and captured by creditor interests. The result is that today’s ethic is the opposite of the first few thousand years of debt. Today’s ethic, ever since Rome, is a sanctity of debt, not of its cancellation. All debts have to be paid – regardless of how this may impoverish and polarize society.

But in Sumer, Babylonia, Egypt and the Biblical lands there was a royal understanding that if poor cultivators – the 99 percent – had to pay the debts that they ran up, they would fall into bondage to the 1 percent, and forfeit their land to their creditors. Rulers sought to prevent this from happening, because if they had not intervened, they would have a citizenry available to serve in the army. They wouldn’t have taxes. They would have had a kind of Margaret Thatcher type economy – and quickly been conquered by outsiders or overthrown from within.

Michael Palmieri: This gets us to where we began in the first episode of The Hudson Report. We spoke about the ACLU report called ‘A Pound of Flesh,’ about the “modern-day debtors’ prisons” that are beginning to pop up throughout society.

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: Shakespeare’s famous “pound of flesh” owed by the Merchant of Venice actually was a zero interest loan. So debt problems arose even before interest came to be charged. But obviously, once you begin to charge interest, debt expands exponentially at a geometric rate. Babylonian scribes were taught to calculate these doubling times. So one of the aims of my book is to explain how interest began.

There’s no question that when it began, the objective was not to find a way to impoverish society, polarize it and impose austerity. But that’s how matters ended up. Interest was innovated in the Sumerian temples and palaces, basically in the form of trade credit. The palace consigned export and import trade to entrepreneurs. Sumer – present-day Iraq – had very rich soil, deposited by rivers over the millennia. But it didn’t have hard stone, metal or gems. So Sumer had to trade in order to get the copper and tin that gave their name to the Bronze Age.

This trade had to be financed on credit. The palace and the temples employed war widows, children, the blind and other people who couldn’t make a go of things on the land. They were set to work to weave textiles or make other handicrafts, which were turned over to traders. These traders exported these handicrafts northwest to Turkey and eastward across the Iranian plateau. That’s how the Sumerians obtained the tin, copper and other raw materials, like stone and silver.

There was a transmutation of this practice of charging interest to creditors to merchants who could pay. Interest began to be charged on debts in general, including advances of fees owed to the palace by cultivators on the land. That’s where problems arose, especially when there was a crop failure or when members of a family got sick.

Most of these debtors didn’t actually borrow money. They simply ran up debts and arrears. Most debts thus did not result from loans, but were unpaid bills, headed by those that were owed to the palace or its collectors.

It was this debt that led to the designation of some basic commodities as “money,” assigned fixed prices so as to pay the palace. (My website has a recent dictionary entry on early money stemming from these debts owed to the palace, not from barter.) So you had debt and credit before you had money.

Here’s how the system worked. Archaic economies were credit economies. The palace advanced land to sharecroppers, as well as draught animals and various services. These rural deaths were supposed to be paid at the end of the harvesting season. We have tens of thousands of contracts outlining this. The debts had to be paid on the threshing floor.

Let’s say you were a cultivator and wanted to go out to the local alehouse for a beer. The ale lady would mark up the amount of money that you owed. Your bill (the tab) would be paid on the threshing floor. Everything was done by credit. Payment was once a season, on the threshing floor – unless there was a flood or crop failure. In such cases rulers cancelled debts that were owed. (In that case, the ale women would not owe the palace for the beer that had been advanced during the crop year.) So cancelling such debts was the way to preserve economic balance and stability.

Most of the earliest monetized transactions were public in character. So my book also is about the balance between the public sector and the private sector, although these terms are rather anachronistic. It was really the palace and the temples vis-a-vis the communally family-based economy at large.

Michael Palmieri: It seems like there’s a lot covered in the book and we’re looking forward to its release this summer.

I wanted talk a bit about the Biblical dynamics in your forthcoming book. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the life of Jesus and the way he’s portrayed today. But before we go into that, there’s a key point that you’ve brought up: the linguistic origins of the words “debt” and “sin,” and how understanding the connection can bring a different view to Christianity and Jesus’s teachings.

Michael Hudson: In almost ancient society – not only Indo-European speakers, but also Semitic-speaking and other ancient Near Eastern societies – the basic kind of debt that had be paid was wergild: a fine for injuring other people, paid to the victims. The largest fine was for manslaughter. Punching them in the nose, or cutting off their beard or insulting them was subject to such wergild debts.

The logic was explicit, and I cite it in my book. In order to prevent fights among families – feuds and feud justice based on physical retaliation – you would pay reparation. That was the primordial archaic debt. The word for these payments or “debt” in many languages (in German it’s Schuld for obligation) also became the word for “sin.” The debt was owed to atone for the offense or “sin” – atonement or redemption. You would redeem the injury you did to another person by paying money. So the paramount idea was a debt was a payment for offence and the offence later became thought of sin. Redemption meant literally to redeem this debt oo to pay it. That is why Jesus was called the Redeemer – annulling the debts and also the sins of mankind in a vast Clean Slate.

So it’s not that running into debt was sinful. It’s just the reverse: When you commit an offence or a sin, you have to pay the injured party to make them whole, so that there won’t be resentment and fighting between the families of the offender (the “sinner-debtor”) and the victim (who in this case is in the position of “creditor”).

The original semantics of sin and debt linguistically is therefore just the opposite of what most people believe.

Michael Palmieri: That being said, could you walk us through a text that if no one’s read, at least they are familiar with: The Ten Commandments. Some of those commandments can be understood very differently from the perspective of ancient society as you describe it.

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: They were formulated in a society where debt was the main disruptive economic feature. For instance, the commandment “Thou shalt not covet my neighbor’s wife.” At that time, creditors would make loans to debtors, who would have to put up collateral. The most typical collateral they would put up would be their household slave girl, or otherwise their daughter or wife. The woman would have to go live in the house of the creditor, and usually had to have have sex with them. That’s how employer/employee relations were back from the Bronze Age through the Iron Age.

Already in 2350 BC, the laws of Urukagina in Sumer had a special sanction saying that a wife can’t have two husbands. The idea against coveting someone’s wife meant that you can’t take another person’s wife as a debt servant to have sex with.

The commandment “Thou shalt not steal” referred to making a loan and foreclosing on land or seizing property and not returning it. That was looked at socially as a form of theft.

The commandment “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” referred to taking an oath. Creditors were notorious for lying. The books of Plutarch and other authors are rife with examples of creditors lying. In Babylonia everything had to be written down. In Egypt the same thing – every creditor claim had to be written down and witnessed.

The idea was to enforce behavior in keeping with the Ten Commandments and the laws of Leviticus, which said that every fifty years there has to be a clean slate – a deror, a jubilee year. The Hebrew word for the Jubilee year was cognate to the word for the Babylonian clean slate, andurarum. These debt cancellations also freed bond servants and returned land to debtors who had forfeited it. You could go right down through the Ten Commandments and see that theor aim was to prevent the corrosive effects of debt tearing society apart.

Michael Palmieri: This is eye-opening. I can’t help but think about the contrast between the way that we’re speaking about Jesus and biblical teachings when you look at the current evangelical fundamentalist movements in the U.S., which focus much more on piety and political questions or economic questions of taxation, abortion, and even support for war. There’s such a contradiction there. I don’t know how you understand how the two connect, or if you want to speak more about how the transition occurred.

Michael Hudson: Christianity began as a protest movement, but it was a protest movement that was very conservative. We know from the Dead Sea Scrolls – essentially the library of the Temple of Jerusalem hidden to protect it from the Romans – that what Jesus wanted to do was just what he announced in the first sermon that he gave. It is reported in Luke, Chapter 4. He said “I’ve come to proclaim the year of the Lord,” meaning the Jubilee Year. He unrolled the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah that described the Jubilee Year.

He said that the rabbis who opposed to be cancelling debts – the Pharisees, a conservative group of rabbis led most notably by Hillel – had developed a special clause that was similar to what the Babylonians creditors had tried to do. It was called the prosbul clause. A debtor who needed money would have to sign a waiver saying, “I agree not to avail myself of the rights that the Bible promises me in the Jubilee Year. So if the debts are cancelled, I waive my rights and the creditor can foreclose anyway.”

Jesus explained in his sermon that this was against the Mosaic Law – the law of Leviticus, chapter 25. It was in fact against everything the Old Testament talks about. (My book has the relevant Dead Sea scrolls.) But rabbinical Judaism was being taken over by pro-creditor Pharisees. Luke quotes Jesus as describing them as being avid for money, and working for the creditor class.

At that time the great social fight not only in Judea but also in Greece and Rome was between debtors and creditors. There was a region-wide civil war. There were assassinations of Roman pro-debtor advocates such as the Gracchi brothers in 133 BC. A century of civil war followed, in which even Julius Caesar, who enacted a modest debt reform, was killed. Sparta’s King’s Agis and Cleomenes were killed for cancelling the debts. There were armed uprisings throughout Greece and Asia Minor over this.

This was a universal fight. But somehow, the economic message of Jesus has been taken out of context. It is as if what he was talking about was otherworldly. But he was talking about something very worldly – the debt issue. Jesus wanted to restore the debt cancellation as it was supposed to be according to Leviticus 25.

Later rabbinical scholars in medieval Spain, most notably Maimonides, urged the observance of the Jubilee Year. So Hillel’s prosbul was not universal among the rabbis. But for the last 2000 years there’s been a rabbinical argument over this.

Until my Harvard group began to publish its findings about 20 years ago, you had a general prejudice among Biblical historians that the Jubilee year couldn’t really have been enforced because it would have caused economic disaster. My book shows that when you look at 2000 years of Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian practice, the moral was that if rulers didn’t cancel the debts, there would be an economic and fiscal disaster.

The idea of debt amnesties was to prevent debt from tearing society apart – to prevent the kind of crisis that the United States has been in since 2008, when President Obama didn’t cancel the junk-bond debts, or the debts that tore the Greek economy apart Greece when the IMF and Europe imposed them on Greece instead of letting it default on debts owed to French and German bondholders.

The great struggle of antiquity is being repeated today. Whether society is going to insist on the sanctity of debt being imposed to a degree that impoverishes most of the population – or that economic stability should be restored by subordinating the debts to the ability to pay, and the ability of society to keep operating on a viable basis.

Michael Palmieri: Well Professor Hudson, thank you so much for laying that out there for me and for the audience that will hear this interview. It’s always eye opening and engaging. We can’t wait until this book releases early this summer 2018. Thanks again for joining another episode of The Hudson Report.

Michael Hudson: It’s really good to be here, as always. I’m glad we had a chance to discuss it.

 
• Category: Economics, History • Tags: Banking System, Debt 
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  1. I like Hudson’s system. I’ll borrow say, $1000 today, and pay it back in a year’s time, with no interest. But why stop at $1000? I’ll borrow the maximum, invest it, then pay the maximum back with no interest. Interest is bad, very bad.

    Beats working.

    Anyhow I know this system will work because a book that says the Universe was created in six days says it will work.

  2. All monotheistic religions, judaism, christianity and Islam prohibited interest.
    The prohibition was based on that in an agricultural mainly barter society a loan was just to prevent hunger until the next harvest.
    With trade and money becoming more important this changed, money could be invested, this investment might bring profit.
    So a loan without interest became stealing from oneself.
    In the Muslim world interest still is not allowed, the prohibition is avoided by agreeing that that there is a penalty to be paid when the loan is paid back too late, AND agreeing that the loan will be paid back too late.
    Debt cancellation, sounds good, but not to those that lend money.
    If right now debts were cancelled I’d die of hunger, the assets of my pension funds would vanish.

  3. No doubt many will say that all this, where true, is old hat, but I found much in it to stimulate thought. Seeing Jesus, the Redeemer, as a populist pre democracy politician is a nice idea to play with. Shades of business debtor Trump only he hasn’t quite got round to telling his base how to use insolvency law as cleverly as he did. Still, Trump the Redeemer is a metaphor to toy with.

    What is a great pity about this transribed conversation is that it needed an editor’s or proofreader’s hand at perhaps 40 places and the absence undermined the possibility of trust. Add to that the development of bankruptcy laws in recent centuries rating no mention and one has to wonder what the point of Hudson’s work is.

    • Replies: @Iris
  4. FB says:
    @anony-mouse

    What a spectacular moron you are…

    If you actually knew any mathematics you would be aware that our economic ‘system’ is based on the mathematics of exponential growth…which is unsustainable…

    The math behind compound interest and Ponzi schemes is identical…and is also exponential growth…

    Even looking at wikipedia under exponential growth examples you see under the heading ‘Finance’ two examples…

    1. Compound Interest

    2. Ponzi Schemes

    Mathematically, the two are the inverse of each other…ie mirror image…

    Under the heading ‘Economics’ we find that perpetual economic growth is exponential math and I have demonstrated this mathematically many times…

    ‘…Economic growth is expressed in percentage terms, implying exponential growth…

    Here is how the graph of exponential growth looks like…the green line starts off building slowly but then shoots skyward as it approaches asymptotic…

    Once any system…whether numbers or a Ponzi scheme, or compound interest reaches the point where the curve starts shooting up, the system must collapse…

    The problem with interest in an economy is that it is artificial…it is not linked by any mechanism to the productive capacity of the economy…

    By accumulating interest every year…year on year this build up to a point where the productive economy is not able to support it…ie the debt obligations resulting from the piled up interest exceed the ability of the economy to produce goods to match it…

    That is something that has been true throughout history as Professor Hudson has researched…invariably leading to economic collapse…

    Eventually these ancient societies found the solution to this problem was to wipe the slate clean from time to time and prevent the collapse…in other words they solved the problem of exponential growth by cutting that line before it shot skyward toward disaster…

    Why do you think every Ponzi scheme fails…?

    mickey-mouse morons like you never cease to amaze me…indoctrinated to the point where you are putting on your debt slave yoke all by yourself…and singing ‘hi ho hi ho it’s off to work we go’…while the Ponzi scam system imposes a tax on the better part of your income…

    Didn’t know that did you…?

    The ‘financialized’ economy is an overhead on our GDP of about 30 percent…that’s a tax on everyone except the Ponzi scammers at the top of the Pyramid…

    Ever stop to think about how they pile up billions…?

    …while you’re working your silly mickey-mouse life away for them…?

    It’s the ‘magic’ of compound interest’…as the Oracle of Omaha will tell you while he takes you for a disneyland ride…

    Yup…right beside Ponzi scheme with the identical math underpinnings…

    Hudson’s story is here is meant to be simplified for the audience that does not want to get into the math which he explains quite meticulously in his books…

    It appeals to man’s instinct that speculation is a destructive activity for the community…hence the hatred of the money-lenders throughout the ages…

    Have a look at the history of Usury…King Edward I of England would seize all property of anyone caught taking interest…and expel them from the kingdom…

    During Roman times, Cato famously said…

    ‘And what do you think of usury?’—’What do you think of murder?’

