Charlie's Blog: Slave to the Lender


Slave to the Lender

The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

I am through with the tiny house movement. I heartily supported this movement when the tiny houses cost about the same as a good used car. Now, those same houses cost more than a new car, and the prices keep going up. What happened? The answer is simple. Financing happened. The whole point of the tiny house movement was to own a home without having a mortgage. Now, they have mortgages and real estate agents selling them. The stupidity of it all is staggering. But this is the madness that ensues when people are allowed to buy things with money they don't have.

Inflation is created when the money supply expands. As the number of dollars increases, the price of goods increases. Credit is largely the creation of money out of thin air. Whatever can be financed will see an increase in its price relative to that available credit. You can see this price increase in homes, cars, used cars, student loans, and now, in tiny houses. What angers me is that it drives up prices for people who have actual real cash to spend. The result is what looks strangely like a vast conspiracy to place every man, woman, and child in a perpetual state of indentured servitude. The United States is now a land of usury and debt slavery.

When slavery ended in the United States following the Civil War, plantation owners lost their imprisoned workforce. This was a huge blow to the slave masters, yet the low morals that allowed these people to own other people and beat and rape them into forced labor allowed them to reestablish a new system of oppression known as sharecropping. With sharecropping, what matters is not owning the laborer but owning the land the laborer lives on and works on. This is a very important thing because it shows that you don't have to own a person to enslave them. You merely have to own everything else that a person needs to live and survive and charge that person to use these things. So, with sharecropping, former slaves would work the land for a portion of the harvest and the profit. But the plantation owner wouldn't pay in crops or cash but in credit down at the plantation store. The plantation store was ingeniously evil because it extended credit to people who didn't have anything and didn't know any better. The prices were higher, and the purchases were financed at interest. Many times the laborer would end a season still owing money to the plantation owner which would be carried forward to the next season. Debts would accumulate with these people such that they could never leave the land and own their own plots or their own homes. Their lives were reduced to the slavery they had escaped except that the plantation owner no longer had to worry about making sure his slaves were fed and clothed. That was their problem. So, these sharecroppers would work their guts out to end up poorer at the end than at the beginning while the non-working plantation owner sat on his ass and profited.

When the industrial revolution came, the plantation store was replaced with the company store which operated on the same principles. Instead of working the land, the worker labored in a factory or a mine and would have a line of credit at the company store. By the end of that worker's life, he ended up owing more than he had earned over the course of his lifetime. His widow would be evicted from the company owned home and their worldly goods repossessed to settle the account down at the store. Once again, you don't have to own a person to enslave them. You merely have to own what that person needs to work and live and trick them into a scheme of usury.

Modern people may shake their heads at the way things used to be, but they are living under the same scheme and delusion today. The plantation store and the company store may have disappeared, but they still exist in the form of credit cards, car loans, home loans, and the rest. Today, a person is born into debt as part of their share of the national debt. They will have to take out debt to attend an accredited institution of higher learning. They will take out debt on cars and homes and try to make those payments on the meager salaries and wages companies offer. And they can exploit the workers because they own the capital, and the workers are desperate to keep their stuff and remain out of bankruptcy. So, today's workers find themselves in the same situation as the sharecropper or the millworker. this includes those with college degrees. The only difference is that they have better toys like smartphones to lull them into thinking that life is better.

This disgusting state of affairs is vindicated and defended by the propaganda of the "free market." No one puts a gun to these people's heads and forces them to work or take out loans. This is true. But this is the equivalent of telling a shanghaied sailor that they can jump overboard and swim away at any time. Never mind the sharks and the drowning. Faced with the choice between death and slavery, it surprises no one that people choose slavery. In fact, this is how slavery was established and perpetuated and preserved for millennia. In the past, the ownership of land would accumulate in fewer and fewer hands leaving the rest in desperation. This drove them at first to work for and ultimately enslave themselves to those who owned land. We aren't talking about the antebellum South. We are talking about ancient Rome here. The reality is that slavery is the rule and not the exception in human history. Today, slavery still exists, but the society has redefined its terms to make slavery not mean what it has always meant. Today, slavery is defined merely as not having a choice as opposed to not having options. But freedom is all about options. If you doubt this, ask a shanghaied sailor if he is free or not.

The way to escape modern slavery is very obvious. Do not ever borrow money at interest. This means cutting up credit cards and eschewing loans on cars, homes, and college degrees. By becoming a saver, you are able to accumulate the capital needed to free yourself from your situation and expand your options. Unfortunately, in the United States of Usury, being a saver gets harder and harder. Wages are low. Education requires loans such that an increase in wages and salary will only be soaked up by the lenders. Prices are through the roof for many things like college, homes, and cars. When people are finally reduced to financing purchases of perishables like food and clothing, the enslavement will be total. Either slaves will revolt or the living of everyone including the rich will return to a more primitive state as a consequence of despair. When people are reduced to such a state, they produce less and with less enthusiasm. I suspect that economic depressions are actually tied to the mental depression of workers who capitulate to the hopelessness of their situation. They do the least instead of the most, and the whips and the nooses come out at some point to become the motivator of last resort.

There are really two classes of people in the world. You have the producers who do the work and produce real value, and you have the parasites who feed off of the producers. These parasites tend to wear suits and ties and have titles, but they don't actually do anything resembling work. What they do is scheme because work is to be avoided. The ultimate scheme is usury. Usury is the trick to keep people working to pay for things that would have taken less labor time to produce on their own. For instance, college used to be paid for by working part time and during summers as a young person. Then, it became paid in the first year or two of working post-graduation. Now, they talk about garnishing social security checks to pay off the student loan debt. A college degree is still a college degree, but you can see how the time and labor required to pay for it has increased exponentially. This is usury. The same applies to everything else that is financed.

