One of the major causes for the now rampant divorce rate in America, is debt.
In talking to most business people, they will tell you that their greatest problem is debt.
Likewise, Politicians continually harp about our ever-increasing national debt.
Yet one of the most frequently taught subjects in our schools and one of the most advertised items on TV is debt and how its correlative, credit, can improve your lifestyle.
Many of us who have been suckered into the debt trap would like to pass on our experiences to all who might be considering credit as a means of “getting ahead” or to get their “start in life.” We especially feel the need to warn our nation’s youth of the pitfalls of debt. My advice for anyone would be — Do not go into debt, no matter what! But for one to simply advise that is not enough; it must be accompanied by understanding …
We asked Bruce G. McCarthy if he would write an article for our Kingdom Seekers Ministry, to offer our readers a few suggestions and alternatives to debt. Considered to be an expert on the subject of economics, he pulls no punches, but factually exposes the pitfalls of debt and credit.
This booklet is the result of our request. Within this booklet he presents the Biblical view of economics while providing some very plausible suggestions and alternatives to The Pernicious Treadmill Of Credit.
I know you will find this treatise to be quite enjoyable reading, as it is laced with his dry and healthy sense of humor.
Hopefully, by reading this booklet, you can begin to avoid some of the bitter lessons learned too late by so many …
James R. Lambert/Kingdom Seekers Ministry.
Ten steps to successful treadmill living
- At birth (assuming you’ve succeeded in making it this far), obtain a Social Security Account Number, your ticket to the phenomenal world of maritime/admiralty jurisdiction — e.g. driver’s licence, draft card and IRS fan mail.
- While getting a “head start” in government school, open a bank account, procure a credit card, and treat yourself to a flashy new sports car. You owe it to yourself!
- To nail down a good paying job you’ll need to pursue a “higher education” made possible with a convenient student loan. After graduation, chances are good that you’ll be able to commence making monthly payments like a real pro. Smile — you’re on your way kid.
- While in college, take a minute from partying to find a credit-worthy partner with whom to share a blissful eternity making payments. This is your first business merger so look for good career potential.
- Avoid unnecessary overhead, like having babies, which would hamper your successful career pursuits and instant gratification, or burden our delicate ecology and increase the inflationary pressures on our highly complex economic system.
“If fewer people were bidding against each other … then prices would not go up, and our money would keep its value.”Keeping Our Money Healthy, Federal Reserve Bank of N.Y., p. 12 (rev. Apr. ‘77)
- If you “mess up” by adding another unproductive consumer to our already over-crowded planet, however, our state licensed child “care providers” will make sure you both keep your noses to the grindstone.
- Build “equity” (Oh! Did I forget to mention that contracts for debt/credit were consummated under Equity jurisdiction? How careless of me.) with a variable-rate “balloon” (the sky is the limit) mortgage and everlasting payments on your very own home. Why rent for a while when you can rent forever?
“Borrowing … is a convenient way of obtaining the use of expensive goods without renting them …”Two Faces of Debt. F.R.B. of Chicago, p. 2 (Aug. ‘78)
- Become a responsible pillar of the community. Start your own franchise clone with a business loan and begin taking advantage of those tax deductions you’re going to need — in exchange for all that information IRS has come to expect. Since many new business failures are attributed to “under-capitalization” — be sure to borrow plenty! (Plenty of what we cannot say, but whatever it is, get lots of it!)
- Now that you have become our most valuable asset, get lots of insurance — just in case you can’t meet the payments — particularly if one of you should “expire” while operating one of our precision-engineered treadmills.
- Last — and most important — stay on very friendly terms with me. You may need another loan to satisfy that lien IRS just placed on your property.
Your friendly banker,
Withhold not good fro them to who it is due, when it is the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbor, go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.”Proverbs 3:27-28
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: This is also vanity.Ecclesiastes 5:10
In an age of booming technology, labor-saving “widgets” and “Babylonian Beefburger” franchise outlets lining America’s streets, we should be enjoying the highest standard of living ever known. And, superficially, we are. But looking beyond the cheap facade of glitter and tinsel on “franchise row,” the realities of this great American carnival tell a more sobering story.
Never in history have there been so many lawyers but so little justice, so many schools and colleges or lack of common sense, so many fine hospitals and highly-trained “medicine men” with an abundance of unhealthy people. Never have there been so many restaurants with so little worth eating. The examples are almost endless and economics is certainly no exception.
Never before have we been blessed with so many banks for depositing our loot — or so many people indebted to them. Never have pay checks been larger — and mortgages so long. Never has government been so helpful or taxes so high, and never have we so arrogantly asserted freedom to do our own thing — or pursued debt bondage with such a passion.