    Aristotle one of the greatest thinkers in history called interest the most unnatural way of gaining wealth…as money giving birth to money…

    Most religions banned usury…,including the Jews [at least in lending to fellow Jews]…Islam…and Christianity for most of its history…

    But of course for an illiterate mickey-mouse who still craps in his pants…the accumulated history and wisdom on the subject is not only completely unknown to you…but when someone offers knowledge to you…you shit on this comment thread instead…

    What a pathetic idiot…spare us your gas emissions here on Unz…

  5. @anony-mouse

    @anony-mouse,

    TARP bailed out the subprime bandits with $426.4 billion in public largess to restart another bubble.

    I’d rather you gamble a thou for a year on you.

    • Agree: jacques sheete
  6. @anony-mouse

    I’ll borrow the maximum, invest it, then pay the maximum back with no interest. Interest is bad, very bad.

    Only a few paragraphs in, Hudson writes this,

    Most agrarian and personal debts were cancelled, but not debts among businessmen that were owed to each other. They were left in place.

    Anyhow I know [Hudson's] system will work because a book that says the Universe was created in six days says it will work.

    Hudson’s system? I think he was describing systems that seems to have begun 3000 years ago and worked for quite a while, and I doubt he’s that old. Besides, that system predates the book you’re referring to which is also the one, I think, that assigns a “homeland” to people who don’t even believe in it!

    Here, try this.:

    My [Hudson’s]book shows that when you look at 2000 years of Sumerian, Babylonian and Egyptian practice, the moral was that if rulers didn’t cancel the debts, there would be an economic and fiscal disaster.

    NB: It ain’t nice to engage in strawman arguments, even if we’re eager to criticize…

  7. @jilles dykstra

    Debt cancellation, sounds good, but not to those that lend money.

    Hudson describes a system of credit and debt that predates the institution of money. He notes that problems arose when

    … the debtors on the land had to pay private creditors, they wouldn’t be able to pay their stipulated fees or taxes run up to the palace. So for two thousand years throughout the Bronze Age (circa 3200 to 1200 BC), there was a tension between the rulers and the emergence of a private wealthy class of creditors who used their money to try to become landowners. By about 1800 BC you had cultivators pledging their land to creditors and losing it. You begin to find large aggregations of landholdings, all at the expense of palace authority and its ability to levy taxes on labor, crops or money.

    I think the distinction between private and public “debt” is interesting. Makes me wonder if the Federal Reserve system, being private, was instituted to pre-empt the possibility of forgiveness of public debt. It effectively makes all debts private and subject to foreclosure which tends to concentrate wealth in the hands of ever fewer, which is a huge defect in capitalistic systems. I hasten to add that I am a staunch proponent of retention of privately and honestly earned wealth and am adamantly opposed to Marxist and related ideas. I do not claim to have any good or permanent answers and tend to believe that tension and abuses are inevitable if not natural components of whatever we choose.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @AaronB
  8. Joe Hide says:

    To Author, Michae Hudson,
    Great take on historical, biblical, and financial / economic facts. Again you have presented out of the box thinking that appeals to practical, realistic, and altruistic people.
    There will be negative comments of course. A lot of people have skin in the game of a non- beneficial, self-destructive, and parasitic economy. This game is based upon fiat currency and it’s sidekicks, excessive interest rates and predatory creditors.
    Let’s remember not to go sudden full bore simplistic in the idea of a Debt Jubilee though. There are a lot of details to be worked out first, if it is to be successfully implemented.
    To Michael Judson, …Keep writing!

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anon
  9. @FB

    Except for the invectives, (which were pretty hilarious in any case), you made many good points.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  10. Here’s the thing. A Debt Jubilee is great and I’m all for it. But. There’s always a BUT, isn’t there? It’s ultimately ineffective if you don’t address The Root of the matter. If we don’t address the System that inculcated & enabled the Debt Bubble, then we just start the Madness all over again and every day is Ground Hog Day. Hamsters on the Charge It Hamster Wheel.

    Pursuant to that, we need to develop a plan that restructures this System entirely from Top to Bottom and Sideways too. We need to transform from an Economy based on Unlimited Growth to a Steady State Economy after a considerable Contraction to Sustainable Levels. Debt will be anathema to that Contraction to a Sustainable Steady State Economy.

    If we do this preemptively, we can mitigate some of the horrible Carnage to come if we, collectively as an Intelligent Species, don’t act now, because one way or another, if Human doesn’t correct itself and its destructive ways, Nature will do it for us and bring the Planet back into an Equilibrium absent Human, and that will be a Nightmarish Process you wouldn’t wish on your worst Enemy.

    Good To The Last Drop

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  11. If one wants to structure economic policy around biblical law (which I think is a good idea), a debt jubilee is just one part. Fractional reserve banking, fiat money, property and inheritance taxes have to go. Honest money and just weights would go a long way towards fixing our economic ills.

    • Replies: @Anon
  12. 76239 says:

    There is no such thing as usury if two people with free will and sound mind agree to a rate of interest. The rate of interest is set by what other borrowers and lenders will offer and pay- the free market rate of interest.

    The lender must receive compensation for not being able to use the money he is lending during the time of the loan, the opportunity cost. The lender must receive compensation based on the risk of default by the borrower.

    This is why interest is not only right, but moral. Its based on free people making an agreement. Each party to a loan believes at the time of the loan, that they will benefit. If they don’t think they will benefit, no transaction will be made

    If the lender agrees and the borrower agrees they will be better off after the transaction, its a win for both.

    People hostile to lending and borrowing have no regard for individuals making their own choices. They have no regard for liberty.

  13. @Cold N. Holefield

    Nature will do it for us and bring the Planet back into an Equilibrium absent Human…

    That’s probably in the cards no matter what we “Supreme Beings” do or don’t do.

    • Replies: @Cold N. Holefield
  14. @76239

    Sorry, but what you describe is way too simple.

    Here’s one example.:

    In an economy based on animal driven agriculture, the guy who goes into debt for a tractor probably has an advantage over others. Soon others go into debt for tractors and the price of tractors goes up because of it. More debt is needed, so the price of debt increases. Effectively, if one wants to compete, he must acquire a tractor at ever increasing debt loads. In effect he’s forced into debt; he has no free will; he’s caught in a never ending but always increasing spiral of debt and inflation. Who benefits?

    We can see something similar at play with the cost of schooling as well as housing. Housing is essential, but the cost has been driven up by several factors, including debt. Few would live permanently in a tent these days so most of us are really not free to eschew debt.

    Schooling is now considered nearly essential and one can see how high the costs are and this is largely due to “loans” of various sorts. As a result, people are virtual debt slaves.

  15. JustJeff says:
    @jilles dykstra

    To me, a system where old people rely on sociopaths gambling with (“investing”) their money in order to get a pension is a system that desperately needs to be changed.

    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Iris
    , @jilles dykstra
  16. And another thing…

    There are major differences between private and public debt.

    Of the two, public debt is the most dangerous because most of us have no effective choice but to be burdened by it. Regarding public debt, most of us are not free and I think Hudson does well to emphasize the difference. We would do well to keep the difference always in mind. Furthermore, those of us proles and peasants who believe and hope that government works on our behalf and is an answer to our ills, all I can say is that experience demonstrates otherwise, and there is an obvious conclusion to that concept.

  17. There will never be a debt jubilee in the U.S. because the Zionists have a plan for a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT aka a NWO that requires the economic destruction of the U.S. which is well on its way to mission accomplished.

    First the zionists fastened their FED and their IRS onto the U.S. in 1913 and with those two instruments of economic mass destruction and the wars that followed also fastened on America by the zionist bankers we were on our way to being slaves on the zionist controlled plantion aka America where we can slave for our zionist masters.

    If anyone doubts any of this, just read The Protocols of Zion and the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto.

    And if anyone doubts that the zionists rule America, just remember that Israel and the ziocons did 911 and got away with it.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  18. @jacques sheete

    No doubt, but Human is certainly substantially accelerating the Inevitable.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  19. @Cold N. Holefield

    No doubt, but Human is certainly substantially accelerating the Inevitable.

    And that, itself, is probably Inevitable.

    If there is a good G-d, then why would he/she/it create humans? ;)

  20. @DESERT FOX

    just remember that Israel and the ziocons did 911 and got away with it.

    If another reminder is needed, this should do.

    Netanyahu standing ovations.

  21. Catiline says:
    @76239

    With a limited and static supply of money, the interest demanded literally does not exist and cannot be paid.

    • Replies: @Anon
  22. polistra says:

    Mohammed’s economic justice made far more sense. DON’T USE DEBT AT ALL. If the system is built from the start on the sole foundation of savings and investment, debt isn’t needed.

    Even within a debt-based system, people and businesses who live without debt have a solid advantage. They can handle bad times and downturns without climbing the exponential curve, and they’re never subject to blackmail and extortion by banks.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Anon
  23. DaveE says:
    @76239

    Some nifty pretzel-logic there.

    There’s only two basic ways to make money: 1.) Start a company, make a product, provide a service that’s useful for people who pay you for your effort. 2.) Loan your money at interest to someone else who strives to do 1.) above.

    When was the last time you heard a banker tell a client (truthfully) that he couldn’t make a loan because he needed his funds to get his new invention off the ground? Or work at his brick manufacturing company? Or produce some product he had worked on for years and designed and built with his own two hands and ingenuity?

    Eh, like NEVER, perhaps?

    Your idea of “freedom” is freedom for the bankers to decide who they want to screw or how to screw them the hardest, without getting his fingers dirty.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Buzz Baldrin
  24. Congress aka the lower house of the Knesset , the enemy is not at the gates, the enemy is within the gates.

    This in reply to Jacques.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  25. Iris says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    The point Prof Hudson is making is that an unhinged “financialised” economic system fuelled by debt is bound to destroy the real, productive, economy it feeds off. Plain and simple.

    He convincingly demonstrated this in his book “Killing the host”.

    He is now trying to devise a civilized solution to the disaster brought upon humankind by debt and financialisation, debt cancellation being an interesting and viable option.

    An alternative , less civilized solution, would be WW3, which of course seems a more “reasonable” and certainly more likely option.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  26. @polistra

    Even within a debt-based system, people and businesses who live without debt have a solid advantage.

    Heheheh!

    Shhh, Please keep that to yourself! ;)

  27. Iris says:
    @FB

    Couldn’t use the “Agree” tab.

    “The math behind compound interest and Ponzi schemes is identical…and is also exponential growth…”

    Your empirical assessment has been demonstrated as mathematically correct:
    - The Australian debt to GDP ratio from 1976 matches an exponential function with a staggering 0.98 certainty.
    - The US debt to GDP ratio fits an exponential function with a convincing 0.97 confidence level.

    (In Prof Steve Keen’s “Can we avoid another financial crisis”).

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  28. Iris says:
    @JustJeff

    “To me, a system where old people rely on sociopaths gambling with (“investing”) their money in order to get a pension is a system that desperately needs to be changed”

    Especially that these old people will never get their pension, once the stocks and bonds financial Ponzi scheme fuelled by fake money has collapsed.

    • Replies: @Anon
  29. Two most important parts of a long piece.

    First:

    The guiding logic of these debt cancellations was spelled out by Egyptians. If rulers had not cancelled these debts, they would have faced a situation in which indebted cultivators were falling into permanent bondage. Their labor would have been pledged to their creditors, and thus would not be available to perform the corvée labor that had to be mobilized each year to build basic infrastructure – walls, temples, palaces and other basic construction that was public or communal in character.

    Also if the debtors on the land had to pay private creditors, they wouldn’t be able to pay their stipulated fees or taxes run up to the palace. So for two thousand years throughout the Bronze Age (circa 3200 to 1200 BC), there was a tension between the rulers and the emergence of a private wealthy class of creditors who used their money to try to become landowners. By about 1800 BC you had cultivators pledging their land to creditors and losing it. You begin to find large aggregations of landholdings, all at the expense of palace authority and its ability to levy taxes on labor, crops or money.

    The big picture therefore is that for thousands of years you have a tension between centralized authority, which needed to preserve economic balance and wanted the population (and hence, the army) to keep growing, and wealthy creditors, traders and land buyers who made gains by impoverishing the rest of the population. That was the same dynamic found in early Greece and Rome. In fact, it’s a dynamic that you still have today.

    The difference is that today’s governments have been taken over and captured by creditor interests. The result is that today’s ethic is the opposite of the first few thousand years of debt. Today’s ethic, ever since Rome, is a sanctity of debt, not of its cancellation. All debts have to be paid – regardless of how this may impoverish and polarize society.

    Second:

    Towards the very end on Hudson’s contentions of the role of early Christianity.

  30. gwynedd1 says:
    @jacques sheete

    I think when there is evidence that one is deliberately misrepresenting an argument, or they are so arrogant and idiotic to feel no need to cite sources its on the table . It is a selfish pleasure. However when refuting utter nonsense. as it seem FB often does, there is no other kind of mental stimulation to keep one engaged other than mixing the spices for roast.

    “I like Hudson’s system. I’ll borrow say, $1000 today, and pay it back in a year’s time, with no interest. But why stop at $1000? I’ll borrow the maximum, invest it, then pay the maximum back with no interest. Interest is bad, very bad.”

    This is a form of risible tripe. What I mean to say FB makes an error in his diagnosis. This is not gastritis. This is a prolapsed bowel with a beard of flies.

    Was that not fun?

    The main insight of Hudson is upon which much of his theories are build is the classical economic model of three form of income. If this bug encrusted, yawning bowel were to see what Hudson is saying is that big finance is loaning money towards rents, then he would realize its the creditor getting the free ride. This is especially the case when the creditor sees to it that big daddy govament buys him out in a pinch. Such things are valuable objects or rights, but are not products of human labor. So the virtuous loop of a new supply of widgets does not exist. It merely drives up the the price of passing though a congested thoroughfare and converting that into interest payments.

    Worse is still is when these assets go into negative quality, they cannot be written off and trashed like a warehouse full of 1970s, oil panic, wood stoves. When Widget inc disappears, there is another. However when rents become paralyzed assets in negative equity, or are under capitalized, these mangled monopolies cause real, dead weight loss . Its like a blind man in the pilots seat. You can not open up a competitor to drive it out of business until the entire rent is consumed.

