Saturday, July 15, 2006

Being In Debt = Being a Slave?

First off, I commend and respect NCN's stance on refusing credit. The principle is good, and I agree many people in today's society are often in over their heads in debt. But putting all formlities aside and being honest, that is the individual's fault, and no one else's fault but their own. There are circumstances where I believe the decision to go into debt might have been extremely difficult, and I'm in no way trying to put that lightly. I believe that some honest hardworking people who are trying to now pay down their debt are "in over their heads," and I hope the support and help is there to help them get out. I'm not being insensitive, just stating the truth. Now if a creditor took advantage of people by using confusing terms, tricks, lying, etc. that is a whole different story, and not one I'll get into. I believe there's a basic fault in the premise that having credit equals being someone else's slave, because as people, we all owe someone something, regardless of how much we think we made it on our own. I'm not talking just money here obviously, could be time and labor to help move, could be someone looking after your shopping cart while you went to find your kid, could be anything. My point is just because you owe someone something does not make you their slave. I sometimes pick up the tab for lunch or dinner for my friend knowing that later down the line they will do the same. I don't think of them as slaves, and if I happen to pick up another tab before they do, I don't count. If that is the case then, you my friend, need to find new friends. Here's a statement I have a problem with:
I'm pretty radical. I refuse to borrow money. I will not borrow money from anyone, not even a friend or a relative. I will humbly accept money as a gift, or proudly take money as salary for a job that I have done, but I will not borrow money. I will not borrow money for a car, for a house, for a boat, for a sandwich. I will not borrow money... Why? Because, I refuse to be anyone's slave...
But come on, borrowing money for a sandwhich equals being a slave? That definitely is a little too radical for me.
I will not bow down to the gods of CitiBank or Bank of America or Ford Motor Credit. I do not care how they "reward" me, entice me, trick me, or invite me. I will not be seduced by their promises and their plans for my future. I have a brain of my own. No amount of "cash back" is worth giving up my freedom.
CitiBank, BofA, and Ford Motor Credit are FAR from gods. The foundation of freedom in America runs much too deep for even the hands of CitiBank to dig up.

7 comments:

ncnblog said...

Hi Freedumb...
Thanks for your comments on my post...
Just a few things:
First, I was using "exageration" to make a point! Of course I don't actually view cc companies as "gods". I was using that metaphorically...

Second, I am a Christian, and here is what the BIBLE says about borrowing money:

Proverbs 22:7
ASV: The rich ruleth over the poor; And the borrower is servant to the lender.

BBE: The man of wealth has rule over the poor, and he who gets into debt is a servant to his creditor.

DBY: The rich ruleth over the poor; and the borrower is servant to the lender.

KJV: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

JPS: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

WBS: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

WEB: The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is servant to the lender.

YLT: The rich over the poor ruleth, And a servant 'is' the borrower to the lender.

I gave you the verse with several different translations. The Bible makes it pretty clear that when you borrow money from someone, you become their "servant" / (slave). It does not say how much you have to borrow, or from whom you borrow it... It just says that you become their slave. Pretty plain and simple to me. Now, do I think that I "really" become their servant, as in they are allowed to beat me, or cut off my fingers and toes. Of course not. But, and please, just think about this for one second... how awesome would it be, for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, to know that you did not owe another person / company / etc. a single, solitary dime. For me, it feels pretty flippin cool.

Your site rocks! Thanks for a different viewpoint.

NCN

lamoneyguy said...

I think you become a slave not to the lender, but to the very debt itself. What is the opposite of enslavery? Freedumb. The power of the debt enslaved to shift the debt from one creditor to another is what keeps them from enslavery to one specific creditor. However debt limits your choices in life, like to take a more satisfying, allbiet lower paying job.

freedumb said...

ncnblog,

Ah, I see. I don't agree, but I see.

You have to take in context the time when the bible was written...evolution and progress is a part of life...somethings no longer apply, some do. I think the idea of rich and poor were much different back in the days when the bible was written and today. There are some similarities, but for the most part, we no longer work for sustenance or the right to see daylight.

Of course, one could argue that the rich are just large corporations, the evil government, and people like Bill Gates, but I like to believe that corporations are, well, just businesses in a capitalist society, government is not evil, and Bill Gates deserves to be rich. After all, we are all striving to achieve that sort of financial freedom, whatever the path it takes to get there.

freedumb said...

LAMoneyguy, You said freedumb :) On the flip side, well managed debt can also provide more choices, like a better house, a better education, etc.

freedumb said...

Sustenance in the same way as before...of course now we earn money, which is the means to get food...but I'm thinking back in the day when if you didn't do something for your king, you didn't get food and put in jail type of sustenance.

mOOm said...

I think the verse is pretty clear about context that the poor who borrow from the rich will be like slaves to them - the context being a person who borrows for survival from a rich and powerful person. And you could be sold into slavery if you couldn't repay the loan in many cases.

When you borrow money to invest though you earn a higher return than the lender - if you play it right. You use "other people's money" to get rich. What could be better?

There was a time when I had a negative net worth but I was pretty certain that in the future my income would be higher and I could pay back the loan. Why should I suffer when I was a student? And now I can repay my loans in a couple of days if I want to by selling my investments.

debt management said...

I completely agree. You cannot be accused of being a slave just for borrowing a little money - i mean... come on!