Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #427: 777
October 10, 2009: There is an important update to this post at the bottom.
All sink or all swim?
At the end of every seventh year, cancel all debts. This is the procedure: Everyone who has lent money to a neighbor writes it off. You must not press your neighbor or his brother for payment: All-Debts-Are-Canceled—God says so. You may collect payment from foreigners, but whatever you have lent to your fellow Israelite you must write off.
There must be no poor people among you because God is going to bless you lavishly in this land that God, your God, is giving you as an inheritance, your very own land. But only if you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, diligently observing every commandment that I command you today. Oh yes—God, your God, will bless you just as he promised. You will lend to many nations but won’t borrow from any; you’ll rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, “It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,” and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin.
Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
This is God telling us: Mortal Capitalism doesn’t work.
Well, look, here are the choices:
1) Global financial collapse, millions starve, millions die, international upheavals. Gotterdammerung.
2) Wipe out all the debt. National, corporate, consumer. Just erase all of it. The assets still remain. Nothing really becomes zero.
Unemployment will stop growing, financing will begin again, people will shop again.
Tell me what the difference is! Write-downs are happening right now. Bankruptcies are happening right now. Just take one global eraser and wipe it all out.
Replace the fear and misery with jubilation.
Can any of you envision the worldwide happiness that would result?
Once that mess is gone, be ruthlessly honest in future transactions.
Economics is supposed to be about creating value, not cancerous debt.
Imagine what life would be like in just six years from now if this was followed.
The prosperity would be absolutely breathtaking.
As of October 10, 2009, I disavow this proposed solution. It is simply and entirely wrong.
The fundamental error I made is the one everyone is making: not getting to the root cause.
The root cause is the structure of the entire monetary system itself.
Wiping out all debt will still keep us trapped within that system and continue the boom and bust cycle for the benefit of a select few instead of the well-being of all.
If you are serious about finding a solution, then you will have to do some work of your own. I recommend a book as a starting point: Web of Debt, by Ellen Hodgson Brown. I have no connection to this book other than as someone who was lent a copy to read.
Pay particular attention to this quote by Benjamin Franklin, who was discussing the pre-Revolutionary American Colonies:
There was abundance in the Colonies, and peace was reigning on every border. It was difficult, and even impossible, to find a happier and more prosperous nation on all the surface of the globe. Comfort was prevailing in every home. The people, in general, kept the highest moral standards, and education was widely spread.
All of that was because of the kind of monetary system the Colonies had. They had divorced themselves from the brutal system that dominated English finance.
We can have that system again today. We have a tool — and a weapon — the Colonists lacked: the Internet.
Educate yourself about money — while there is still time to do so.
Don’t fall for “solutions” that will impoverish all of us.