There was a time when the objects we possessed were a measure of our wealth. Today they measure our debt. Abundance was simply not enough; we aspired to greed. As King Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes (supra.), we love abundance and are no longer satisfied with increase. Instant material and sensual gratification have become our way of life.
To pave the way and show us how to enjoy the “good life” is our noble and daring scout, the banker.
The “have it now” craving begins early. Infatuation with new automobiles, for instance, starts our young people on the treadmill, often before they finish school. Parents co-sign for their children’s bank loans, while bankers encourage them to “establish good credit,” promoting a habit-pattern destined to last a life time. Some future …
Without a doubt, many of your friends and acquaintances enjoy using bank credit to obtain things which are not theirs, such as the bank’s new automobile, airplane, boat or house; but a violation of the loan contract can lead to repossession, quickly showing the folly of their ways.
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
Bank credit is not, as some might think, a new phenomena engineered by do-gooders to help rid the world of poverty. To the contrary, commercial banking, the most profitable of all businesses, began in ancient Babylon. Loan contracts existed as far back as 2,000 B.C., many of them secured by mortgages.
Alternatives to debt bondage are available, even in these pressing times. Young people would do well to profit from the frugality of an earlier era, when an old jalopy, perhaps twenty or thirty years old, was purchased without debt and then restored to new condition as funds became available. This produced no economic suffering or hardship and, in fact, proved to be an enjoyable pastime. The results were often remarkable!
But then, those were the days when youth were considered poor credit risks. They still are. Thus parents must co-sign as surety for what our forefathers would hardly believe … their own children’s debt!
Young people who love and honor their parents should carefully weigh the implications of this relationship, for it means an absolute promise on the part of the parents to perform the service of a debtor, if for some unforeseen reason you cannot (or will not) keep your word. It means a “bond of law” is set upon you and your parents as indentured servants, from that day into the future — a future no man can possibly know.
In a world of economic uncertainties, why would anyone knowingly pledge to sacrifice his possessions and future earnings on the altar of a bank? An economic downturn, caused by any of a number of reasons can result in a paycheck reduction, even a loss of one’s job. This makes the payment schedule impossible to meet, leading to bankruptcy and foreclosure.
Despite this, young people hurry down to their bank taskmaster and sign on the dotted line, caring little what tomorrow may bring.
A subconscious fear of “loss” nevertheless permeates our society as “bank rentals” exert their pernicious influence on independent thought and action.
An unpopular belief can cost you dearly and even get you fired from a job. This could translate into an overdue payment in the bank book. Few there be who can afford the luxury of resisting popular opinion. Fewer still can afford to challenge government policies, knowing I.R.S. may attach their wages or bank accounts.
For people accustomed to compromising their beliefs in order to get along in the world, debt bondage creates little problem. Idealists, however, quickly sense the dilemma and loss of independence resulting from a truth which, if acted upon, will irritate the powers that be.
Notice how the second master is not identified as “Satan” or “the Devil,” but rather mammon (which means wealth personified). As “the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous” (Exodus 23:8), commercial credit induces us to ignore Truth, especially as it concerns government and banking. Who will challenge those who hold the “keys” to their homes and automobiles? America’s conscience has already been compromised.
Law or Equity?
An application for bank credit has overwhelming legal ramifications, not the least of these being the express consent of the debtor to abide by a new system of jurisprudence called Equity, governed by its own statutes and courts.
Your so-called “constitutional rights” are correlatives of Law and do not exist in Equity. They are “voluntarily waived” by your signature on the contract for debt.
Bank credit serves as a springboard into another rat’s nest — insurance — a means of protecting the bank’s interest in their automobile, house, business, etc. Ever notice how irresponsibly people behave when using a car they don’t own? Teenagers often demonstrate this by “burning rubber” their parents must replace. Well, the bankers noticed this tendency too, but to them, we’re all irresponsible …
Title (ownership) to the average American automobile, for instance, resides with a bank. Financial responsibility for damage or loss, which might arise from the automobile’s operation, is carried by an underwriter of insurance. This is required by the bank’s “security agreement” which is designed to protect the banker who claims a greater right-of-possession to the car.
An additional link is forged in the contractual “ball and chain” which weighs upon the debtor — licensing and registration, administered by the state’s department of motor vehicles. This agency was established to assist the equitable owner (banker) and the financially responsible party (insurer) to keep track of their automobiles.
