As The U.S. Economy Implodes, Should We Ditch Our Debt Or Is Paying Off Our Debts The Morally Right Thing To Do?

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As the U.S. economy implodes, a lot of American families are being faced with some incredibly heartbreaking choices.  Many of them piled up massive amounts of debt during the good times as they chased the American Dream, but now that hard times have arrived they find that they just can’t handle the huge mountain of debt that they have accumulated.  Other Americans are looking at the crumbling economy and are trying to prioritize where to spend their money.  They wonder whether they should pay off their debts or whether that money would be better spent on stocking up on necessities for the incredibly hard times that are ahead.  The truth is that this article is going to raise a lot of questions but not provide a lot of answers.  In the end, each person has to make their own choices.  In addition, some of the viewpoints in this article are going to be controversial to many of you.  It is okay if you disagree.  In fact, if you find something that you disagree with, please leave a comment.  This is a topic that hits home with a lot of Americans, and a lot of people have some incredibly strong opinions about paying off debt.

 

If you are not a regular reader of my articles, you may not understand just how bad a shape the U.S. economy is in.  The reality is that the great American economic machine is falling to pieces.  Tens of millions are chronically unemployed or underemployed, foreclosures continue to reach all-time highs, personal bankruptcies continue to set new records, over 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. government (along with the rest of our nation) has piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world.

For those of you who are interested in the statistics and the numbers behind the current economic collapse, you should check out the following article that I recently authored on another website: “40 Bizarre Statistics That Reveal The Horrifying Truth About The Collapse Of The U.S. Economy”.

So in light of the coming economic collapse, what should we all do about our debts?  Should we hurry up and pay them off?  Should we just forget about them?  Should we tell the banks to jump off a bridge?

Right now a lot of Americans are walking away from debts without paying them back.  This is particularly true when it comes to “underwater” mortgages.  Being “underwater” means that you owe more on a mortgage than the house it worth.  A growing number of Americans who have “underwater” mortgages have simply decided to quit paying them and have walked away from their homes.  In fact, over the past year it is estimated that at least a million Americans who could have afforded to stay in their homes chose to walk away.

Just think about that.

In the past year alone, a million Americans have simply decided that it is just not worth it to keep paying the mortgage.

These are known as “strategic defaults”, and they are being touted by many as the common sense economic choice for those caught in bad mortgages.

But are strategic defaults the right moral choice?

That is the question I asked in a recent article entitled “Strategic Defaults: Is It Morally Right To Decide To Simply Stop Paying Your Mortgage?”.  As you can see from the comments that were left on that article, a lot of people have some REALLY strong opinions on the matter.

Fannie Mae certainly does not think that strategic defaults are the right choice for consumers.  In fact, Fannie Mae has announced a massive crackdown on those who have committed strategic defaults.  In states where they are able to do so, they are planning to take those who have committed strategic defaults to court.

In the end, there is going to be a lot of litigation and a lot of people really burned by this whole thing.  The mortgage system in the United States is totally broken and is literally coming apart at the seams at this point.

In fact, many people who actually try to work with their mortgage companies find that they simply can’t get anywhere with company officials.  It is almost as if these people have been paid not to find solutions.  The number of foreclosure horror stories is multiplying as frustrated homeowners drown in a sea of applications and paperwork that seems to get them nowhere.

But just because dealing with lenders is so frustrating does that mean that skipping out on your mortgage is the right thing to do?

But mortgage debt is not the only type of debt that Americans are struggling with right now.

For many younger Americans, student loan debt loads have become absolutely back breaking.  The Project on Student Debt says that approximately 206,000 students graduated from college with more than $40,000 in student loan debt during 2008.  Using 2008 dollars as a baseline, that represents a ninefold increase over the number of students graduating with that level of debt in 1996.   

But then when our college graduates get out into the real world they find that there are fewer good jobs available than at any other time in recent memory.  So a large percentage of these students they are stuck paying off giant debt loads on little to no income.

What a way to begin your working years.

And unfortunately, federal bankruptcy law makes it nearly impossible to discharge student loan debts.

Talk about a trap.

Another huge debt trap that almost all Americans are caught in is credit card debt.

