Better is the poor man walking in his simplicity, than the rich in crooked ways. He that keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that feedeth gluttons, shameth his father. He that heapeth together riches by usury and loan, gathereth them for him that will be bountiful to the poor. He that turneth away his ears from hearing the law, his prayer shall be as abomination. He that deceiveth the just in a wicked way, shall fall in his own destruction: and the upright shall possess his goods.
The road to Christ, the road to Perfection, is up hill. It’s not easy. Indeed, for most it is an almost constant battle which seems to be lost more often than it is won. The problem is that the whole world is against you. On the other hand, if the whole world is against you, be encouraged as you are probably on the right track.
In Western countries, Traditional Catholics (and Christians in general) are offered a unique opportunity at this time to clean up the way they live, to clean up the problems in their life. Of course, your local priest will tell you that the opportunity is always there, but we all know that most of the time it’s extremely difficult to throw off old habits and change how we live. Tomorrow is always easier.
There are several things that many Christians are guilty of. The time to fix them is now:
If you are in debt to a bank, then you are participating in the sin of usury.
Interest rates are at historical lows. Banks are being inadvertently kind and generous to those who owe money. The intention of the low interest rates is to sell new loans and to encourage money to slosh around in the economy so that the usual consumerism and profiteering may continue as it did in the good old days.
The problem is that it won’t work. The Federal Reserve can see this and has already taken the step of printing money. This will lead to inflation and very high interest rates. Expect rates for mortgages reaching 20% in the near future. If it doesn’t happen, well and good, but the way things are going, it will.
Use the low interest period to your advantage, which will perhaps last a year, or two at best. Save your money and pay off your debt. Get out of debt altogether if you possibly can, and make a promise never to borrow again.
Rising prices of food are said to be responsible for the “obesity epidemic”. Fresh food has always been more expensive than processed food, because it is produced from lower quality ingredients, has a longer shelf life and is easier to transport. People whose economic conditions deteriorate tend to become depressed and this leads them to go for rapid reward food such as that offered at fast food chains.
Stop going to Mac Donald’s for your meals. Stop buying rubbish food to cook for your family.
If you buy better food, you will feel better, sleep better, think better. This will make you more productive during the day and leave you better equipped to fight your various vices.
If you feel better, you will find it easier to be more physically active. This will make you perform better at work and home. You therefore improve your chances of economic survival.
This vice concerns the voluntary, self inflicted brainwashing that people are doing to themselves everywhere, every day.
Stop reading glossy fashion and lifestyle magazines.
Stop watching television. Get rid of your television.
Stop surfing the Internet aimlessly.
Basically, only use technology for gainful purposes. If you want to relax, read a good book. It doesn’t need batteries, it works in full sunlight, it doesn’t make annoying noises and makes you look intelligent. Most modern technological devices are now designed to be all-in-one entertainment solutions. Their functional use has rarely improved much (such as for a mobile phone), and sales of new gadgets of the same class of item tend to be based on added distractions.
The time is coming when many of the “traps” which typically ensnare Christians into habitual sin, will do more than stain their souls. The temporal freedom of everyone is coming under serious threat as a result of the global economic crisis. Those who have not given themselves entirely to modern ideologies will be noticing this already. New types of discrimination are emerging, where good, otherwise well meaning and generally innocent people are caught out on technicalities and lose their freedom. These are the early signs of a new tyranny.
The best survival approach is as above. Clean up your life. Aim for economic efficiency, functionality and prudence in your personal and family life. Avoid unnecessary use of technology, eat properly and immerse your free time in addictions (hobbies) which do you good rather than harm.
The Times Online expresses its fears of civil unrest in the United Kingdom arising from the ever escalating financial crisis. It’s all believable, what with a record budget deficit, collapsing exports, escalating unemployment, astronomical personal debt levels and the real possibility of further bank failures.
Some of the comments made to the original article point out what the public might be thinking:
Yes, we all hate bankers — but replace them with what? If the ideology of capitalism is discredited, the alternative — socialism — collapsed in 1989. So we are now left without any ideas at all. Which is why everyone is running around like headless chickens.
A narrow-minded comment, as there are surely more than two ideologies in the world. The ideology of capitalism is not discredited but would have been working perfectly had it been allowed to. If life were a game, then the reason why people are losing at it is because they weren’t told the rules and the others are cheating. The most likely mistake that people have made is to neglect the most basic question to ask when investing:
What is a risk, what is a gamble and what is plain stupid?
A risk is taken by an investor when he is certain of the maximum gain and maximum loss that may occur, that the benefit probably outweighs the potential loss, and is hopeful that he will get the maximum return. Any future investment plans are made, depending on their priority, on what is certain, probable or hopeful. In following this principle, the investor would have known not to trust “financial instruments” as a “certainty”, for example.