When a policeman stops an automobile on the highways, or investigates an auto accident, he relays the registration number and other pertinent data to N.C.I.C., a national computer system. Why? Well, the banks and insurance companies, whose autos are on file with the crime computer network, have a vested interest in our behavior.
Did the motorist move without making the last few payments? If so, the car is stolen. In the case of an accident, who (or what insurance company) will pay the bill?
The debtor, whose signature binds him to “contract law,” waives his right to travel by automobile because it belongs to someone else. The “right” at common law is reduced to a mere “privilege” (Lat. privius + lex = private law) for which he must obtain permission (license).
A “license” is required to use the bank’s car and the insurance company’s legal liability. However, very few motorists suspect a connection between state licensing (and motor vehicle statutes) and the lobbying efforts of banks and insurance companies. Nor do our policemen appear to realize how they became “contract law” enforcement agents for the bankers and underwriters.
As the public continues seeking “terms” (installment credit) for their acquisitions, we can anticipate mandatory registration and eventual licensing of such diverse items as computers and bicycles which are increasingly being acquired on the easy payment plan.
Debt for all and all for debt
Voter approved public debt is another factor to consider as this adds immeasurably to present and future tax burdens.
Why bother to “home school” when a state or municipal bond issue gets a bank loan for new schools, fleets of nice new buses, or perhaps a nice municipal swimming pool? The bank will naturally insist upon tangible assets as collateral — and your homes will do nicely! People with unpopular beliefs who avoid their civic duty (property truces) will quickly discover who the owner of “their” home really is:
“Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.” 4th plank, Communist Manifesto.
In light of the many serious ramifications surrounding commercial credit, any reasonable would-be debtor ought to know the conditions of the contract BEFORE signing his life away. But how can he understand them without knowing basic economic terms?
Since we comprehend the “whole” by understanding the sum of its parts, let’s consider a few basic but misunderstood words used to entangle the victims in the banker’s web:
- Debt (Lat. debitum = contracted) is a sum of money due. (see Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed.)
- Credit (Lat. creditum = to believe) is the right granted by a creditor to a debtor to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment. (Uniform Consumer Credit Code @ Sec. 1.301 )
- A Loan is the delivery by one party and receipt by another party of a sum of money upon agreement, express or implied, to repay it, with or without interest. (see Black’s supra.)
- A Mortgage (Fr. mort, dead + gage, pledge) is literally a dead pledge whereby the debtor pledges his estate (land, house, etc.) to the lender (the landlord or lendlord, the lord of the loan) in the event he is unable to perform according to the terms of the contract. (see American Dictionary of The English Language by Noah Webster, 1828)
- A Contract is simply an agreement to do (or not to do) a certain thing. But beware! A contract creates a bond of law upon the signatory — so make sure you understand all conditions expressed and IMPLIED in the contract.
- Payment is the delivery of money, or the equivalent in specific goods or services. (see Black’s supra.)
By simple analysis of these few definitions, we can open a board of inquiry with a pre-emptory question:
What SUBSTANCE, expressed (or denominated) in dollars, do bankers lend?
If the reader can obtain an answer to this question, this writer will send him or her 100 pounds of it!
When approaching the banker for a loan (a loan never performed), we assume the role of “applicant” — he who makes a “request” — a synonym for beg, entreat or beseech. (see Black’s Law Dictionary, 4th edition). The banker, as “granting” party, will dictate the terms of the contract. He’s the master, we’re the servant, remember?
The principal (that which is borrowed), being intangible, is “created” by the stroke of the banker’s pen. It is not withdrawn from a thrifty individual’s savings account.
Bankers lend nothing tangible (i.e. gold, silver, paper or ink) on credit, they lend intangible CREDIT on credit! This is quite a feat of the imagination, but the public has long been an unwitting accomplice to the fraud.
“Credit, you see, is a ‘product’ that is bought and sold. Thus borrowers compete in the credit markets for the limited amount (of credit — BGM) available … “ — Keeping Our Money Healthy, Federal Reserve Bank ofN.Y. p.12.
By “lending” noTHING, the banker circumvents an age old problem of limited supply. While Avis and Hertz can lend only as many cars as they possess, the banking system as a whole has no such archaic restrictions. This makes banking amazingly profitable.
“It [the bank] can make loans and investments with the stroke of a pen …” — Money in the Economy, FRB of San Francisco [The Gay Fed.] p. 4, Aug. 1980.
To conceal the fraud of lending nothing, bankers charge interest (usury in Old English and Bible Law), whereby borrowers (of nothing) agree to return more imaginary “credit” than they borrowed!