Today, there are over 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the United States.  At the end of 2008, American consumers owed over 972 billion dollars on their credit cards.  That was an amount greater than the GDP of the world’s 122 poorest nations combined.

Needless to say, such a massive pile of debt is not sustainable.

But is that justification for walking away from it?

Well it depends who you ask.

These days, there is no consensus view on what is “moral” and what is not.

After all, in a nation that has pushed God out of the picture, who is going to define what is “right” and what is “wrong”?

Without any guiding moral principles, we are pretty much left with what is “legal” and what is not.

Beyond that, most Americans pretty much do whatever is right in their own eyes.

So what is the “morally right” thing to do when it comes to paying off your debts?

Well, absent any objective standard, the “morally right” thing to do for most Americans is whatever they “feel” is right.

However, for those who are Christians, there is an objective standard when it comes to morality.

For those who follow the Creator of the universe, He has given us instructions for how to live our lives.

It is called the Bible.

At this point, a lot of readers are going to get really upset.

But you needn’t get upset.

The truth is that everyone has a choice whether they are going to follow God’s instructions or not.

So if you have made a decision to rebel against God’s instructions, then why let it bother you when others make the decision to follow them?

So what do the Scriptures say?

Well, the Scriptures tell us that it is not wise to get into debt in the first place.  In Proverbs 22:7 it tells us this….

“The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

That statement is as true today as it ever has been. 

Many of us wish we had learned that very hard lesson many years ago.

When it comes to repaying debt, Psalm 37:21 says this….

The wicked borrow and do not repay

So why is it wrong?

Well, when you borrow money you are making a promise to pay it back.  To borrow money and not repay it when you are able to is essentially stealing, which we are warned in the Ten Commandments not to do….

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)

Of course there is nothing wrong with negotiating with your lenders and trying to work something out with them.

Or if you have been induced into your debts fraudulently or if the lenders broke laws, then that certainly changes things.

And of course if you are out of work and are flat broke, then you will not be able to make your debt payments.

But if you are able to pay off your debts and you simply choose not to, that is another story. 

It is not easy to pay off debt, but it is the right thing to do.

 
  • gw

    I sure do like your other articles.

  • Ishefa

    First, I’d like to state that “Christians” do not have a monopoly on “God”, nor on morality. Also, there are many faiths in this nation and always has been.

    However, in speaking of “Christians,” the greedy banksters who are robbing the American people blind are also assumed to be “Christians,” yet their shameless exploitation and robbing of the masses has not deterred them from doing the “morally right thing”.

    You also say:

    “After all, in a nation that has pushed God out of the picture, who is going to define what is “right” and what is “wrong”?”

    My question to you is: When was “God” EVER in the picture?

    If one looks at history objectively and accurately, the “founding fathers” along with the impoverished rural classes that later became the foundation of America’s “elite,” arrived to these shores uninvited. They came sporting a bible in one hand and a gun in the other. They mercilessly slaughtered millions of Indians, stole their lands, and reneged (defaulted) on ALL of their treaties made with them.

    They then stole and purchased millions of Africans, transported them millions of miles away from their ancestral lands and brutally enslaved them for several hundred years; to build the economic foundation of this country, and enrich the material and industrial foundation of Europe.

    They then proceeded to deprive these groups of their humanity, deny them economic, social cultural and religious freedom and opportunity, while praising their “God” and the Bill of Rights. Where in God’s name was the “morality” at the founding of this nation then? At what point was “God” put into the picture? I’ll tell you, when it was economically and politically convenient for them.

    Now, let us, forward to the present economic situation:

    The American people have benefited from the actions of these forefather’s, stain blood hands and heinous ungodly actions. They have been socially engineered to believe that this government was designed to maintain its current “American dream” of over consumption, gluttonous materialism and resource exploitation of other lands through military dominance expressed as moral action.

    They have been lured into a false sense of security, believing themselves as being “blessed by God,” while the millions across the world whose resources we steal daily, starve to death, suffer curable diseases due to poverty, and die meaningless deaths through war and wanton destruction. All instigated by this nation’s CIA backed corporate masters, who safely keep hidden from the naive American people’s view the horrendous price paid by others for this life of high luxury and leisure.