A gamble is taken when the investor considers the potential loss to be 100% (or has no idea), and believes that the maximum gain is probable (but he cannot quantify this probability). No risk vs. benefit analysis can be reasonably taken, no plans can be based on the projected outcome because there is nothing that can be done with zero money.
Plain stupid is the investor who thinks everything is a risk when most of the time it is a gamble. Banks were in a position of having so much money, so many people’s deposits, that they lost all sense of risk vs. gamble. They gambled all over the place. This has happened, particularly in the UK, because of the absence of a real meritocracy. Stupid people became CEO’s on the basis of club memberships and family associations. The same phenomenon exists all the way down the management chain. Arrogant and afraid of being shown up, the decision makers ignored sound advice, departed from concrete principles and sailed the navy of fools straight towards a reef.
The reason people are such suckers at this time is that they have too much faith and no Faith. The ancient wisdom contained in traditional religion would have saved the skins of many, had they applied it. Building a house on a rock is about more than architecture. Keeping one’s affairs tidy as though it were the last day has greater meaning than attending confession regularly and saying one’s prayers. The thought that God is watching our every thought and act is about more than the supernatural world. It is an aide to proper conduct in times of chaos and lawlessness. The prosperity of previous generations was built on this kind of sound reasoning.
In the absence of this time-proven wisdom, people turn to men in fancy suits for their dose of religion. Instead of believing in angels and saints (an altogether harmless undertaking) they believed in money and bankers. Instead of betting on real horses at the races, where one can at least take a bit of a look at the horse and see if it is limping or, perhaps not even a horse, they gambled on the hearsay of a financial advisor and his pie charts, bar graphs and trend analysis.
In any case, it’s all done now.
It would be nice if there wasn’t a bloody solution to all of this mess, but if people aren’t willing to turn away from the emptiness and the lies that got them to this point, then blood and death is the inevitable way out. The reason there is so little hope for the likes of the United Kingdom and the USA is that, by and large, people are not the decent sort that their grandparents were. They keep telling themselves that the reason their grandparents don’t swear but behave civilly towards each other is on account of their age. They don’t realize that it was because their grandparents were better cultured. And now the older generation is gracefully moving on.
The greatest pity is that the current generation has altogether broken its link with the past and remains adrift in a sea of lies with fools at the helm. A shipwreck is all that can come of it.
When Joe Bloggs down the street can’t pay his debts fair-square, but services them with his credit card collection, it’s only a matter of time before the fat men in dark glasses come around to punch his lights out.
Yahoo News carries an opinion piece stating that Banks are responsible for the ongoing woes in the US financial system by their insistance that debtors pay their debts on the terms of the existing contract:
One reason foreclosures are so rampant is that banks and their advocates in Washington have delayed, diluted, and obstructed attempts to address the problem. Industry lobbyists are still at it today, working overtime to whittle down legislation backed by President Obama that would give bankruptcy courts the authority to shrink mortgage debt.
The problem, of course, is that the system is unfair and patching up wounds through a partial debt jubilee won’t work. Banks are usurers. The current credit system is totally immoral and nobody should take any part in it. But government, by borrowing to “bail out” the economy, is placing itself in the same position as the banks. It is usury upon usury.
When a bank issues a loan, it charges a rate of interest roughly proportional to the rate of inflation, but this is usually higher. Inflation causes the value of money to shrink and is a reflection of the diluting power of increasing the supply of money as occurs with the issuing of new loans.
The real interest that one is paying on a loan is therefore much higher than the stated value. When a housing loan is set at 6% annual interest, and inflation is roughly 5%, the real rate of the loan is going to be somewhere between 6 and 11%, depending on whether wages are increased in parity with inflation. It has been the case over the last thirty years that in most established industries, wages do not grow at the rate of inflation. People don’t notice this as their own pay goes up as they rise in seniority and rank, but if they ask what the entry level job is paying, then it becomes clearer.
Any bank that charges more than 5% on a loan, in real terms (taking into account inflation and wages growth), is guilty of usury.
If a government is in debt to a bank that is placing the same burden on the government as occurs to other victims of usury, then it follows that every tax payer is subject to that same usury. Governments should not be allowed to go into debt on these terms. It’s immoral.
So why are people defaulting on their loans?
The value of housing was being inflated because of speculation and the reality of inflation. People ran to property to protect themselves, like people running for a tree to get out of the rain. If everybody chooses the same tree, however, then the tree cannot realistically protect them all. So the property bubble has burst, especially in the US, where people were building houses at such a rate that an oversupply resulted.