    Our economy is too dependent on cash flows from rising asset prices that are not products of human labor.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @MacNucc11
  31. gwynedd1 says:
    @Iris

    The real trick is the distribution. We could increase the national debt by 100 trillion , and the only side effect would be to dilute the real debt if the debt was owned equally. We could send treasuries to every house hold and it would increase the national debt meaning citizens owe more money. However their private wealth would rise an equal amount and net to zero. Only when the debt is held in concentration is there really any kind of debt. Also if the debt is denominated in snow and held by Eskimos, then only a technical default is possible. If its denominated in sea shells in a land locked country……its Greece.

    • Replies: @Iris
  32. Iris says:
    @76239

    “The rate of interest is set by what other borrowers and lenders will offer and pay- the free market rate of interest”

    Most Western Central Banks lend at a preferential rate close to 0% to investment banks who own them in the first place. Talk about a “free market”…..

    • Replies: @Anon
  33. The primary cause for Christ was redeeming the human soul or spirit or being or . . . whatever one’s particular denomination refers to as being in the image of God. That intent is the renewal of redeeming the the new man or the original relationship by blotting out sin.

    However, I also acknowledge that said redemption/salvation has real world implications for how his followers and by way of practice even the non-believing could reap real world benefits by adhering to the same principles.

    I am always cautious when people start tossing Christ around as a rebel or social reformer. It was not his main purpose. He was speaking at the time primarily to Jews, who should have known who he was. And I agree, though the authors did not state in — Christ is speaking about debts in two ways.

    Pay them and don’t unjustly apply them — no usury. The practice of charging exorbitant or excessive debt by leveraging one’s need for the load to excess. By excess, I agree that this would not merely be over taxed interest rates, but one include the seizure of property or one’s being as payment. I also agree that among the Jews, the year of jubilee was serious practice abused as mandate could not really be waived. The heart of this article hinges on what constitutes fair and best practices that enable the majority to eat of the economic pie, while not denying the ability of others to be wealthy.

    look there is a lot of great stuff to chew on here. But even without leaning on scripture, it’s clear that what has been happening with increasing speed and force is that the neural party – government – has been acting concert with and for business entities against the population, unfairly balancing the scales of economic quid pro quo. Even as one who embraces capitalism and conservative orthodoxy, I get it.

    And I think the contentions here are worth an open, honest and fair hearing.

    By fair and honest I mean claims that Christ was a socialist, a communist, a libertarian or A social reform advocate would be abusive. hint, I reject the sly attempt to link conservative orthodoxy to by using the term conservative to practices of those behaviors that scripture would call out as violations of law or the intent of the law or economic principles of the same. Being a conservative actually demands a very heavy weight of pressing to fair play and conscience.

    For example the contend that opposing open borders and restricting immigration is used against a conservative as unjust. when in fact, it is just the opposite as open borders and loose immigration unfairly balances US citizens to cheap labor that creates false economies as well as undermines fair competition.

    If you want to make a pathos argument, fine. But let’s keep it up and based on a contention of the same.

  34. @FB

    You’ve never had a mortgage have you, which instead of going up FOREVER ends in 25-30 years.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  35. @Iris

    Maybe your friend/ lecturer/ guru argues as you would have him do but what has that got to do with the transcript/article or indeed the book he was boosting?

    • Replies: @Iris
  36. Wally says:
    @DaveE

    So don’t borrow other people’s money if you don’t like it. Simple.

    Clearly you live in Greece.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  37. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    What meaning of ownership underlies your prima facie false statement that most Western Central Banks are owned by investment banks? The shorter version is to ask where you pick up such primitive BS about central banks?

    • Replies: @hyperbola
    , @FB
  38. renfro says:
    @FB

    Over 6% of the US total income from taxes goes for interest on our debt. That’s a lot of money.

    But we are now Solomon and Gomorra in the biblical sense in every way.

    Goldman Sachs has outdone itself this time. According to Goldman Sachs, curing people of terrible diseases is not good for Wall Street.

    Wall Street Admits Curing Diseases is Bad for Business

    In a recent report, a Goldman analyst asked clients: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Salveen Richter wrote: “The potential to deliver ‘one-shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy. … However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies. … While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”

    Yes, a Goldman analyst has said outright that curing people will hurt their cash flow. And he said that in a note designed to steer clients away from investing in cures. Can “human progress” have a bottom? Because if so, this is the bottom of so-called human progress—down where the mud eels mate with the cephalopods.

    This analyst note is one of the best outright examples I’ve ever seen of how brutal our market economy is. In the past, this truth would not have been spoken. It would’ve lived deep within a banker’s soul and nowhere else. It would’ve been viewed as too repulsive for the wealthy elite to say, “We don’t want to cure diseases because that will be bad for our wallet. We want people to suffer for as long as possible. Every suffering human enriches us a little bit more.”

    We’re circling the drain in the toilet bowl, and as you know, the contents speed up as they near the end, the event horizon. We are beginning to see more and more how disgusting a profit-above-all-else economy really is. When Donald Trump bombed Syria, the stocks of weapons contractors shot up. That spike in stocks is a spike in the gravity of capitalism, pulling people toward death and destruction. Profit has power. And its power is exerted on the society as a whole.

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/wall-street-curing-diseases-bad/241176/

    courtesy of goose and gander

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @AaronB
    , @Iris
  39. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Hide

    Please! “Excessive interest rates” ! Either you’re a deadbeat who has to resort to a pay day lender or you are on a government pension which means you don’t need interest on savings as income. I borrow at under 4 per cent and inflation is over 2 per cent so, thank you if you are a saver who makes this possible (together with quantitative easing). You should feel sorry for those who have saved for their own retirement and are not rich enough to rely mostly on property and equities for income.

    • Replies: @FB
  40. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @renfro

    For anyone who believes in a proper role for government that is a lot of rubbish. A properly designed system of taxes and subsidies will alter the incentives so one off total cures are worth investing in.

  41. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    Oh please uncle, resign from managing my trust fund and make sure your replacement understands compound interest and a little elementary maths.

    Your graph shows f(x) = 2^x which is correctly described as an exponential function, but is not how compound interest works. The simple maths of compound interest is f(r) = (1+r)^n where r is the rate of interest and n is the number of periods for which interest is compounded. If you are receiving and reinvesting interest at 2 per cent per annum you will only double your money in 36 years: at 3 per cent it is 24 years and ar 4 per cent 18 years. That means of course in most countries you are losing money because of inflation. By contrast typical borrowers for buying houses or upmarket apartments in growth areas can easily afford to pay mortgage interest of 5 per cent over 25 years i and end up well ahead. Of course Roman farmers often ended up as medieval serfs in the dying days of Roman glory because they didn’t have people who needed their votes to engage in Quantitative Easing. As William Jennings Bryan might have put it they were crucified on a cross of gold – and silver. But that last is really part of an answer to the comment about static money supply – another lot of rubbish unless one insists on a very narrow – totally unrealistic – definition of money.

    • Replies: @FB
  42. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    After of 230 years of the left spewing hatred of Christianity and Jesus and the rest of the Bible characters, leftists now dig into the Bible for the first time in their lives desperately trying to link Jesus to their ideas?

    The only time Christianity and leftists United was in the pre 1963 northern section of tge American Democrat party. Among that coalition were Roman Catholics and socialists who advocated for living wages, strong labor unions, public services and the rest of moderate socialism and restraint on big fish devour little fish capitalism.

    Maybe some one else knows why a liberal, a member of the Christian hating left invokes the Bible and Jesus?

    Hudson is a liberal.
    All liberals hate the White race and Christianity.
    Therefore Hudson hates Whites and Christianity.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  43. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Hide

    High interest rates are great for me. I pray that they come back. When interest rates are high I usually get enough interest just in moderate saving and checking accounts to pay many of my monthly bills.

    Now I’m getting like .35 .50. and nada

    Wall Street hates low interest rates because it forces people with money to take their money out of safe refuge in banks and put it in investments in crooked Wall Street where the money is stolen by the crooks.

  44. The trouble is that this debt cancellation is premised on societies where state elites needed masses, and the intermediate class of moneylenders/merchants got in the way. Roberto Unger has nicely outlined this process for ancient and medieval societies – the most productive of which had a decent balance of power between these three factions.

    But is that contemporary society? New war technology has made masses unnecessary to the survival of states. If average and low IQ masses are now simply a drain on both state elites and intermediate business classes then the incentive for debt cancellation is much lower. Unless perhaps excess debts prevent consumer spending or lead to mass violence. But those possibilities present much less of a threat than being unable to mobilize an army.

  45. hyperbola says:

    Many sources on this topic.

    The Federal Reserve Cartel: The Eight Families | Global Research

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/search?q=The+Federal+Reserve+cartel%3A+The+Eight+Families&x=0&y=0

    Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/04/24/fox-in-the-hen-house-why-interest-rates-are-rising/

    On March 31stthe Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the sixth time in 3 years and signaled its intention to raise rates twice more in 2018,….. If the Fed follows through with its plans, projections are that by 2027, US taxpayers will owe $1 trillion annually just in interest on the federal debt….. With so much at stake, why is the Fed increasing interest rates and adding to government debt levels? Its proffered justifications don’t pass the smell test…..

    Follow the Money

    If the Phillips curve, the inflation rate and loan growth don’t explain the push for higher interest rates, what does? The answer was suggested in an April 12thBloomberg article by Yalman Onaran, titled “Surging LIBOR, Once a Red Flag, Is Now a Cash Machine for Banks.” …. The Federal Reserve calls itself “independent,” but it is independent only of government. It marches to the drums of the banks that are its private owners. To prevent another Great Recession or Great Depression, Congress needs to amend the Federal Reserve Act, nationalize the Fed, and turn it into a public utility, one that is responsive to the needs of the public and the economy.

  46. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @Catiline

    Since a limited or static supply – though somehow presumed possible by some of the primitive monetarists (including perhaps the heroic Margaret Thatcher) – is hard to envisage unless you adopt a fancifully restricted definition of money I should be interested to know what real world situation you are positing or imagining. Has there ever been an example? And why couldn’t there be interest stipulated for and paid if some of the borrowers were able, through trade or theft, to acquire enough of the limited supply to pay the interest on borrowed money? Of course a strict gold standard in times when there is no new gold being mined doesn’t mean, as you suppose, that there is no interest – only that some borrowers will amost certainly default and lose their land or other assets, or in earlier times their liberty.

    • Replies: @Catiline
  47. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @jacques sheete

    There is an Egyptian clay document in that big museum in NYC.

    It’s a debt contract. The lender was a woman a widow. The interest she charged was 120%.

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  48. hyperbola says:
    @Anon

    How depressing to think that bronze-age religions are still determining “economics”. Seems to be the same kind of jewish pseudo-science as psychology.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  49. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:

    Ok, 3,000 years ago there were debt cancellations. Nowadays individuals and companies have bankruptcies.

    What’s the difference?

    Israel never pays its loans. Isn’t that debt cancellations by the ZOG.

    The problem I have with anything that goes under the umbrella of liberalism or government from highways to public libraries is that liberalism and all levels of American government hate Whites and want us dead.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  50. AaronB says:
    @renfro

    Very true, but no need to despair. Every so often, periodically, some nation or human collective enters into a death spiral, and the whole system collapses.

    This whole system is obviously on the verge of collapse, and a new and better future will arise on its ashes.

    Immorality and irreligion turn out not to be compatible with long term human flourishing, wouldn’t you know it.

    We must all do our best in the meanwhile, help spread the message, help model morality and civility and kindness as best we can (hugely challenging in modern America), help plant the seed for future growth, and wait patiently. We should all probably help build a sense of nascent community, and if not possible, at least withdraw from the social toxicity. We should also all probably start looking into some kind of religion or spiritual belief.

    • Replies: @Art
  51. FB says:
    @76239

    Yet another koolaid zombie…

    ‘…There is no such thing as usury if two people with free will and sound mind agree to a rate of interest.

    The rate of interest is set by what other borrowers and lenders will offer and pay- the free market rate of interest…’

    Let’s look at the wording this numbered jackass has employed here…

    The ‘free’ market…

    Oh yes…the legendary free market…which exists only in the minds [loosely speaking] of koolaid zombies…

    And then we have two ‘people’ somehow ‘negotiating’ a mutually agreed rate of interest…

    Right…in one corner we have a person…a regular schmoe who doesn’t even own a roof over his head…much less land or capital…which describes the vast majority…including anyone with a mortgage [the bank owns your house...try missing a payment or two]

    And in the other corner…we have one of five or six megabanks or their sockpuppets who are worth about a hundred billion times more than you…

    That’s going to be some kind of ‘negotiation’ between two PEOPLE now isn’t it…?

    Guess what happens in this case…‘democracy’ always wins…

    [MORE]

    the two wolves and a sheep ‘vote’ on what to have for supper…

    This is the extent of the indoctrination going on around us…

    This babbling brook thinks being a debt slave is the definition of freedom…

    The really interesting part [and insightful into the Pavlovian nature of the human psyche] is that this kind of noise almost always comes from the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder…ie the folks that don’t have a pot to piss in…

    Does anyone here think the plutocrats themselves believe this pabulum about ‘level playing fields’ and ‘freedom’…?

    They know perfectly well that they are holding a huge captive population whose only purpose in life is to toil their lives away in order to enrich them…the borrowing public is the functional equivalent of the feedlot steer…

    Of course it helps if the feedlot steer ‘believes’ he is ‘free’…he will be so much less troublesome that way…

    Which proves that today’s human is actually dumber than a cow…since a cow is presumably unconcerned about philosophical reflections…although certainly on some level may not be happy with her physical living condition…

    In any case…the value of this kind of koolaid noise is seen on the practical side…the demographic facts speak for themselves…

    Only the top quintile or 20 percent is in the saving [creditor class]…and drilling a little further into that top quintile we find that it is only the top few percent who actually save anything appreciable…

    And this would not be so bad in itself if even the condition of this top layer were not deteriorating year by year…

    This is the insightful indicator of where we are headed…here is the data from the US Census…

    Let us focus on just the top quintile…which with a median household wealth of about $630,000 is surely nothing more than ‘modest’ prosperity by definition…considering that this amounts to just ~$150,000 thousand per individual in that household…surely not enough to free one’s self from the burden of toil…

    But we see the very interesting thing here which is the change over time…

    In the 11 years from 2000 to 20011 this TOP quintile has moved forward by just $60,000…or 10 percent…one percent a year…[the lower quintiles having actually gone downhill]

    From 2005 to 2011 we have actually experienced a DROP of ~$150,000….