Repaying intangible principle and interest is a serious burden for debtors, nonetheless, since they must labor for those numbers on a paycheck. With any luck, they can deliver three or four times as many numbers (called “dollars”) as they honestly thought they borrowed.
By now we should see a more insidious side to the bumper sticker which reads “I owe! I owe! So off to work I go!” The banksters took title to our country, homes and production — but they never made the loan! What a sweet swindle!
Thou Shalt Pay … FOREVER!?
Why, if all of this is true, has it become so fashionable to go into debt? Well, bankers and their economists have inferred that life would be impossible without it. Some folks may feel similar dependence on McDonald’s “bogus burgers” too. Many people are duped into believing that credit is the best alternative to doing without, or paying rent.
“Borrowing against a higher income expected in the future is a convenient way of obtaining the use of expensive goods without renting them or first saving all the funds required to purchase them.” — Two Faces of Debt, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, p.2 (8/78)
A twenty year mortgage is 20 years of guaranteed rent!
However, this ties us directly to the landlord (Banker) rather than to an intermediary called by the same title. A house costing Bb50,000 will cost Bb150,000 (+ or -) for the “convenience” of having it now — and “paying” forever. (Bb = Babel Bux)
On the other hand, is there great hardship in avoiding mortgage and installment debt? Excess “trappings” can create burdensome maintenance and worry over their safekeeping. We may find greater freedom in having our wants brought into closer harmony with real needs, no longer concerned about “keeping up (the payments) with the Joneses.”
By way of confirmation, another maxim says “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” — suggesting we should be content with what the LORD (YHWH) provides for us now, rather than gamble our future blessings against bankruptcy and foreclosure.
Besides, the LORD “knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8), but be not surprised if He selects an alternative to the 20 or 30-year home mortgage loan.
‘Ownership’ for rent
What about renting? Does it offer us any solutions to debt or is this just another form of debt bondage? Well, there is no long-term obligation involved, and that which is incurred (e.g. a six-month contract) is more easily settled “up front” alongside the refundable deposit. In fact, by pre-paying rent, the landlord is in debt to you, albeit briefly. The same is also true of pre-paid utility bills, an uncommon practice perhaps (assuming we overlook the deposit), but certainly not prohibited.
There is also no false illusion of “ownership” when renting, as exists when mortgaging (renting) a house from the banker. Even after the mortgage is discharged, there still remains the annual rent (property tax) as proof we have less than “absolute” title. Communism is alive and well in America …. Oh swell!
The “first plank” property tax is used to fund the tenth plank.*
“Free education for all children in public schools …”10th Plank, Communist Manifesto
* Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 1st Plank Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels.
Israel is in Egyptian bondage once again and Pharaoh’s real estate is not exactly a blue chip investment. Would you mortgage a nice new home adjacent to the Kremlin, for instance? Then why, since America has embraced all ten planks of the Communist Manifesto, would you do it here?
In this period of cyclical “booms and busts,” renting a house offers the advantage of rapid mobility. Pity the man who, with a 30-year mortgage, loses his home to foreclosure after 25 years. You see, bankers are not always “Mr. Nice Guy” when the chips are down.
The economy, while depressed in one part of the country, may be stable or thriving in another. A job loss in one place can be offset by a job offer in another, and with no mortgage tying you down, the transition is greatly simplified.
People sometimes move, often great distances, only to find they cannot bear the cost of a new rental while making mortgage payments on a former house they cannot sell. This story is continually repeated — so learn from the mistakes of others; you may not live long enough to make them all yourself.
Obviously, ownership is more desirable than renting.
To own gives stability to individuals, families, and society as a whole. Transient people, by contrast, tend to manifest moral and political myopia since they have little or nothing at risk. Long-term effects are generally ignored in favor of immediate (live for today) symptomatic relief.
Since today’s home “owners” have virtually no hope of escaping mortgage debt and truces, they too reflect attitudes of a “transient” people — but devoid the benefit of mobility. Color them — stuck.
This may be a time in American history when renting is more advantageous than mortgaging and we certainly pray that the LORD makes this period of calamity brief. Apparently some of our ancestors enjoyed the blessing of “absolute” ownership in land — no truces or bank debt. But they were a self-reliant and self-governing people, needing far less external supervision (government) than we of today.
Our moral decline has had a far greater impact on the size of government than has our population. Credit, with its related insurance and licensure, has expanded the civil law,(statute law) side of government; the side wherein we find all the credit (FHA, etc.) and welfare (social insurance) agencies.
The common law side of government, established to protect the rights of free (vs. debtor) people, has atrophied to the point of almost non-existence in the last two hundred years.