At the same time, people’s incomes have failed to rise with inflation and interest. Taxes have been increased in various ways to fund wars and service ever growing debt. Poorer, year by year, people finally collapsed under the heavy burden imposed on them by banks and government.
The solution, then, is to take away this burden, to phase out the system of debt on which economies are currently based and to reduce taxes. Put an end to usury.
Sadly, however, our governments are not talking about usury. The word has been lost from most people’s vocabulary. Instead, governments are bailing out, borrowing, spending, spinning in circles faster and faster, yet none of it is working. The scary thing about it is that a massive loss of life becomes a likely event when governments take such desperate, counter-productive measures.
The interest rate on loans as charged by the Bank of England has fallen to 1%. This represents a fall of 80% from October 2008.
It takes about 12 months for the effects of an interest rate change to translate into realities in the public arena. So one can expect that, come October 2009, we will be seeing the devastating effects of newly printed money flooding the world economy.
Have a think about that for a second…
Okay, time is up.
If we think back to the great Tsunami which took the lives of tens of thousands of individuals in the Asia-Pacific, we might recall videos of bathers looking perplexed at the sea. The tide went out so suddenly. There were numerous different reactions:
- Some stood there, stunned, glaring at the wet sand and the receding water.
- Some walked towards the sea in order to get back into the water and go for a swim.
- Some realized there was a problem and ran as fast as they could towards the shore. Most of them were too slow.
- A small minority looked out from the safety of their hotel rooms, filming the whole spectacle.
- Various animals, such as elephants, had made a run for higher ground, at the bemusement of human onlookers.
If we liken the current financial changes to the aforementioned natural disaster, we can identify some interesting parallels. The swimmers are like those living in debt, enjoying the good life. They take some risks, such as being eaten by sharks, drowning or being washed away, but none of them would think for a minute this could happen to him personally. Feew of the swimmers can imagine a tsunami. Falling interest rates and receding credit might resemble an unusually low tide. Animals and people of wisdom can recognize this as an event that precedes a disaster, and some will do a runner. Many of course never go swimming and are thereby not at risk.
Most people, however, fall into the ignorant groups (1 and 2) mentioned above. They are so stupid and so trusting that they welcome the falling interest rates with open arms, going forth and getting deeper into debt since they believe they can afford to do so. Others stand there, reading the amazing headline, perplexed. But already the rumblings of the next phase can be heard by those with open ears and broad reading habits. But even fewer than these remember the words of the ancients on monetary matters:
They have taken gifts in thee to shed blood: thou hast taken usury and increase, and hast covetously oppressed thy neighbours: and then hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God.
Had they remembered not to consort with usurers, our financial swimmers would have contented themselves with the humble and wholesome practice of living in a hut on a hill, rather than visit expensive tourist resorts and wade, semi-naked, into the sea of peril. At this point I think the analogy has stretched to its limit, except to say that the rumbling sound of the shaking earth was audible by some, but not others, well before the tsunami struck.
It is, even now, difficult to discern just what has been making these rumbling noises. Is it God? The commonly accepted story of the Tsunami was that it was a freak natural event. Some of course will see the event in a religious context and attribute it in some way to divine retribution. Other, more cynical characters have considered human malice behind the Tsunami itself. Unlikely as it is, one must admit, that is an interesting idea.
As for the present financial situation around the world, it is not impossible to work out what is coming. Banks are attempting to preserve their assets (people in debt) by not screwing them over with excessive interest rates. Governments are, to some extent, forcing banks to adopt this approach, but for a different reason. Governments want banks to lend anew, yet now people are spooked and generally don’t want to borrow. Banks are also spooked and don’t want to take risks. It all looks upside down and rather messy.
But none of that matters, because in the end, it’s the big things that matter. If there is one thing that can be said about all of this is that it is bigger than any individual. This crisis has been designed to be so big that any independent, organized movement would be unable to stop it.
An ocean of new money has been issued. We might not be seeing it yet, but it’s there, just beyond the horizon, coming like a great flood, ready to “stimulate” the economy. But in fact it will dilute the value of any existing cash into meaninglessness. In fact it already has, but, like the swimmers suddenly dry from the falling levels of water before the wave hits, there is an overwhelming perception that the opposite has occurred.
The advantage of suddenly finding that the sand beneath your feet is dry is that it’s easier and faster to run over dry land than it is to wade through waist-deep water. It is therefore in our interests to get off the beach, get out of debt as soon as possible, before the water (debt) returns. It’s too late already for the majority, and the fools out there who are going out and buying anything on debt are no different to the now deceased who walked towards the Tsunami. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
The most striking similarity this financial crisis has to the Tsunami is the distinct possibility that large numbers of those caught up in the sea of debt may well end up paying for this with their lives.