    Looking at this graphic…one gets the impression that this has been carefully CALIBRATED…as if someone were doling out the level of prosperity in a tightly controlled way…

    Which is of course the simple fact…

    You want to talk about a controlled and centrally planned economy…it’s right there in living color…the five year plans coming straight from Wall Street…as we will demonstrate…

    Let’s drill down more closely on that wealth over time trend at the very top….ie the one percent…

    And let’s further break that one percent down further into four segments…

    Here is the naked truth in graphical form…here are the four subgroups of the ‘one percent’…

    ….the top 1 to 0.5 percent….

    …top 0.5 to 0.1…

    …top 0.1 to 0.05

    …and finally the top 0.01 percent…and above

    Oh my…what do we have here…?

    Let us first explain what the numbers on the vertical axis
    mean…you can find these in the full report…

    It is clearly labeled percent of TOTAL household wealth…ie how much each of these groups owns of the entire national money pie…

    Now…since the curves for these respective four segments are NOT overlapping…ie we see that the top 0.01 percent’s share as of 2010 stands at 11 percent of the total household wealth…while the segment of the 1 percent to 0.5 percent group’s share of total wealth is lower at 7 percent…

    …it naturally follows that these segments are standalone values of the share of household wealth….ie the top 1 percent does not include the other three segments…

    So right there it is a useful bit of math to tally up the total share of household wealth of the combined four segments and thereby get the TOTAL share that the combined 1 percent actually have…as of 2013 this is 42 percent…

    We will get into this later..but let’s first say that you are a member of the one percent..and see how you have been doing compared to the richer subgroups above you…

    The pecking order is like this…

    …top 0.5 to 0.1 percent has ~12.5 percent of the total pie…

    …the top 0.01 percent has shot up and overtaken every other segment and now has ~11.5 percent…

    ..the 0.05 to 0.01 segment is right there also at 11.5 percent…

    …and finally the ‘poor’ one percent is bringing up the rear at just 6.5 percent of the pie….

    Crunching these numbers will give some very good insight into the dynamics of this ‘system’ of ours..

    We note for example that the segment 0.05 to 0.01 consists of one tenth the number of individuals as the segment 0.5 to 0.1….

    Yet the ten times more populous 0.5 to 0.1 segment owns just 1 percentage point more than the 0.5 to 0.01 group…

    By simple arithmetic it means a member of 0.01 group is on average 9.2 times richer than a member of the 0.5 to 0.1 group…nearly an order of magnitude…

    Let’s call this the POWER RATIO

    Here’s the math…11.5 / 12.5 = 0.92 * 10 = 9.2…

    Now compare the top 0.01 to the top 1 percent….which is a comparison between two groups that are two orders of magnitude difference in individual population numbers…ie there are 100 ‘one percenters’ for each 0.01 percenter…

    But the 0.01 group owns nearly twice as much total as the far more populous one percenters…the precise ratio is 11.5 percent to 7 percent of total wealth..ie 11.5 / 7 = 1.64

    So each of those 0.01 percenter owns as much as 164 one percenters…

    Now here is the insight to all this…

    The ‘top dog’ group is nearly an order of magnitude [9.2] more ‘powerful’…than the group immediately below…

    And that same alpha dog group is more than two orders of magnitude [164] more powerful than the lowest subgroup among the total one percent population…

    So we have a nearly perfect pyramid structure…[fittingly enough]

    As with any pyramid hierarchy the more powerful group has control of the dynamic interaction…ie they ‘own’ the playing field in their dealings with their subordinates below…and the relationship is one of ‘boss’ and ‘employee’….

    So much for this moronic commenter’s koolaid gibberish about ‘freedom’ and ‘two people’ entering into a ‘free market’ transaction…what astounding delusion…

    And the proof now of how this dynamic works…and WHO is in control of WHOM… is in the relative change over time…

    The top two groups ie the 0.1 and the 0.01 and above have shot up at the expense of the bottom two groups…

    They are in fact about to ‘eat’ the group with the largest share of total wealth..which is the 0.5 to 0.1 group….which still accounts for 12.5 percent of total national wealth.

    However…those two top groups above it have a greater COMBINED share now than that group which has historically been the one with the greatest share of total wealth…

    In actual numbers it is…23 percent share of the total pie for the two top groups…versus 20 percent for the far more populous two bottom groups..

    So we see the power dynamic clearly at play over time..

    Look at the graph in the 1960s…the era of unmatched middle class prosperity in the US…which definitively established the US system as the most productive and opportunity-providing in the world….

    A quick hearken back in time…productive industry was at its peak..factories producing cars, airplanes, refrigerators and everything else needed for a good and healthy life…we were making things in abundance…

    The shop floor worker made roughly one tenth of what the company president took home…

    For this worker…buying a home and educating his children was within reach…job security and dignified working conditions ensured by an equilibrium between labor and capital made this possible…

    There was no artificial labor surplus due to importing cheap wage slaves from abroad…while simultaneously offshoring production wherever possible…leaving few good jobs and many many folks trying to snag one…

    A system one might describe physically as ‘equilibrium’…

    But look what has happened since that one brief shining moment [those couple of postwar decades]..

    In 1960…the two most populous groups [spanning from 1 percent to 0.1 percent] had nearly 20 percent share of total wealth…while the far less populous but richer top two segments combined had under half the total share of the pie…about 9 percent…

    If we were to crunch the power ratio numbers…we would find a much more balanced playing field among the four groups…

    Ie the wealth was spread out far more evenly among the four groups…

    Today the exact converse is true..things have been turned on their head even for the member of the one percent…

    So that is the dynamic even at the top of the food chain…which is in fact important…the whole idea of the koolaid we are bombarded with is the idea that if you work hard you will get ahead…

    It’s all Fair and Square and Even Steven…because we have a ‘free’ market and a ‘level’ playing field…

    But of course this is not the case…as any thinking person will conclude by looking at the objective numbers…as we have done here.

    So what are we left with…?

    We realize of course that the koolaid is total bullshit…as we have suspected all along…[at least those with a healthy sense of instinctual self-preservation]…

    And if we care to use that noodle…anyone can prove these facts of life to himself with the hard numbers…

    To wit…we see clearly the way the pyramid structure is moving by the way the ‘power ratio’ numbers have shifted over time…

    If we think of wealth as a dynamic quantity analogous to energy in the physical world..it is clear that someone with access to ten times the energy of the next guy is going to be able to mine 10 times more bitcoin..or produce ten times as many widgets..

    …or if he needed to resort to force…have a laser ten times as powerful that can saw the other guy’s house in half…if push came to shove…

    Which is exactly why we have seen the power ratio of the top two groups rising steadily while the two poorer groups with far lower power at their disposal have been treading water…despite their far greater population numbers…

    And this brings us back to the ‘carefully controlled’ part of the whole thing…

    We see that the two bottom groups have not actually been driven into the ground by the top power group…they are simply flatlining for the last 50 years…

    Think about that..half a century…coincidence or careful control…?

    After all..a pyramid scheme is no good unless the bottom part is wide enough…the whole thing will topple if there is no base…so among the one percenters…it is naturally in the interest of the alpha dogs to prserve their own base…namely the lower tiers of that one percent group as a whole…

    We see this in various pyramid schemes like Amway…ie multilevel marketing…the archetypal American scam…where just like with our one percenter subgroups and their power ratio…you have the bottom layers working for you…without them you don’t gain…

    What does this model remind one of in the physical world…?

    Does livestock farming come to mind…the hens in the barn laying eggs for you…?

    The beeves in the yard fattening up for the butcher…?

    Naw…that can’t be the way things really are…?

    We are in disneyland after all…where we are taught not to employ our brains for ‘hard’ things like arithmetic…which lay the whole thing bare in the space of a few minutes….

    Better to just drink the koolaid and gobble the pabulum…ignorance is bliss..

    Now…a very important bit of number crunching we have not covered yet…

    So far we have been looking only at the dynamic AMONG the four distinct groups at the top…in order to get a fix on the rigged nature of the system…

    We have not considered them as an entire bloc..and their relationship to the rest…ie the feedlot steers…or sheeple if you will…

    We already added up the combined wealth in terms of the four groups we get 42 percent of total US household wealth in the hands of these four groups that make up the one percent…now we will look at how the entire bloc of one percenters has fared in comparison to the rest…and the change over time…

    Again turning to simple arithmetic…one percent equals 3.2 million individuals out of the population of 320 million..

    They own 42 percent which leaves the remaining 317 million folks with 58 percent of the pie..

    That means that each member of the one percent is on average ~72 times as wealthy as the average member of the other 99 percent…

    Here’s the math…0.42 / 0.58 = 0.72….317 / 3.2 = 99 [that's us]…so 0.72 * 99 = ~72…

    That’s the Power Ratio of the one percent vs every other individual…nearly two orders of magnitude…

    So again in terms of say electrical power available…what can you do against the guy who has a laser 70 times bigger than yours…not much other than to shut up and take the terms that are dictated to you…

    That is how the whole enchilada actually works…

    Let us bring another favorite ‘capitalist’ trope into the discussion [we already have 'free' markets...'level playing field'...even 'individual freedom'..]

    So the only koolaid ingredient missing is the good old ‘Darwinian’ survival of the fittest…ie this is nature…it is how things work and we can neither change it nor mess with it…

    Ah yes…the Darwinist trope is always pulled out of the rhetorical bag when the feedlot beeves need to be reminded that they must accept their fate as meat on the hoof…

    That now ties everything together rather nicely doesn’t it..?

    We have the feedlot beeves under the calming influence of a koolaid sedative that makes the brain inoperative…and finally we have the ‘acceptance’ of nature’s reality in the form of social Darwinism…QED

    And here is the proof…it lies in the change over time…

    It’s right there in the numbers…we see that as of 2013.the top one percent now owns 42 percent of EVERYTHING…

    Whereas in 1960…the top one percent owns exactly 29 percent…I would suppose even feedlot steer number ’76239′ is capable of doing this…

    So we have seen an increase in 13 percentage points..or a relative paycheck increase of 42 / 29 = 1.44 = 44 percent in ‘takehome’ pay of the one percent in direct proportion to everyone else…

    Not bad..so much for

    ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’…

    [which is of course asinine on its face for even a schoolchild that learns in grade six that a tide at one end of the ocean will mean an ebb on the other side of the world...since there is only so much water in the ocean to begin with...]

    So those big fancy yachts in that marina that are rising with the ‘tide’ are of course balanced out by the pathetic little fishing skiffs on the ‘other side’ which are left high and dry in the mud…

    Here is the chart from 1913 to 2013…

    We see the whole thing in a nutshell here…the top 0.1 percent are nearly back to where they were in the robber baron era of 100 years ago….just where they naturally ‘belong’ in their world view of unlimited entitlement…

    We see some interesting things here as well…the unprecedented prosperity of the mid-century decades where the top 0.1 percent share was at just 10 percent or so…

    And then the declining fortunes of everyone else at either end of the chart…we are back in the robber baron days…gee maybe that’s why people are getting angry these days…

    Yes…it is a zero-sum game…somebody has to win and somebody has to lose…

    If you are fine with being a loser then go ahead and live out your years in bovine contentment on the feedlot…

    No need to even try to enlighten yourself to the physical reality that you are owned lock and stock and barrel by those above you who hold all the money and thus power

    Of course we are told that this is the natural way of the world..which is why we see the most ignorant…and usually lowest educated and piss poor being the most vehement supporters of this pabulum of social Darwinism…

    They are the perfect beef stock…and it is probably no accident but a product of careful breeding…

    But here is the more important point…

    It is not only the fact that we are getting a terrible deal as ‘president’ Tronald Dump might say…

    The problem is that our pyramid is about to tip over…

    This is obvious from geometry…in order to have a solid structure it is important to have a broad base…

    A Pyramid that is steep and very top heavy is not going to be stable…

    And it is going to be very hard to climb those steep sides…

    So that is the structural or even ‘existential’ problem we are facing…and thanks to the unparalleled scholarship of Prof Hudson we have insights into how these types of structural problems were addressed and solved many centuries ago…

    The bigger point may be that we need some exercise of power from the top of the political class [our purported 'representatives'... to rein in the greedy instincts of the wealthy and powerful to continue taking more and more...[until the system is inevitably ruined...]

    Paul Craig Roberts has an excellent article right now on this…which is also up on this website…

    ‘Capitalism Works For Capitalists’

    The story is one of a political leadership asleep at the switch…they are not doing their job…which is to ensure national survival first and foremost…

    To do this…there must be some authority from the top…

    The capitalist class…even the lower rungs with which PCR concerns himself here…must be reined in with regulation…

    We have now reached that point that Prof Hudson describes of the wealthy money lenders of antiquity having stolen away the ‘land’ of the landworkers…to which they are rightfully entitled…

    The specific ways of implementing the necessary changes are not rocket science… we see from the second graph that starting with the ‘New Deal’ era the share of the top wealth owners declined steadily as controls were implemented…

    At the same time..the era of middle class prosperity took off…

    Then we see that our golden era of prosperity ends with the close of the 1970s…it is as if the plutocrats entered into a concerted plan of action to SEIZE what they consider is their rightful share…or what they could get away with…

    So far they have had a free reign to do so…that is the ‘free’ market that they will tell you about…they are the ones that are FREE of any controls or regulation on their outsize power…

    PCR makes this point perfectly on a microeconomic scale…going into much granular detail…a perfect companion piece to Prof Hudson’s thoughts here…

  52. AaronB says:
    @jacques sheete

    Great comments in general on this thread, jacques. Thanks.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  53. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Jews never prohibited interest. Proud atheists shouldn’t delve into the Bible to prove their contentions. Leave the biblical arguments to Christians and Jews

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  54. Art says:

    But rabbinical Judaism was being taken over by pro-creditor Pharisees. Luke quotes Jesus as describing them as being avid for money, and working for the creditor class.

    Some things never change – do they!

    Think Peace — Art

  55. Iris says:
    @gwynedd1

    The way in which debt is currently used to fuel the economy can only result in increased income inequality, because free money from Quantitative Easing goes to the financial industry as a priority.

    This has been empirically shown by economist Thomas Piketty, and also fairly well demonstrated by Prof Michael Hudson, or Prof Steve Keen.

    When considering how little coverage is given to their ideas in MSM, one has to acknowledge that the current economic dynamics suits the powers that be :-)

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  56. Iris says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    My, my, you surprisingly lack of insight for a Wizard …

    I am native French speaker and had no difficulty making sense of this transcription :-)

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  57. nsa says:

    Some stuff is so stupid only a theologian or a college professor could believe it. The learned prof asserts that Julius Caesar was assassinated for installing debt reform laws. Nice try. Ole Julius was murdered because he overthrew the Republic and set himself up as a dictator. As to a Debt Jubilee….a Slow Motion Debt Jubilee was installed 105 years ago. It’s called inflation. Example: UPS just raised their rates 5.9% in March, claiming they need it to keep up with general inflation. The Jooie Reserve claims inflation is 2.2% max. Who you gonna believe…..the jooies or your own eyes? It looks like debt is being inflated away at about a 5.9% – 2.2% = 3.7% rate. By the rule of 72…..72/3.7……debts are being halved every 20 years. If the learned commie prof were at all honest, he would just admit that he wants to stick it but good to all lenders and savers….and reduce them to his own base level.