    Future generations have been further anesthetized to the on-going mass suffering around them, as they fill their stomachs and minds on junk food, needless trinkets, toxic big-pharma drugs, and junk entertainment. Now, it is time to pay the piper and the average American is no where near prepared. Their corporate masters have pulled the special privilege plug from beneath them and now they wander aimlessly in shock, confusion, fear and uncertainty about their future.

    While I do not fault most Americans, I do fault you with your clear “Christian right-winged agenda,” for burdening them with even more needless guilt based on this pseudo-Christian doctrine which has been modified and designed to benefit the very elite responsible for their enslavement. I could go on, but I hope you get my drift.

    If Americans want to walk away from their debts I say that is their choice. After all, their corporate masters have walked away from their commitment to them. Has America ever had “God” as the center of this nation’s founding? Individually, perhaps many, but America’s collective history says “no.”

    Does America have a karmic and divine debt to pay to the millions they murdered and exploited for their high priced over consumption and the ensuing environmental destruction never before known in history? I’ll let others who realize that it is no longer profitable to bury their heads in the sand; respond to the “writing on the wall.”

  • Hawk0v0Eye

    Once one understands that Banks charge INTEREST on money/credit (fiat currency)created OUT OF THIN AIR and backed by NOTHING, the issue of morals does not arise. Does it make sense for one to pay SOMETHING (Interest/usury) on/for NOTHING (Money/credit created OUT OF THIN AIR and backed by NOTHING)?

    Watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8 – Money as Debt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_doYllBk5No – Money as Debt II Promises unleashed

    Those with Christian morals should understand that, in Biblical times, money most likely meant pieces of coin (gold, silver, bronze, copper etc.) or some other commodity (grains, gems stones, beads etc.) used as a means of exchange. It certainly did not mean pieces of paper called Fiat currency/money.

    Some quotes from The Bible with regards to Usury (interest) and Moneychangers (Bankers):

    “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.” – Exodus 22:25

    ” You shall not charge interest to your brother — interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest.” – Deuteronomy 23:19

    And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. – Matthew 21:12-13

    You shall not steal. – Exodus 20:15 [would greatly apply to modern day Banking/Bankers]

    For a further understanding view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXb-LrVkuwM – The Money Masters

    Ultimately, to pay or not to pay one’s monetary debt is one’s own choice.

  • kfdisme

    Well, you may think these are words of wisdom from the “Creator of the Universe”, but more than likely they are the words of wisdom of an obscure middle eastern desert tribe circa 2000 BC. Whoop-dee-doo…

  • Frank Capra

    We are in this mess,precisely because man has not followed GOD.In our arrogance we have come to think we can do without Him,even while every aspect of our society is disintegrating.GOD is denied,is blasphemed,His Holy Name is taken in vain,His commandments are ignored and broken.Perversion,sexual immorality,paganism,the occult,greed,cheating,stealing,lust,;all these things and more are destroying us.We must repent and turn to The Living GOD and do His Will.His Love and Mercy are our only hope.

  • Gary

    I think it is great when working people can stiff the credit cards and banksters. They have robbed us blind and pay back is here!

  • The III

    We all can see the ship is going down, down, down.
    There are no lifeboats in this sea of red to be found.
    We have listen to these clowns that sank our ship so sound.
    Now all can see we have been left to drown, drown, drown.

    – The III

    6 “ Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
    And a taunting riddle against him, and say,

    ‘ Woe to him who increases
    What is not his—how long?
    And to him who loads himself with many pledges’?
    7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly?
    Will they not awaken who oppress you?
    And you will become their booty. (Habakkuk 2:6-7)

    – God

  • gw

    This article is worthwhile after all because it inspired Ishefa to write that excellent comment above. Nicely said Ishefa!

  • Scott

    I disagree that the bible is god’s instructions, they are the instructions of an elite group of power hungry people who set-up a system to keep the rest of humanity enslaved for as long as they could convince them that they don’t have a direct connection with god.

    And even if you want to follow the bible, it is only one path in a universe with many paths back to the creator.

    I have read a few things that said Jesus came to abolish the ten commandments and put forth the true universal law, ‘love thy neighbor’ and ‘there is no god but I am’. I wholly agree with those universal laws of Jesus. And i will say I haven’t taken the time to see if this is evident within the bible, but it works for me, so thats good enough.