By their fruits
Since by our “fruits” we’re known, it stands to reason a society is likewise assayed by its works — be they law, music, medicine, or economics. How do we measure up? Do we become an effective witness for Christ and the Law of God by joining the popular practices of those around us?
Shall we, in the spirit of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, separate ourselves from un-Godly, sinful practices?
The “her” spoken of in Revelation 18:4 is Mystery Babylon. Babylon contains the root word Babel, meaning confusion. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Babylon also means literally or figuratively — “a tyranny.”
If there was ever a tyranny strong enough to bind and subtle enough to blind its victims, it must be the system of bank credit.
Artful manipulation of our language helped secure and disguise the voluntary enslavement of a once free people. By calling a debtor or non-title holder an “owner,” property passed to the bankers almost unnoticed.
Seldom is the distinction made between absolute and mere legal (or “qualified”) ownership. Thus, by introducing these terms, the legal profession emasculated “ownership,” reducing it to a meaningless general expression.
“Fraus latet in generalibus. Fraud lies hid in general expressions.” -Maxim of the civil law cited in Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 3rd ed., vol. 2 p. 2135.
Along with our “freedom of information” and “truth in lending” laws, it would be more honest to inform borrowers that their “legal” ownership is not synonymous with “absolute” ownership.
It would also be nice to know what tangible substance had been loaned. This, of course, would expose the tragic comedy played out by a rebellious and stiff-necked people.
Fraud by deceit
Those who still insist on playing the bankers’ game are reminded of several moral laws given by the LORD to His people. The first (most obvious and therefore the most often ignored) concerns fraud by deceit in the area of weights and measures:
Fact: BANKS DO NOT LEND ANY TANGIBLE 1HING WHICH CAN BE WEIGHED OR MEASURED IN THE DECIMAL (DOLLARS AND CENTS) OR ANY OTHER SYSTEM. By this act of fraud, bankers STEAL the property of the borrower despite the Biblical admonition “Thou shalt not steal.” The fraudulent misrepresentation of this fact constitutes bearing “false witness” augmented by yet another violation:
BANKS (PRETEND TO) LEND INTANGIBLE CREDIT, FOR WHICH THEY CHARGE INTEREST (USURY), AS IF IT WERE TANGIBLE MONEY (e.g. silver)! If God forbids interest on tangible loans, what must He think of interest on loans of NO thing?
The word of God says “Owe no man anything …” (Romans. 13:8) and “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers …” (2-Corinthians 6:14) but rather “… come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
If theft, unjust weights and measures, fraud and usury, are “clean,” then readers need not hesitate in signing a credit contract, creating a bond of law in equity, a branch of the man-made Civil law. But please think, and then ask questions before you act! Someone may be watching.
“Who goeth a borrowing goeth a sorrowing.” -Benjamin Franklin
“I wish it were possible to obtain an additional article to our Constitution … I mean an article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Debt is the prolific mother of folly and crime …” — Benjamin Disraeli
“Neither lender nor borrower be.” -William Shakespeare
“Debt has a deceptive, something-fornothing kind of charm … Used recklessly, it has the power to make us its slave.” — The National Debt, Federal Reserve Bank of Phila., pp. 1, 10
A debtor’s psalm
The world is my oyster; I shall not want. My banker will get me all of life’s pleasures: he leadeth me with “no down payments.” He storeth my gold: he leadeth me in the paths of covetousness for his bank’s sake.
Yea, though I borrow on credit for the rest of my life, I will feel so giddy: for thou art with me; thy pen and thy craft they comfort me.
Thou preparest a mortgage before me with which I’ll impress all my neighbors. Thou annointest my checkbook with numbers: my funds runneth over.
Surely debt and foreclosure will haunt me all the days of my life: but I will dwell in the house of my master for ever.
This book was paid for in substance At Law, And was typeset by THE JUBILEE.
Proofread by Jan McCarthy and Beth Hough.
Inspired By Yahweh.
Additional copies of this booklet are available for a suggested donation of:
$ .30 ea. in pre-1965 silver
$ .25 ea. for 10 copies or more $ .20 ea. for 50 copies or more $ .15 ea. for 100 copies or more
5 oz. of .999 fine silver for multiples of 28 10 oz. of .999 fine silver for multiples of 70.
Alternatively, we’ll accept postage stamps (any denomination) at 10 times [10 ×] the above suggested figures. Please — NO credit instruments [e.g. checks, money orders, or Federal Reserve Notes]. Thank you …
For additional information or list of material (booklets, audio and videotapes) available from this ministry, please write:
B.G.M./ Applied Research HC-62, Box 375 Smithville, Oklahoma 74957