    • Replies: @FB
  58. Hudson misses the point as usual. Yes, this is like a Ponzi Scheme and or the compound interest trick as some have noted but it’s not going away. Your friendly Khazars who control the economic pathways of the world will never let that happen. It doesn’t matter that people have eternal debt bondage because the system won’t collapse because they will continue to import more immigrants from third world nations who will work for slave wages in search of the mythical American Dream.

    Supposedly the Khazar Henry Kissinger stated, “Who Controls the Money Controls the World.” Jefferson knew this: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…. I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    But of course Jefferson was anti-semitic. Jews win again and we lose.

    • Replies: @Art
  59. @Iris

    Well no. If your English – and your logic – was up to your French you might know that you haven’t come anywhere near dealing with my point. Yes I could understand the interview despite its lack of editing but it didn’t convey anything like the version you plucked out of your own opinions and claim to knowledge of another book he had written. Stand reproved for letting down the standard of French scholarship. Send another sample and I’ll check it with my niece at SciencesPo :-)

    • Replies: @FB
  60. Art says:
    @AaronB

    We must all do our best in the meanwhile, help spread the message, help model morality and civility and kindness as best we can (hugely challenging in modern America), help plant the seed for future growth, and wait patiently.

    Hear hear!

    Think Peace — Art

    p.s. Local governance is the key to a safe and sane long-term future.

    • Replies: @Anon
  61. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @76239

    2 individuals can agree on a free market rate of interest. But there is no such thing as a free market rate of interest between an individual borrower and the bank or other institutional lender.

    You know that as well as I do. FYI, an individual shopping around for teeny tiny differences in bank and institution interest rates isn’t in the free market either.

  62. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @enemy of earth

    What biblical laws?

    Not eating rabbits and other foods because some crazy old coot talked to another crazy old coot who lived up in the sky and the crazy sky coot told him so?

    Not weaving fabrics composed of 2 different substances such as linen and wool or cotton and polyester or wool and polyester?

    Not marrying your brother’s widow but being obligated to sleep with her if she never had a child?

    A childless widow being obligated to sleep with her brother in law whether she wants to or not?

    And let’s not have the ignorant goy bible thumper rebuttal that pork isn’t kosher because pigs are dirtier than chickens or cattle or other animals. Or the trichinosis myth Pork, like rabbit, isn’t kosher because of their hooves somehow.

    • Replies: @enemy of earth
  63. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @polistra

    Mohammed the actual person had no need to borrow money. He married a very very wealthy woman.

    As soon as he had a few male followers with their horses camels and weapons he became a bandit and stole everything he wanted including sex slaves.

    The average southern Arab of his time often had to borrow money; the supply of rich women and bandit followers being limited.

  64. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    American non government pensions depend on sociopaths stealing the money.

    American government workers and the European pensions are financed by tax payers so they are a lot, lot more stable and dependable than the American private system.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  65. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @anony-mouse

    You are wrong. Investing money is actually lending money. The $1000 you invested is actually lending and the profit you made is interest.

    If you think interest is wrong, then the profit you made from that $1,000 is also wrong; interest by any other name.

  66. @DESERT FOX

    …the enemy is within the gates.

    And it has been from the beginning, in one form or another.

  67. Iris says:
    @renfro

    “We’re circling the drain in the toilet bowl, and as you know, the contents speed up as they near the end, the event horizon. We are beginning to see more and more how disgusting a profit-above-all-else economy really is.”

    Your thoughts are profound and true. There would have been no human civilisation without spirituality, faith, and the search for transcendence.
    Do not despair: new historic forces are gathering, who don’t want to be led to Armageddon.
    Other forces will constitute within the Western world when the time comes. All these parents you see around you will fight and resist for the sake of their innocent children.

  68. @gwynedd1

    I like Hudson’s system. I’ll borrow say, $1000 today, and pay it back in a year’s time, with no interest. But why stop at $1000? I’ll borrow the maximum, invest it, then pay the maximum back with no interest. Interest is bad, very bad.”

    This is a form of risible tripe. What I mean to say FB makes an error in his diagnosis. This is not gastritis. This is a prolapsed bowel with a beard of flies.

    While I agree that it’s worse than tripe, which is edible, it’s a prolapsed and necrotic bowel with a huge beard of flies which is not, I don’t know what yer talking about since FB did not write that. Anony-mouse at #1 wrote it.

    Please proof your comment and try again; it sounds as if there’s some potential there.

  69. @Wally

    So don’t borrow other people’s money if you don’t like it. Simple.

    In all probability it may not be that simple. I already explained it, above, and how would you address the issue of public debt, which I already emphasized, as well?

    You better stick to the history of the ’30s, an area in which you have some excellent ideas. Debt is clearly not your forte and clearly you know nothing about the Greek (public) debt problems which, parenthetically, was a way to steal from the Greeks who have long had very low private debt. Those folks should be pitied, not condemned. Sorry.

  70. Art says:
    @jilles dykstra

    Debt cancellation, sounds good, but not to those that lend money.
    If right now debts were cancelled I’d die of hunger, the assets of my pension funds would vanish.

    No problem. Take ownership in productive enterprises. Buy stocks that pay dividends.

    Think Peace — Art

    • Replies: @Anon
  71. @Anon

    Ok, 3,000 years ago there were debt cancellations. Nowadays individuals and companies have bankruptcies.

    What’s the difference?

    Again, the difference is that 3,000 years ago there may have been default between private individuals but not debt cancellation while today, as you note, there are cancellations of debt between private individuals. However, that only works if one is too big to fail, a concept which I loathe. Even more loathsome is the fact that bailouts occur on the public dime; the debt gets shifted from the individual entity onto the public. A worse system could not be imagined. Talk about moral hazard!!

    Israel never pays its loans. Isn’t that debt cancellations by the ZOG.

    Yup. Gangsters never have to say “thank you” or they’re sorry, either.

  72. @AaronB

    Ha! I was just reading your comment above and had the same thought about yours.

  73. @Iris

    When considering how little coverage is given to their ideas in MSM, one has to acknowledge that the current economic dynamics suits the powers that be

    I gather from that comment that you’d not be a fan of Krugman. A while back one of our resident geniuses proclaimed and advised that if we wanted to understand economics that we should “study” (imagine???), yes, “study” Krugman.

    I still get a laugh out of that advice.

    • Replies: @Iris
  74. @Anon

    American non (sic) government pensions depend on sociopaths stealing the money.

    And what, exactly, do you think government pensions depend on as a source of loot?

    FYI, taxes are theft.

  75. Art says:
    @niteranger

    Jefferson knew this: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…

    Serfdom is in play in Western economic systems.

    Today with our cashless society every transaction is flowing through Wall Street. They skim money off every transfer of money.

    Corporate Wall Street is like a second government – only it gets its money before the government gets its taxes. Local exchanges do not stay local – they must be passed through and skimmed by WS.

    Jefferson is being proven right – local governance is best – not strong nationalism.

    Big government, central banks, overpowering national business, and big national security and militaries – are anti everyday people.

    Think Peace — Art

  76. Art says:

    This is one of the most important informative articles ever published on UR.

    It gets to the heart of the historical human condition – the powerful against the average – the creditor against the debtor – and the inability to maintenance economic human stability.

    It also addresses the practical nature of Christianity.

    Think Peace — Art

  77. FB says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    ‘…you haven’t come anywhere near dealing with my point…’

    How about this…?

  78. Catiline says:
    @Anon

    There is more debt owed to the banks than currency with which to pay it off.

  79. Iris says:
    @jacques sheete

    Hello Jacques;

    Who in their right mind can be a fan of Paul Krugman? I find it highly comical that he was awarded the Nobel prize of Economics in 2008, the year of the recession he did NOT foresee, despite the prominent positions he held for tw0 decades.

    The only interesting thing about Mr Krugman is the nasty controversy he had with Prof Steve Keen, a favourite of mine. It started with “Do banks expand the money supply or not?” and ended with “Who is really in charge here?”, Keen saying the banks, Krugman saying the Federal Reserve/Treasury.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-krugman-vs-steve-keen-2012-4?IR=T

    It is of course Prof Keen who was right, for reasons convincingly demonstrated by other econ0mists not involved in the controversy. As a logical conclusion, one is entitled to wonder why Mr Krugman exposed his academic reputation protecting the banks?

    Mainstream economics is presented as a “hard science” based on maths. It is not. It is ideological, bordering on charlatanism. All the best.

    • Replies: @FB
    , @Anon
    , @jacques sheete
  80. FB says:
    @Anon

    Your graph shows f(x) = 2^x which is correctly described as an exponential function, but is not how compound interest works.

    What a crackerjack we have here…obviously you have never actually peeked inside a pre-calculus text…

    Also your gibberish pretending to be the language of mathematics is quite unintelligible…

    So…let us try to sort through your ‘issues’ shall we…

    The simple maths of compound interest is f(r) = (1+r)^n where r is the rate of interest and n is the number of periods for which interest is compounded

    Interesting…because nowhere in your ‘maths’ do we see the ingredient t for time…

    I guess in the ‘anon 228′ bizarro universe time stands still..?

    Here is the actual math…

    I have no idea what your disneyland ‘math’ formula is supposed to be…

    But here is what the compound math simplifies to if it is compounded only once annually [which is zero effective compounding]…and if the time or term of the loan is 1 year…

    the above formula simplifies to….

    A = P + Pr = P1…where P1 is the principal after year 1…

    If you have a term greater than 1 year…this is what happens…

    So we see clearly from this that even with compounding only once a year the exponential function still applies…

    Now…what has me really puzzled about your ‘maths’ is that you talk about compound interest…yet your examples have only annual compounding…which is in effect no compounding at all…as we see from the above formula annual compounding cancels out the n term since 1 / 1 = 1…

    Nice going Einstein…

    By contrast typical borrowers for buying houses or upmarket apartments in growth areas can easily afford to pay mortgage interest of 5 per cent over 25 years i and end up well ahead.

    Well…if you think you end up ‘ahead’ after paying out double or triple what you borrowed and living with a Sword of Damocles over your head all that time.then suit yourself…

    In any case..the topic of discussion is at the macro level Einstein…

    We are concerned about an existential issue here and that is that the mindless money grubbers are taking us all OVER THE CLIFF…

    Having [toilet] paper money in the so-called bank is not going to help you when the whole Ponzi house of cards comes crashing down…

    • Replies: @Anon
  81. @Anon

    I am assuming from your comments on my comment re debt jubilee that you are not a believer. If I am incorrect, please forgive me. I do not intend to get into a running debate about the applicability of God’s law to all areas of life. We would not have a common point of reference since our presuppositions would be markedly different. I will offer the following which indicates how I navigate the application of God’s standards to all of life.

    These principles outlined by James B Jordan in his Through New Eyes: Developing a Biblical View of the World have been very helpful:

    “The Mosaic law has been ignored by the Church for a couple of centuries. In reaction against this, some have taken up the Mosaic social laws as a virtual blueprint for modern society. The proper middle ground is to understand the typological nature of the Mosaic economy. The Old Covenant is a type of the New, and the Mosaic establishment, like the other establishments we are looking at, is a type of the Kingdom of Christ. As a type, it is filled with wisdom for us.

    A proper approach to the Mosaic law asks four questions. First, it asks what this law meant in the Old Covenant. Second, it asks how this law was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Third, it asks how this law is to be fulfilled in the Church, which is in union with Christ. And fourth, it asks what relevance this law may have in shaping wider society outside the Church. If we keep such a procedure in mind, the Mosaic Laws can be of great value to us; and we can avoid the dangers of legalism on the one side, and antinomianism on the other.”

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    , @Anon
    , @Anon
  82. @anony-mouse

    that depends on whether said mortgage is fixed or variable. In which case a variable mortgage could go in either direction.

    • Replies: @Anon
  83. FB says:
    @Anon

    ‘I borrow at under 4 per cent and inflation is over 2 per cent so, thank you if you are a saver who makes this possible (together with quantitative easing)’

    Savings and savers have almost nothing to do with loans you moron…

    Debt is created out of thin air whenever there is someone seeking credit….

    That’s all that is required…you go to the bank..they punch it in and there’s the new free money…as if by magic…

    The fractional reserve system is nominally set at 10 percent of loans [assets] outstanding…but in practice with the regs in place that is closer to 5 percent…which means if I come into the bank and put in $500 into my checking account they can create $10,000 in new loans…

    In reality it is not even necessary to have a depositor…if you fall short on reserve money you just borrow from the Fed [which is owned by the banks]…at the ‘special’ rate that only banks get…

    As for people who do give their money to banks…and I mean literally GIVE…since legally the money no longer belongs to the depositor as soon as it is deposited…it is the property of the banks who have promised to repay it on request…

    Yes…I feel sorry for those dupes…better to keep your money in your mattress than hand it to a bank…and more and more people are actually doing that…

    And as for being such a happy borrower…well there was once a book called the ‘Happy Hooker’ and it was a best seller too…until she died of AIDS or something…[strangled by pimp..?]

    Either way….enjoy while it all lasts…

    • Agree: Catiline
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  84. FB says:
    @Anon

    Relax weirdo…

    The Fed is owned by the banks that is a fact…

    Any more ‘prima facie’ flakes of wisdom you want to share with us…?

    • Replies: @Anon
  85. This is the best work from Michael Hudson that I have seen on Unz. Rare insight indeed.

  86. FB says:
    @nsa

    I can understad your position…

  87. @hyperbola

    I would be curious of the lending period.

  88. @enemy of earth

    That’s a lot of holla hoops. And it demands a thorough reading of the old testament in context. I like ti think of it as the Ten Commandments brought alive in the walk of Christ and established in Church doctrine or proactive by the Apostles.

    Whether one is christian or not, they could find a life of value by walking according the Ten Commandments or the practices of the christian faith and they never know an ounce of Old Testament to do so. When the Gospels and and Epistles were written they did not include Chapter and verse. In Western Tradition we tend to treat scripture as legal prescription, this law that law – laws. While I think God is orderly absolutely, faith is not a set of prescribed rules. One is honest because it is the fruit of the spirit, not merely because it is expected.