    I have never gotten into debt that I couldn’t handle and only now have a mortgage because you seriously can’t buy a house without getting one unless you save for many, many years, and the reality of having a family didn’t allow me that time…which I would of gladly taken to save up, had I not had the wife. :)

    The concept of what is morally right is a tough one…is it morally right to keep paying a greedy banker when you can’t feed your family…don’t think so.

    Is it morally right to keep paying a greedy banker, when you realize that it is just better for you to not?

    Well…what happens when you realize that the system was built to put you into debt for the sole purpose of putting the yolk on you for the rest of your life, your children’s life and forever after…

    Well what about when you realize that even though you could of said no to the debt they heavily marketed bad options which were socially taught for decades to lead easily misguided people into bad situations and take advantage of them? Is this moral?

    Life becomes very grey doesn’t it?

    Well here is what I think is important. You have a direct connection to God…nurture it. Follow your intuition…that is your connection to God. The system is set-up to break you…honestly…do whatever is in your power to not be broken…that is well within God’s morality, if such a thing even exists…but I guess it is another debate if a universal entity which entails everything that is, including you has what we consider human morality.

  • Gnome

    Don’t argue with them Frank. You won’t change their mind. We know God is central to life and contentment.

    We went into debt to purchase our homes, cars etc. We received something of value to us,so we must repay it with something of value to the banks. It is only right whether you believe in Karma or God.

  • Two wrongs do not make a right. We can’t take the cop-out that “we were misguided or misled” when we had to sign our name on the contract or run our credit card through a machine. We can’t blame the loss of half our retirement account on others, when we contributed voluntarily.

    For those who like to turn morality into gray areas, good luck, for the minute right and wrong become subject to popular vote, tyranny will ensue.

    Whether you draw your morality from a religion, or from natural law, there are consequences to our behavior that are very consistent through time and across societies. Of course, if you simply want to rationalize why it is OK to steal or break a contract of debt, go ahead; I’m sure that you can eventually paste enough things together to give you comfort. But that doesn’t make it right.

    If the government murders, does that give me the right to murder? No, for it is still wrong to murder.

    While we can blame the government for the theft of our money through outrageous taxes, we cannot blame them or the banks for our lifestyle or “not knowing”

    There have been voices of warning for years. I read popular book in 1992 that convinced me that I needed to study more, get out of debt completely, and prepare for survival during rough times. Eventually I began to believe those who forcast the collapse of the stock market around 1999, and I pulled out all of my money in that area. I was untouched.

    My wife and I diverted our retirement savings and paid off our house in 2001. We drive older cars as long as they run.

    I also chose to believe those who, in 1992, forecast a major depression, likely hyperinflationary, somewhere between 2000 and 2006. I began to buy gold to be stored in the Australian Perth Mint.

    I wasn’t so fortunate with my 403b and IRA accounts, which crashed in 2008 with the market. I lost 50% of the value, got back to 80% and then yanked them, paid the penalty and bought land. I also had some foreign stocks that got hammered.

    All in all, I think that I’m in a far better position thanks to the grace of God and those solid, libertarian economists of the Austrian school who convinced me that the economy in the US could not go on forever with so much debt. A Christian financial counselor taught me about the problems that come with debt and convinced me to pay off my house.

    My plan 15 years ago was to (1) get out of debt, for the security of my family, and (2) prepare to not lose the purchasing power of my money. Making money in that and this environment was not very likely and was a secondary goal.

    My primary investments are in the Perth mint and 45 acres of land. Both gold and land are not good “investments” if you are hoping to make money, but they are great investments if are trying not to lose it. I also rely on Peter Schiff’s group, Europacific Capital to invest in foreign stocks that are not connected to the US.

    I have liquidated my retirement accounts because there are clear movements towards the likelihood of the confiscation of retirement accounts and even pensions to bail out Social Security.

    I am without much wealth for the future because I was an ignoramus for the first 35 years of my life who didn’t save a dime. Sure, there are various things I could point to about why I didn’t know much, but in the end, it really comes down to the fact that I am a lazy, greedy and selfish, like all humans. And until all of us are willing to admit we are flawed, we will not find any wisdom.