Without usury, workers can have and enjoy a fair standard of living and also enjoy that most wonderful commodity of freedom which is leisure. Leisure is that time that a person has to pursue non-working activities like reading, performing charitable deeds, coaching Little League, attending houses of worship, and many other things. But as the time required to pay off debts grows, leisure shrinks to nothing. The only people with leisure are the parasites. They not only possess leisure, but they also possess the gluttony and bad taste that go along with easy money. The parasites hoard and feast while the producers are left to divvy up the scraps.

This is the essence of how modern capitalism works. You have to convince people to keep producing to support a class of unproductive people. It's like the way cancer grows in a body. The body's immune system does not recognize the malignant cells, so it keeps feeding them instead of destroying them. Eventually, the malignancy takes over killing the body along with the cancer itself. But between the time the cancer appears and the time it kills everything including itself, this is the Boom Time. Things seem well and fine at the beginning, but it finally unravels. It is during the Boom Time that people can be tricked into the schemes by various baits. It is during the Bust that reality gets to vote. Reality always prevails. And as Hilaire Belloc argued, capitalism is always replaced by socialism or slavery because force is more reliable then fraud. Prosperity is ephemeral, but misery can always be made permanent for the long term.

The escape from the misery is pretty simple. Producers need to be owners. This doesn't mean owners in the plantation sense where they become the masters instead of the slaves. This means owners like the ones who went out West and got a stake and established a homestead for themselves and their families. This means working for yourself instead of working to make some non-working people rich. Freedom requires property. Usury is the scheme to give people property they never really own. Usury is the illusion of property.

A change in the laws would help to end the United States of Usury, but this change is unlikely to happen. This is because the lawmakers and enforcers are also getting their cut. Laws are now made for the benefit of fellow parasites to the detriment of the producers. Changes usually happen in a crisis when the system starts to collapse. But as the last crisis shows, the parasites just help themselves to a bigger cut. Lawmakers don't change things for the better. This leaves the Pitchfork Mob.

Some people refer to it as the Zombie Apocalypse, The reality is that they are not zombies but people angry that their lives have been reduced and diminished by a class of parasites. What do you to a cancer? You cut it out or burn it out with chemicals and radiation. Of course, most of these treatments are as bad or worse than the disease. Violent mobs usually result in martial law or anarchy. When Spartacus led his slave revolt in ancient Rome, he probably didn't see himself crucified on the Appian Way after beating the Roman Army. Revolution is not the answer.

Groups like Occupy and the Tea Party are the beginnings of the revolutionary impulse, and the government has recognized them as such. One group aims at business while the other group aims at government not recognizing that they are two heads on the same beast. And revolutions always fail. A broad survey of history will reveal that the only thing that ended slavery was the advent of the Christian religion.

Christianity gets criticized for not absolutely condemning slavery, but those critics are the ones who don't understand the true nature of slavery. Christianity has always abhorred slavery, but it abhors death and starvation more. People ignorant of history and economics can't grasp this. A freed slave with no land is a man dying from starvation. Slavery was the best option relative to those other options. To make a man truly free, you have to give him better options than slavery. This is why Christianity could tolerate slavery in one era and oppose it in another. But it always wanted slavery ended.

The modern debt/wage slavery of our present time is a consequence of financial shenanigans and usury. Protestant Christianity and Judaism tolerate and even endorse this financial garbage, but Catholic Christianity opposes it. Usury is a sin. It enables unproductive people to live off of the productive. It is a trick. Now, thanks to central banking and paper currency, these usurers don't even have to rely upon the savers for the capital they lend. They just steal it through legal counterfeiting. Meanwhile, Islam with its condemnation of usury in sharia law waits in the wings to offer salvation to the debt slaves just as it did in the past.

The way out today is the same as it was in the past. Society needs to return to the true Christian understanding about usury and slavery. The reason this understanding has been lost is because the Catholic Church has lost its moral force in failing to condemn it for the last century. It even practices it through the Vatican Bank. This area is now being ceded to the Muslims and the Marxists who are correct on this one thing but atrociously incorrect on many other things.

A government informed by a Catholic Christian understanding of these things would work to put an end to these practices. A good start would be a return to the gold standard for our currency. A modest start would be to reign in payday lenders and those who prey on the poor and the ignorant. But I won't hold my breath on these things because I doubt I will ever see them in my lifetime.

This leaves us with the individual. What can a person do to fight this debt slavery? The answer would be to stop borrowing. As far as possible, people should eschew debt. They should see it for the evil that it is and avoid the financial services industry in every way possible. Cut up those credit cards. Only pay with money you have. Neither a lender nor a borrower be as the Bard says. If you can't change the world, you should change yourself.

This advice for the individual is old advice. Those who endured the Great Depression know it by heart. Today, to live it is to be a radical. People think you are crazy to not go into debt for things. They think life is unlivable without credit cards and loans. It may get to that point, but I am without debt and still alive.

Living without debt is not hard. It simply means being patient. It means delayed gratification and doing without. Sometimes, the wait for things can be agonizingly long, but it is satisfying once you get there. You also change your priorities and discover that you don't really want the things you want. Time and waiting have a way of editing out the stupid in your life. Credit cards make you act on the immediate impulse which is how you end up with that purple looking exercise thing in your closet you got off of QVC.

I am a wage slave, but I refuse to be a debt slave. Hopefully, one day, I won't be a wage slave either. But the bondage to debt is the bondage to your low paying job which is how the Parasite Class likes it. If you find yourself working really hard with nothing to show for it, just feel good inside knowing that you made some lazy leech's life a lot more leisurely and enjoyable. Or, you can buy a pitchfork with your MasterCard and see where that takes you.