    No doubt some Orthodox subscriber is going to go aghast that scripture is nit a lw book and claim my comments are some form of therapeutic gibberish

    Obviously such a person would be unfamiliar with bible text outside of the liturgy. The New Testament certainly encompasses spiritual — but life in Christ is not a Talmud. L’est it be that one fall prey to supporting Israel even when they are killing unarmed peaceful protesters.

  89. FB says:
    @Iris

    Mainstream economics is presented as a “hard science” based on maths. It is not. It is ideological, bordering on charlatanism.

    Absolutely agree…so do many real economists like Hudson and PCR to name two who wouldn’t give disneylanders like Shrubman the time of day…

  90. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    Edward 1 and the rest of the European monarchs would let the Jews in, let them charge the standard rate of 133 percent interest for a while.

    Then the monarch would suddenly decide to enforce the usury laws and seize the property of the usurers.

    The monarch would have some of the property of the usurer, the Jews would move on with some of their profits and the ordinary citizens & debtors of the Jews would be screwed as the monarch would keep the money seized from the usurers.

    Such is the way of the world.

  91. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @enemy of earth

    So you are one of those Jewish, not Christian bible guys. The theme of the
    OT is kill the enemy. After you’ve killed one enemy go out into the desert and find another tribe to exterminate. Don’t forget to steal all their property as well.

    When not killing the enemy put an opaque veil on daughter A and order her to go through a marriage ceremony to the guy who worked without pay for 7 years as the price for marrying daughter B

    Another tribe of Sub human goyim shares your oasis and water supply? Tell your daughter Dinah to seduce the son of the goyim sheik into a marriage proposal. Make it a condition of the official engagement that all the male goyim be circumcised.

    In the days before sterile procedures the wounds usually got badly infected. The newly circumcised were wiped out and too sick to defend themselves.

    The Jewish sheik knew this. The goyim didn’t.

    So 3 days after the mass circumcision ceremony the male goyim were too sick to defend themselves.

    So the Jews killed all the goyim. The Jews acquired all their property and the entire oasis and water supply.

    That’s where the expression dummkopf to describe the goyim comes from.

    What else? Send an angel to kill al the Egyptian boys and loot their treasury Sleep with your daughters, have babies with them and be proud of it because only your and your daughters can breed God’s chosen people.

    There’s a lot more.

    Christians should follow the Christian bible not the slay, cheat, and slay entire populations again and again.

    It probably didn’t happen. It’s probsbly just a lengthy fantasy of what the ancient Jews wanted to do to the other peoples surrounding them.

    • Replies: @enemy of earth
  92. renfro says:

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/19/book-review-rise-and-kill-first-by-ronen-bergman/

    ”RISE AND KILL FIRST”
    By Ronen Bergman
    Random House, $35, 784 pages

    ‘Targeted assassination is a type of premeditated killing of those who pose an imminent threat. It is usually carried out by a covert intelligence or military unit often when the enemy’s capture is made impossible by his protected presence in hostile territory.’

    As Ronen Bergman writes in “Rise and Kill First,” Israeli covert agencies have conducted targeted assassinations against the country’s Arab adversaries throughout its pre- and post-statehood periods and the total number of these spectacular killings is staggering

    Before the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) against Israel in September 2000, Israel had conducted some 500 targeted killing operations, killing at least 1,000 people.
    Following the second Palestinian intifada, when the Palestinian suicide bombers targeted Israeli citizens on a daily basis, causing the deaths of some 887 Israeli civilians and 250 military personnel (these figures do not appear in the book), Mr. Bergman reveals that Israel carried out some 1,000 targeting operations, of which 168 succeeded in killing their targeted terrorists, with an additional 800 operations conducted against them from 2005 (when the intifada ended) until late 2017
    Other operations included a series of killings in Iran by Israeli covert operatives (and, as the author speculates, by Israeli allies in the region) against numerous scientists who were involved in developing Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which was directed against Israel, between the years 2010 and 2012
    About targeted assassinations, the author asks, “First, is it effective? Can the elimination of an individual, or a number of individuals, make the world a safer place? Second, is it morally and legally justified?”
    In an example of “bazaar diplomacy,” and despite international outrage, there were no repercussions against Israel, supposedly due to a “behind the scenes” understanding that let Israel off the hook.”

  93. Anon[228] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    You are beyond parody. Crudely opinionated despite ludicrous math and now amazing ignorance of law and even language.

    You don’t know that most banks aren’t investment banks and now you can’t understand even the article on Fed ownership that you linked. Just read it until at least you get to the words “the Fed isn’t ‘owned’ by anyone” and the explanation that government appointees control its activities. And then you might remember that the subject matter was Western Central Banks: not just the Fed.

    I wonder if you even have the capacity to learn anything by constant humiliation on UR in the eyes of everyone with an IQ of 100+.

    • Replies: @Iris
    , @gwynedd1
  94. Anonymous[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    Try being confused and confusing briefly. Obviously getting a mortgage or margin loan from a bank has *nothing* – not “almost nothing” – to do with individual savers. But the huge weight of saving in countries like China and Japan tends to keep down interest rates everywhere. More money of any kind floating around means it is less valuable in the market place and therefore less has to be paid gor its use. Simple.

    • Replies: @Iris
    , @renfro
  95. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @FB

    Perhaps I can help someone whose foul language suggests great agitation of mind. I did a couple of years of uni math and stats but can probably still help with the sort of Grade 7 stuff needed to qualify as a financial planner.

    The use of r instead of r/100 by way of simplification or n without t to specify the number of compounding periods of the calculation is totally immaterial to the question you avoid after having it pointed out that compound interest is often if not usually unthreatening. What you have avoided is your error and the pointing it out which has evidently got you so worked up.

    It was pointed out that your choice of f (x) = 2^x as your representative exponential function had little in common with the kind of exponential function which compound interest is.

    You should apologize.

  96. @Anon

    According to my information judaism also forbade interest.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
    , @renfro
  97. @JustJeff

    Well, this system suited the Dutch for maybe a hundred years now.
    Alas Brussels wants to tear it down, Dutch pensioners are too rich, in their opinion.
    The sociopaths on average, even during the last crisis, managed to get returns on investment up to seven %.
    We do not have systems as ENRON had.

  98. @Anon

    What is commonly called interest should have another name, such as tariff for lending money.
    It is made up of three components: interest as such, most of the time in history four %, a payment for inflation, the loan loses its worth trough inflation, and a payment for the risk that the loan is not paid back.
    The Egyptian document, I suppose, does not specify these three components.

  99. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @enemy of earth

    Jews have Moses and their portion of the Bible. Christians have Jesus the apostles and their part of the Bible.

    One can be a Christian or a Jew but not both.

  100. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    Absolutely right. Economics is even less a science than sociology. I’m a landlord and have been for a long time. My family are in construction mostly high rises and big projects rental properties and real estate.

    That’s really all I know about money and economics, personal experience. I can only judge economists when they talk about real estate.

    And they are usually wrong. I remember a few years ago reading an article that economists were being laid off and not getting hired at other places.

    Why???????

    Because the banks, big corporations, wall st and everybody else who were conned into hiring economists found that there predictions were useless.

    It’s just another bogus occupation.

  101. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art

    Dividends? Surely you jest. The best stock for dividends for decades is Johnson & Johnson. It pays around
    $3.50 a year per share.

    Microsoft, about $ 1.00 to $1.50 a year per share. The stock market is just legal gambling. Too risky for me. Give some scumbag wolf of wall st my money and the only way I can make a profit is if some crooks manipulate a rise in pric and I sell at the right time.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  102. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Art

    Not a lot of civility on this web site. But it’s fun to be as bitchy as I want.

  103. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @76239

    Let me guess. You are an 18 year old college freshman planning to be an Econ major.

    I bet they are teaching you that a job applicant can just negotiate their wage with the prospective employer because there is only one instead of 2,000 applicants for 1 job.

    Never mind, you’ll soon graduate and discover you are just another cubicle drone interchangeable with hundreds of thousands of cubicle drones and worth nothing to your employer.

    And you will want to buy a house car, all the trappings of adult life. You will discover that the bank that lends you money has fixed interest rates that they demand of everyone to whom they lend.

    Go into your bank. Tell someone you want a loan. Tell the bank officer you want to negotiate the loan. She will tell you the current interest rate and not be at all interested in your attempts to negotiate anything.
    Go to your college bookstore and try a free market negotiation for an over priced text book.

    Enjoy college it’s better than real life.
    *

  104. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    Variable mortgages should be outlawed.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  105. Iris says:
    @Anonymous

    ” But the huge weight of saving in countries like China and Japan tends to keep down interest rates everywhere”

    Are you serious?
    Have you lost your spectacles and failed to see the giant dinosaur in the room, Quantitative Easing?

    All Western Central Banks have massively used monetary techniques to increase liquidity to ( allegedly) mitigate the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Lowering interest rates is part of these techniques.

    Low interest rates are a deliberate policy, not a consequence of excess savings in China.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  106. Iris says:
    @Anon

    “”You don’t know that most banks aren’t investment banks and now you can’t understand even the article on Fed ownership that you linked”

    Hi Anon228. You really should stop using strong derogatory phrases in you comments: it attracts attention to the nonsense they are filled with.

    The Glass Steagall act was repealed in 1999, thanks to President Clinton, probably with a helping nudge from Miss Monica Lewinsky. As a consequence, commercial banks were allowed to speculate with savings and pensions, and lose them in fraudulent “investments”.

    So, actually, since then, all US banks can be considered investment banks.
    The likes of Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns were getting their lines of credit from the big banks, who were well aware of the junk paper on their balance sheets.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    , @Anon
    , @Anon
  107. @Iris

    Who in their right mind can be a fan of Paul Krugman?

    Exactly.

    It’s too bad the ‘Ol Maven, the expert on everything, is no longer commenting because it would be fun to read your replies to the know it all.

    Krugman is a joke, and I quit reading him when I was a kid because of the utter garbage the “prize winner “spewed. It also shows how much it means to win one of those doofus prizes.

    Mainstream economics is presented as a “hard science” based on maths. It is not. It is ideological, bordering on charlatanism. All the best.

    I’m no economist, but I’ve long suspected that. But then, the vast bulk of accepted dogma is bunkum in my always humble opinion. ;)

  108. @Anon

    The stock market is just legal gambling. Too risky for me. Give some scumbag wolf of wall st my money and the only way I can make a profit is if some crooks manipulate a rise in pric and I sell at the right time.

    For most people the stock market is most certainly legal gambling. It’s a huge sheep shearing operation run by crooks for that purpose. The crooks make the rules, change them and bend them as they see fit and they don’t do that for the benefit of the sheep.

    The key for us proles and peasants to succeed in the game is to realize that it is as described above, to cut ones’ losses swiftly, and to not get greedy. Even then, however, the game is rigged against the little guy when the federal government gets its greasy palms on the profits. It really puts a damper on the fun.

    The best book on the subject is “The Book of Daniel Drew, Confessions of a Stock Market Operator.” It’s chock full of good insights into how markets are manipulated. All the little happy capitalists who think it’s a foolproof system would benefit from studying what he writes. It’s very entertaining, too. To top it off, the crook who wrote it based on a lifetime of successful cheating also funded a theological seminary and is known as a “philanthropist.”

    Fundamentally, nothing ever changes, and practically everything is a fraud. Caveat emptor is the other Golden Rule.

  109. @Anon

    It’s a matter of choice. If interest rates drop, then a buyer saxes. There are even plans that enable one to lock in tat interest rate so tat it is fixed.

  110. Western “civilization” in a nutshell. Probably true for other “civilizations” as well.:

    Since the dawn of history, greed and fiscal corruption have never been worse.

    -Juvenal Satires, Volume I, (1.81-126) ~100 AD

    ‘Ol Juve would fill his shorts if he could see how corruption has been developed into the fine art that it has now become. Them Romans was pikers.

  111. @Iris

    And that more than anything else has demonstrated that banks must be regulated. The removal of Glass Steagal reveals what happens when capitalists become mercantilists.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/glass_steagall_act.asp

    https://larouchepac.com/glass-steagall

    As someone who opposes regulation, time and time again, the financial community refuses to adhre to basic math and over reaches without regard for honest dealings.
    ___________________________________

    a little clean-up:

    No doubt some Orthodox subscriber is going to go aghast that scripture is not merely a law book and claim my comments are some form of therapeutic gibberish

    Obviously such a person would be unfamiliar with bible text outside of the liturgy. The New Testament certainly encompasses spiritual laws — but life in Christ is not a Talmud. L’est it be that one fall prey to supporting Israel even when they are killing unarmed peaceful protesters of that Jesus was just a social reformer.

  112. @Anon

    I said I was not going to get into a back and forth on this but felt a need to respond to your comment. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I am a christian, not Jewish. It would take more than a few lines in a public forum to explain how I arrived at my current views on continuity and discontinuity with regards to the interpretation and application of the bible to life.

    It would also take more than a few lines to address your flippant remarks and view on the old and new testaments. But I wil say christians have historically held that the books of both old and new testaments are the Inscripturated Word of God. They contain what He wants us to know about Him and His creation.

    Thank you for your comments and the opportunity to think about what and why I believe what I believe.

  113. Anonymous[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    Having lectured on Currency and Credit I am well aware of the part played by Qantitative Easing in keeping interest rates low. Indeed I think at least three earlier comments have drawn attention to
    it so it is hard to miss. The fact remains that, cet.par., an increase in the quantity of something offered in the market lowers its price. (Have you not noticed what happens in the bond market? Fewer people today want to lend to the government so the price of Treasuries goes down and interest rates go up, and vice versa.)

    You would be right if you said that, since 2008-9, savings of the big saving countries (to which ome might add Americans’ attempts to manage their own risky balance sheets) have been less important to interest rates than Federal Reserve operations but you wrongly seek to exclude the big savers from the market which determines interest rates. They are still a part of it though less important than they were.

    You might have found something more interesting to say if you discussed the foreign exchange market. After all China’s and Japan’s tendency to keep their currencies undervalued (presumably adding to the income from which Chinese businesses save) tends to cause American interest rates to fall….

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  114. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    Not a bad attempt to wriggle out of the mistakes in your exam paper in your viva where you are hoping for the charity which will get you over the line with a pass. However I think you would find the commercial banks which got into investment banking would say they had investment banks (certainly incorporated separately) rather than were/are investment banks. But, seriously, are you happy to have managed a little verbal quibble when you were caught out totally on “Western Central Banks” and in substance on the Federal Reserve system. If you read the link provided by your embarrasingly dopey supporter you will have to agree that the Fed is not owned by anyone in any meaningful sense.

    Don’t thank me. You sound like one of those unusual UR commenters who won’t waste readers’ time by reiterating the old errors.

  115. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @Iris

    Not a bad attempt to wriggle out of the mistakes in your exam paper in your viva where you are hoping for the charity which will get you over the line with a pass.

    However I think you would find the commercial banks which got into investment banking would say they had investment banks (certainly incorporated separately) rather than were/are investment banks. But, seriously, are you happy to have managed a little verbal quibble when you were caught out totally on “Western Central Banks” and in substance on the Federal Reserve system. If you read the link provided by your embarrasingly dopey supporter you will have to agree that the Fed is not owned by anyone in any meaningful sense.

    Don’t thank me. You sound like one of those unusual UR commenters who won’t waste readers’ time by reiterating the old errors.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  116. gwynedd1 says:
    @jilles dykstra

    To other Jews.

    “You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

    Deuteronomy 23, 19-20

    • Agree: Catiline
    • Replies: @Catiline
    , @EliteCommInc.
  117. gwynedd1 says:
    @Anon

    The kind of Christianity we have today is a form of self humiliation. It was quite sustaining and useful to infuse the barbarians with some of those well known passive virtues. The Byzantines learned to use it skilfully. I have now come to agree that people should be burned at the stake for handing the bible to a plow boy.

    I would actually have to agree with you that if Hudson was using the bible to those ends , that one would begin with agreeing with those things that are actually true.
    However the flaw in your reasoning is your premise that Hudson is” just a liberal” so that you could cram him into your logical meat grinder.

    And you will hate me more than any liberal. I am an apostate. I am therefore not ignorant of the bible and what it says therein. Very dangerous….

  118. @anony-mouse

    Neither you nor the author of this article have any clue about Christianity.

    This author is just another social activist distoring Christianity to rationalize their political philosophy. This author has no problem stealing other people’s property, as long as it is for the benefit of those he favors. Total BS.

    The difference between Mosaic law and this author’s agenda is that creditors making loans knew this in advance. Changing the rules in the middle of the game as this author advocates is theft and nothing else.

    Today, there is already a mechanism for the debt problem. It’s called bankruptcy. Debtors should be permitted to default on their debts and creditors who foolishly made these reckless loans should eat their losses.

    Concurrently, under any sane economic system, those who default on their debts would either have their credit shut off for good or forced to pay “loan shark” rates to borrow it.

    But let me guess, I can already anticipate that populist demagogues like Hudson aren’t in favor of this either. Because what they really want isn’t “lending” but politically compelled income and wealth redistribution at someone else’s expense.

  119. gwynedd1 says:
    @Anon

    “You are beyond parody. Crudely opinionated despite ludicrous math and now amazing ignorance of law and even language. ”

    At least he is entertaining when he insults people.

    “You don’t know that most banks aren’t investment banks and now you can’t understand even the article on Fed ownership that you linked. Just read it until at least you get to the words “the Fed isn’t ‘owned’ by anyone” and the explanation that government appointees control its activities. And then you might remember that the subject matter was Western Central Banks: not just the Fed.”

    Boy what an idiot he seems to be. However are you expecting me to find the sources for your conclusion?

    I have seen various sources and claims as to who “owns the banks”. I lost intrest in trying to verify the legal veracity of it. Anyone with a shred of brains, like a Rockefeller for example , or Bill Gates as another, knows that what they nominally own is a curse and what they anonymously control is a blessing in their class. While lawful ownership is often quit useful to the lower classes, it becomes a target as one accumulates more wealth and power. I could by land at market prices . Walt Disney could not because any land he bought impacted the market. That is just but one example.

    Who actually controls the Fed is what matters and using the inverse of a principle of what makes a poor democracy, the Fed hides in the complexity making most of use effectively idiots . It is very difficult to explain it to the normies.

    Now if I could influence the Fed purchase my trash for just a million dollars , for the good of you all. I mean removing the trash is a public good and prevents pestilences and so on. So the Fed should buy it from me.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
    , @Anon
  120. Catiline says:
    @gwynedd1

    This all important detail always seems to get overlooked and go unremarked.

  121. gwynedd1 says:
    @gwynedd1

    Correction.
    I mean to say:

    I have seen various sources and claims as to who owns the Fed.

  122. gwynedd1 says:
    @Anonymous

    I am glad you did not miss it. After QE, its time to tear up the textbooks that suggest that long interest rates are controlled by the market.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  123. renfro says:
    @Anonymous

    Obviously getting a mortgage or margin loan from a bank has *nothing* – not “almost nothing” – to do with individual savers

    Nuts….. Banks make loans based on the amount of their assets..iow, the amount of money the bank holds …..if they fall below a certain amount of held money vr loans they have to borrow overnight Fed money to maintain banking requirements.

  124. renfro says:
    @jilles dykstra

    According to my information judaism also forbade interest.

    Wrong.

    If you look into the history of Jewish expulsions from countries you will see that ‘usury’ was one of the reasons that aroused the populations against them.

  125. @Augustus Frost

    Hmmmmmm . . . as noted previously, scripture is clear that one should pay their debts. I certainly am in angst about my student loan. However, I don’t think the author is making a claim to avoid paying one’s debt.

    I think the case he is making in our contemporary society is:

    1. usury is common practice and it’s abused.

    2. the same people who engage in unfair interest manipulation are also supported in their practice by government.

    3. The case you claim would apply to a situation in which public monies were used to bail out businesses — in the last fifty years that has occurred more than one — with the public receiving little or no return. This argument you make cuts both ways and your misconstruing the contend — in my view. besides bailing out financial institutions and business who profited and eventually failed oin their own accord – their practices, government reduced scrutiny, penalties while at the same time increasing both on consumers.

    4. The author is using a historical model to support a simple press — there ought to be redress and recalculation of the system to prevent abuse as well as make it fair , to avoid usry abuse. Jubilee which is a scriptural Ot practice is by way of example.

    5. There is a case for matters of redress.

    I fully agree that the author is also manipulating who what Christ represents as many many liberals even conservative do. For example, churches who claim sanctuary for illegal immigrants —- that is abusing both Christ and scripture. It’s a lie. But the article confronts christians with milk toasting scripture to public policy when it suits them and abandoning it when it doesn’t. The theft you are skipping around without saying it is the theft the author is confronting — that of businesses being bailed out, while creating processes that unfairly burden the consumer and what to do about such usury. Surely, you are not defending the practice of ballooning pay structures hidden in mortgage contracts.

    There’s an axiom that is sacrosanct in capitalist practice — fair and honest dealings. One does not take advantage one in business with even when it is possible to so — surely you are not suggesting that Christ would support as much.

  126. @Anon

    The Fed reserve ownership is not open. In other words, entry to ownership is via membership of the club. One does that to protect the entity in legal and financial terms from various threats natural or otherwise. But one engages the closed corporation so as to have corporate status and all it protections while maintaining a closed circuit of control.

    Who owns what is protected information (depending where the corp was formulated) — I think a benefit of not being a public corp.

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/78032

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/closed-corporation.asp

    I think young Mr Zuckerberg would have preferred to have incorporated in a close corp entity, because his ability to control what face book does or does not is very limited once he incorporated it as a public share. Make no mistake the fed is a private ownership, even if that privacy is composed of several members. It is privately held.

  127. @Augustus Frost

    I’m glad somebody else said this, because the comment I would like to have written would have taken me all damn day and I really need to use my meager time off from work to get some other things accomplished. On matters both theological and economical, this article is a steaming pile of dung that could well do with a serious debunking.

    The one claim I would like to endorse is the general (albeit distorted) recognition that sin represents a real and serious debt that must be repaid to the last penny. It would be nice to see a more widespread recognition of this fact.

    Regarding the idea of a debt jubilee, it is sheer and unmitigated horseshit to believe that this would benefit the overall economy. It would simply be rewarding the intemperate spendthrifts who borrowed and consumed with no thought for the morrow, while everybody else would be forced to eat the cost. Only economic idiots (I’m looking at you, Beckow) would subscribe to the notion that debt is a mere social construct that can be waived away with the stroke of a pen. Debt represents real consumption in the present that must be paid back in the future. Once debt is issued it has to be discharged, either by repayment, default, inflation, or a currency collapse; there is no other option. Somebody—not necessarily the borrower—will end up bearing the burden of that debt because there is no free lunch.

    Economic justice means forcing people to bear the consequences of their own actions. While perfect justice is not possible on Earth, a fragmentary attempt at it can and must be made. Debt forgiveness is not it.

    • Replies: @MacNucc11
  128. Anyone who wants to consider the banking practices, could do themselves no harm in familiarizing themselves with the Basel Accords, which in my view introduced very dicey banking practices and have contributed no small amount of damage to national and international banking.

    A gift from the financial wizards of Latin America and Europe (mostly Latin America, as I recall).

    As a capitalist, these gambits are beyond comprehension.

  129. I guess I may as well dive into the whole pie here:

    jubilee:

    “The point of these rules is that Israelites were never to become slaves to other Israelites. It was conceivable, though, that impoverished Israelites might sell themselves as slaves to wealthy resident aliens living in the land (Lev. 25:47-55). Even if this happened, the sale must not be permanent. People who sold themselves must retain the right to buy themselves out of slavery if they prospered. If not, a near relative could intervene as a “redeemer” who would pay the foreigner according to the number of years left until the jubilee when the impoverished Israelites were to be released. During that time, they were not to be treated harshly but be regarded as hired workers.”

    https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/leviticus-and-work/the-sabbath-year-and-the-year-of-jubilee-leviticus-25

    https://escapeallthesethings.com/jubilee-year/

    http://www.ewtn.com/Jubilee/history/OT2.htm

    I wanted to avoid this discussion in any depth because it’s always tricky to apply scripture meant for believers in a secular context. Note: In the US the year of jubilee had very special meaning to slaves exposed to scripture.

    But for all Christians — as understood in scripture — the jubilee is the trial, Crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, “the sacrifice lamb” and belief in him.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  130. @EliteCommInc.

    I am not a peacenick -

    But in my view there are a lot of christians linking belief in Christ top democracy and cause for making war either on the behalf of Jews or christians — no such mandate exists in scripture. And while there are times for war.

    The above references from the TOW organization should not be construed that I support a policy of US war making on the behalf of strictly theological positions that do not violate scripture by way of secular behavior. Those paths may cross, but nothing including war for Taiwan would pass test.

  131. Anonymous[416] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t think “controlled by” is a correct description of the operation of markets. Markets themselves being controlled can make more sense. However it opens up the question of what market forces will achieve if the central banks fail to go into reverse on seeing, if they do, that the flood of money is causing unacceptable inflation. Don’t tell me that the operations of savers/lenders and borrowers/investors in the market won’t matter.

  132. Anonymous[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @gwynedd1

    I think #32 was meant as an answer as you have used the words “controlled by”.

  133. Anon[436] • Disclaimer says:
    @gwynedd1

    AIf only you could convey to FB, Iris and others of the tinfoil hat brigade that it is indeed who control the Fed that matters. That is those appointed by the government! They could even read the link proffered by FB which, if he read it, he didn’t understand.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
    , @EliteCommInc.
  134. MacNucc11 says:
    @gwynedd1

    What many fail to realize is that the original amount loaned to individuals is simply made up out of thin air on the spot by the lender and using funds given them by the big daddy government but which they lend based on often less than 20% holding. The borrower on the other hand must actually go out and earn real money to be paid back. What this creates is borrowers all scrambling for the real dollars in the economy to pay “back,” and I put that in quotes because the lender in a real sense never even had it, with it all be coming scarcer and scarcer. The jubilee came for the lenders with the TARP bailout but nothing came for the people who had the loans on inflated housing. The system is rigged in many ways and barter and cash are increasingly criminalized so people are forced into the system.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  135. MacNucc11 says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I think if any such thing as this jubilee were to happen each debt should be looked at carefully and it could be determined if the original debt plus interest had in fact been paid back and is it just interest on interest that is left. Then a determination could be made on how much remains to be paid back under an adjusted figure. I think it probably could turn out that more than just the borrowers would benefit. I have read that cars are sitting in lots waiting to be sold and inventories are at all time highs because of the debt of most consumers. These are huge businesses with many employees. Manufacturing would be impacted. Stocks would go higher. New loans could be made and that would compensate the banks for losses. The banks’ predatory practices are in danger of wiping out the herd. Who do they lend to then? It is like in the Lion King when the hyenas took over and killed all the game. The whole system collapses if nothing is done. I think it was FB pointed out the math is what it is. It happens by default or by design. Either way it happens.

    • Replies: @nickels
  136. gwynedd1 says:
    @Anon

    People should treat the law more like a hypothesis . There is a force to it, but it does not mean it can overcome other forces. We do no not always follows laws on the books.

    The ultimate authority lies with the sovereign. East indies was an agent of the British Empire regardless of the scribbled ink that bound them together. The Fed hides in complexity, and I doubt whether those that appoint our representatives know what they are doing. I doubt even more that they hold the public interest in their motives if they do.

    The Fed clearly obeyed its true master in 2008. What difference does it make what the scripture says when the Pope rapes the proselytes on the alter of St Peter’s Basilica? Thou shalt be raped in deeds.

  137. gwynedd1 says:
    @MacNucc11

    Its even worse than this. The reason is because there is a legitimate explanation for the process. The swindle is in the substitution of the premise.

    The lender does not get a free ride when lending money per se. They take on the risk of the default. Yes , they freely create money, but they do take on a liability to collect the loan.There is a reason why so many people graduate with their finance degrees without noticing a problem.

    A banker loans money to make widgets. New supply is created to finance the loan. the loan is paid back and everyone wins. if the maker of widgets cannot pay the loan then the lender takes a loss. How very nice it all is. What beautiful little hamlets will appear on the pastoral landscapes…How warm and cozy are the winters with stacks of wood in the shed, hay in the barn, sausages in the smoke house , a full pantry and root cellar. Orthodox, right wing economic fanatics are brought to the brink of orgasm at this point.

    Again its all based on pretending the income of “rent” does not exist. Its as if the landed gentry decided to masquerade as merchants.

    The problem is that banks are making loans to things of value that are not products of human labor. More money will not make more of them. It might be left in the hand of an incompetent I suppose otherwise, but once its turned into privilege created fictitious capital, the entire surplus ends up who knows where? That is to say the all the benefits of its regulation are lost. Even worse is the proceeds fiance corruption. These very assets being created by the government should form the tax base, not be turned into a loan sponge for distant lords. Since there is little competition , not only is there no new production, there is little risk. And if that is not infuriating enough, even when they have over extended their greed and corruption where tactical risk becomes a real possibility, here comes the bail outs.

    This is the problem. The logic of the system is sound when using widgets , and the suckers are non the wiser.

  138. nickels says:
    @MacNucc11

    Yes.
    As Dr. Hudson points out in his book on the Parasite-consumer indebtedness has essentially collapsed demand.
    The system is dying and debt is the poison.

    Dr. Hudson is in tricky waters speaking to early Christianity, however. All these scriptures and stories have complex and historic interpretations. There is also a body of Christian theory on economics, at least in the Catholic tradition.
    Any speculations he has would do best if run against and reflected against this body of tradition, rather than speculated on individually.

    • Replies: @gwynedd1
  139. gwynedd1 says:
    @nickels

    Since I know both Hudson and the scriptures well i would say he makes good use of it. i am also not clear what you mean.

    He speak much about usufruct. That is to say compensation to the poor for having no access to the land. Yet it also limits any excess due to the fact that there is a capital or labor element to it as well.

    [MORE]

    “19 “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. 21 When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. 22 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this thing.”

    -Deuteronomy.

    23 ‘The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. 24 And in all the land of your possession you shall grant redemption of the land.

    29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee.

    -Leviticus 25

    Looks to me raw land and a house composed of capital is treated very differently. Looks to me it is very compatible with his economic theories direived from classical economics:

    Rather interesting to compare JS Mill:

    §5. A remark is often made, which must not here be omitted, though, I think, more importance has been attached to it than it merits. Under the name of rent, many payments are commonly included which are not a remuneration for the original powers of the land itself, but for capital expended on it. The additional rent which land yields in consequence of this outlay of capital, should, in the opinion of some writers, be regarded as profit, not rent. But before this can be admitted, a distinction must be made. The annual payment by a tenant almost always includes a consideration for the use of the buildings on the farm; not only barns, stables, and other outhouses, but a house to live in, not to speak of fences and the like. The landlord will ask, and the tenant give, for these, whatever is considered sufficient to yield the ordinary profit, or rather (risk and trouble being here out of the question) the ordinary interest, on the value of the buildings: that is, not on what it has cost to erect them, but on what it would now cost to erect others as good: the tenant being bound, in addition, to leave them in as good repair as he found them, for otherwise a much larger payment than simple interest would of course be required from him. These buildings are as distinct a thing from the farm as the stock or the timber on it; and what is paid for them can no more be called rent of land, than a payment for cattle would be, if it were the custom that the landlord should stock the farm for the tenant. The buildings, like the cattle, are not land, but capital, regularly consumed and reproduced; and all payments made in consideration for them are properly interest.

    Js Mill , …Political economy , …rent.

    • Replies: @nickels
  140. nickels says:
    @gwynedd1

    What I am saying is that the scriptures, by themselves, are meaningless to Christians.
    Only through the interpretation of the holy fathers and the traditions of the Church do they have any meaning to us.

    So, picking through the Old Testament and finding pieces of the Old Covenant are not of any interest unless they have been picked up and amplified through the lens of the New Testament by authoritative sources in the Church tradition.

    Probably something like Quadragesimo anno or Rerum novarum would be a starting point. I believe the Catholics have a number of texts on economics.
    Not sure about Orthodox.

    Of course, with Protestants, you can just pick through the bible and assemble words at random to produce whatever nonsense you like.

    Of course, as a historical text on the traditions of the Hebrews, the Old Testament can certainly be used however one likes; but that has no meaning to our faith and Christian tradition, since Christ is the New Covenant, replacing the Old T.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  141. @Anon

    You might want to reconsider your comments. The government appoints a chair head — a spokesperson — the fed chairman/chairperson.

    They don’t control the fed.

  142. @nickels

    And what and where does Christ make this interesting admonition. I think your comments pertain only to those who adhere to a strict Orthodoxy in which the leadership alone interprets scripture. But nothing and I mean nothing prevents truth and Christ from impacting the life of anyone who reads and studies scripture directly.

    I have oft heard it said that Catholics were discouraged from reading scripture. In my history, I had a Catholic Bible, a Catholic mini bible, scripture was read at mass twice — and scripture was a part of every single holiday celebration and event —-

    I was even encouraged to read scripture. So my experience from Germany to Washington state was one in which even the Orthodox Catholic faith encourage reading scripture — I seriously doubt that was encouraged because it was meaningless.

    It may be that I am taking unintended meanings with meaning of your comments.

    “Of course, with Protestants, you can just pick through the bible and assemble words at random to produce whatever nonsense you like.”

    Laugh. Uhhh I guess one could, but then one could with any test. I suspect that you are unfamiliar with either scripture or many of those that take scripture seriously.

    But again since the Church claims its authority from scripture — you are certainly welcome to note what contexts of scripture suggest it is meaningless unless one is a clergy od scholar in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @nickels
  143. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    Elite comie

    It’s very obvious You are an Old Testament Protestant who ignores the Christian, or should I say Catholic New Testament .

    The whole point of the Protestant reformation was to reject the catholic New Testament and become wanna be jews believing only in the Old Testament.

    So go ahead and be an Old Testament wanna be Jew.

    Real Christians follow the new testament

  144. @Anon

    It’s obvious you did not read my comments.

    The abbreviation Comm. does not represent an ideological perspective. Which if one had read anything I write as poor as it may be — would know immediately that communism is not my fair of financial thought.

    And apparently aren’t very schooled as to Catholicism or the reformation. My Catholic Bible contained OT and New Testament scripture and in my practice no priest ever discouraged me reading scripture — just the opposite.

    And every catholic gets a dose or two of the OT every Sunday. Maybe you haven’t been in a while.

  145. @Anon

    The abbreviation comm. has nothing to do with a political ideology.

    I am not sure you have opened a catholic bible. The Catholic Bible I was raised on had both Old and New testaments. And I was encouraged by my clergy to read both routinely and if they didn’t my “die-hard Catholic mother made sure of it. Had you actually read my comments you would have noted a rather interesting Catholic practice that occurs every Sunday — Vatican II or not. Every mass includes readings from the Old testament and the New Testament. Many Hymns are comprised on Old Testament scripture as well as the new.

    http://www.catholicapologetics.info/scripture/oldtestament/Psalms.htm

    Now if you have ever read the OT, especially the books that describe the religious ceremonies, you will discover that the catholic mass is a mirror of the clothing and practices of ancient Israel. The layout of the tabernacle and what it represents and who resides therein, should remind you of ancient Israel — None of which is in the New Testament anywhere in any form. No services are as replete with OT testament images and themes as catholic and Orthodox churches.

    I don’t think you understand what the reformation is or why it occurred.

    Two hints:

    Martin Luther and King Henry the Eighth. And all the disputes centered not on the OT but the New Testament.

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Reformation

    https://www.gotquestions.org/Protestant-Reformation.html

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Protestant_Reformation

    Nothing in the abbreviation of Comm. is to a political ideology – not even close. The only thing that is obvious here is that you did not read my comments. And anyone reading anything I wrote would know, I am not a communist.

  146. @DaveE

    “When was the last time you heard a banker tell a client (truthfully) that he couldn’t make a loan because he needed his funds to get his new invention off the ground?”

    Here’s a link to ten American bankerless loans, beginning with the Internet: http://www.alphr.com/features/373546/10-brilliant-darpa-inventions.

    As J. Bradford DeLong pointed out in Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy, Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea grew their economies adopting America’s mighty pre-Clinton invention generation system.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
  147. @Buzz Baldrin

    Two of these states are heavily protected economies because the US pays for a large portion of their defense.

    Overall, I am not sure there is anything uniquely US about selling more than you buy — exports over imports.

  148. nickels says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    in which the leadership alone interprets scripture

    This is NOT the Orthodox interpretation of the scripture.
    It is the Saint who reaches closest to God, and, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is the ultimate authority on scripture.
    The leadership has nothing to do with it. Their job is to keep the church sailing in the right direction and teaching the interpretations of the Saints.

    Scripture is nearly useless in the hands of the layman, unless he is guided by the church and/or the writings of the Holy Fathers.

    Also, the only language necessary to understand scripture is Greek. Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin are irrelevant.

    The Septuagint is the divinely inspired interpretation of the Old Testament, and the New Testament is also in Greek.

    Catholics might have more complicated ideas on the Old T, but they are the church of the Franks, not entirely the church of Christ. They have many troubles.

  149. Laughing.

    Aside from the two step dance about Saints, you have only repeated what i said Saints, holy fathers — based in the system of belief — that’s called church leadership.

    You do realize that the Orthodoxy refers to

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthodoxy (I avoid wikipedia but for this it will do)

    I am not going to qiuiblle about the details that’s how got Catholic and Orthodox Church debates — and inconsequential here.

    https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-orthodox-and-vs-catholic/

    But the original beliefs are derived from the same sacred contexts and in which the leadership as you describe led by the Holy Spirit determine doctrine.

    I don’t take issue with that. I do suggest that your comments about Scriptures value to members og the faith is incorrect and lo and behold, imagine this the Orthodox Church like the Catholic Churcj encourages reading the Bible —

    https://oca.org/readings

    Even the Old Testament — shocking.As daily readings no less.

    A study bible

    https://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthodox_Study_Bible

    http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/browse?type=book

    Now I think it is fair to say that the Orthodox Church like the Roman Catholic faiths encourage reading the bible. because it has spiritual value for believers. In other-words, scripture is not meaningless to lay believers – not in any manner. That is why the early churches passed the letters of the apostles from church to church often led by lay believers.

    So I side with the Orthodox Church instead of you — scripture has purpose and meaning to its members.

    Orthodox Presbyterians — scripture has value for them as well

    http://www.opc.org/new_horizons/9506a.html

    • Replies: @nickels
  150. nickels says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    1) Most of the Holy fathers were ascetics who lived for 50 years in a cave in the desert.
    2) You bear false witness to my statement. I never said we don’t value reading the bible. I said reading the bible without the interpretations of the church is worthless. Actually it can be worse than that if one starts deciding to interpret at will. Protestantism has a 500 year violent history of this (book of Daniel mania). We stand on the brink of WW3 because of this (Scofield heresy).

    Please do not engage in sophistry and misrepresentation if you wish to continue a dialog.

    This is all standard Orthodox teaching.

    Catholic teaching is more complex, and, to some extent more as you say-church leaders making up dogma.

    But Catholics do have better writings on economic topics….

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    , @Anon
  151. gwynedd1 says:

    “We stand on the brink of WW3 because of this (Scofield heresy).”

    You know….I have to say that I would have to side with the Orthodox position based upon this mighty piece of evidence alone.

  152. @nickels

    Here’s rephrase on your original.

    “Scripture is nearly useless in the hands of the layman, unless he is guided by the church and/or the writings of the Holy Fathers.”

    Scripture is nearly useless in the hands of the layman, unless he is guided by the church and/or the writings of the Holy Fathers.

    Juxtaposed against my comment.

    “in which the leadership alone interprets scripture”

    Now unless you are willing to grant that the Orthodox Church allows its ,embers to have individual understanding of scripture as in a personal relationship or meanings that may be unique to said member, we are in fact saying the same thing with one caveat. Cased on your comments, interpretation does not happen individually but by church leadership.

    That is by your reckoning — your words, your choice. Remember nearly meaningless. You don’t cite a single reference from any orthodox belief system to support it, you simply state it as fact. My response was to reject the notion that said scripture is meaningless — regardless of Church leadership. And in support I provide several references in which Orthodox faiths encourage individual reading of scripture. Clearly they do not endorse a vie that individual reading or study of scripture is meaningless. Even the leadership grants what scripture itself endorses — for members to know it. Now as I have already granted Orthodox practices lean heavily on doctrinal meaning or interpretation by them.

    Almost all faiths engage in scripture under some form of leadership so led or formally ordained. For many fundamentalists, scripture and the holy fathers as they are referred to in Orthodox practice starts with the Apostles as derived by their letters and the Gospels. Those Churches existed before Catholicism and its variants including Orthodox faiths which would no doubt debate said origins and the breaks with Catholicism, though given the nature of the practices, the nuances are minor canyons.

    And here’s the caveat: when I read the importance on reading scripture among Orthodox faiths – it is clear they value individual scholarship and in my view individual meaning. And while protestants may grant even more room for the same, they are no less concerned about scripture in context — that the Holy Spirit may very well lead one person in one direct and another somewhere else without the slightest violation of scriptural context.

    [MORE]

    Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another
    14 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master[a] that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

    5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

    10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written,

    “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
    and every tongue shall confess[b] to God.”
    12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

    Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
    13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

    20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.[c] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.[d]
    ________________

    The above is the value of individual study. There are individual practices that scripture permits. I have to side with the Apostle Paul here.

  153. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @nickels

    Seems as though you and elite comminc are both Catholics and there is no reason to quarrel

  154. Anonymous[527] • Disclaimer says:

    Just cancel everybody’s debt each year. Sure. Encouraging the reckless spenders among us to rack it up without consequence (because goshdarnit, they deserve what other people worked for) and in turn, punishing those who work hard to think ahead and save;What could go wrong? I’m sure those savers (not to mention the banks who act as the middlemen) who provide the capital to those spenders will be thrilled by this, and not pump their money into other more profitable ventures, making it nearly impossible for anyone to even get a loan for anything without sky high rates of interest (to get the payoff before the jubilee date hits).

  155. Karl says:

    Every civilization has its charades

    In Rabbinic (ie, non-Karaite) Judaism, it is “no work activity on shabbat”. The end result of which is – “shabbat elevators” in apartment buildings, and “shabbos goys”

    In Islam, it is “abolition of ribaa” – the end result of which is “Islamic banking”, in which the time value of money is painted over by contract terms which merely call it something else.

    Go ahead and pretend that you’re going to abolish debt. I’ll go get my bag of popcorn

  156. I would certainly like to be in Washington DC when Dr. Michael Hudson and Dr. William Black plea with a reasonable President Donald Trump to replace the present illegitimate United States petro – dollar of Nixon with a gold backed currency. At the same time renege upon and cancel the present ungodly debt or pay it off with assets from another source. The stolen money in the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Board could be that source of money. The stolen money is gargantuan as compared to the official twenty trillion dollar debt. That debt is actually more than one hundred trillion dollars but is dwarfed by the stolen money that could exceed 800 trillion dollars in possession of the Fed that belongs to the American people both dead and alive. Long dead American citizens must have the money owed to their children and grand children restored to them. Hang the banker gangsters for their crimes against humanity and a Righteous God. Then American citizens must plea for forgiveness through repentance from this same Holy Righteous God Almighty for ALL our sins against HIS Holy Righteous Will, Nature and Throne. Jubilee. Renege upon this evil debt.

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