  • @Isheva: Much of what you say is true, but some is wrong. For example, blacks were not stolen for slaves. They were purchased from other blacks. That is not an excuse for the horrors of chattel slavery, but it makes the point that big picture is that Africans sold other Africans into slavery and share the guilt.

    As far the the Bible being a grand scheme of the rich and powerful, there is no historical evidence. Has it been used (incorrectly by it’s own standards) for wrong reasons? Of course.

    The basic evilness of mankind is evident throughout history so it is incorrect to blame the wrongs on the rich corporatists, while I agree that corporatism is evil because it gives unfair trade advantages to corporations and puts them above the law. There are actually some that are not of the normal mold and do good.

    Of course, what you closed with “writing on the wall” is a biblical reference to a time when God pronounced judgement on a king of Babylon. Ironic.

  • Greg

    One of the most difficult things that I have ever had to face is the fact that America is not and never has been a “Christian nation”. Many who were raised with the same myths that were taught to me will bristle at that statement, just as I used to bristle, but it is important to know the truth because that will set us free. We will also do justice to the cause of Christ because America is the antithesis of what the world needs to see for a proper example of Christianity. When I incorrectly clung to the belief that America was a Christian nation and that we were great because God blessed us it opened the door for people like Ishefa to rightfully point out that it is a pathetic example of what Christ commanded, thus leading to defense of this wicked nation rather than delivery of and defense of the gospel of Christ. America was actually founded to bring in the NWO and the resulting prophesied world leader. Defending this nation as an example of Christianity is counterproductive if the desire is to lead the world to Christ. It seems that the only people who don’t understand this are Christians.

    Christians do have a monopoly on God because there is no way to the Father but through Jesus Christ. Regarding morality, we are supposed to be the example of morality for the world to see but if this nation and the majority of those who call themselves Christians are the example for the world, I can understand why people like Ishefa are disgusted. Virtually every statistic that indicates a lack of morality is the same or worse in the church crowd as in the non-church crowd. Ishefa may take comfort in the fact that the Bible leaves no doubt that those who claim to be Christians yet practice the immorality and wickedness that are so prevalent in this nation will have an eternity in hell, not in heaven.

    America is toast. Not only are we going to be judged rightfully by God for the astounding wickedness in this nation but we are going to be doubly judged and punished for leading people like Ishefa to despise Christianity. Better that we had a millstone hung around our necks and be cast into the sea than to have done what we have done to the cause of Christ. Ishefa, I apologize that you have been deceived by this nation to believe that it represents Christ. It does not, and I hope that you come to know the real Jesus Christ and salvation through faith in him.

  • Scott Mollett

    If you stop making payments on your home and move out you have still fufilled the contract. Only if you refuse to leave will there be any dishonesty.

  • Vann

    Very good article. I agree totally.

  • xyloman

    Wow. Does anyone here actually think outside of the Christian Box?
    Morality is not a Christian Trademark – nor do Christians have a monopoly of god and any god principle. Jews can have great morals and so can Atheists – never been a problem.

    We all should try to do the best we can in paying out debts. But do we do this to our graves?

    How do we justify giving entire countries clean slates while Americans suffer? How can we speak of morals when we invade countries for no apparent reason but control of resources?

    Morality? Obligation to banks (ie big business??) I don’t think so!
    My neighbor lost her home after 17 years of faithful mortgage payments. Foreclosure struck.

    So what bank OWNS the home? A f@@king bank in India!

    THATS the problem boys and girls.

    No god will ever help, because Man invented god. WE need to help ourselves.

  • Mr Carpenter

    Greg, well said. While Christ was in the hearts of some who established the US but this could also be said of many other equally flawed nations throughout the time since Christ.

    Ishefa, perhaps if you (and anyone else) are actually curious and interested in seeing real Christ-ianity in human form (not forgetting that Christians are NOT PERFECT – only forgiven) then I have a humble suggestion.

    If you would like to see humans living their lives as much like Christ as they can, not out of an attempt to “buy” their way into paradise after death of the body – but living in loving response to the huge love gift given to them by Christ who dies on the cross and was raised again, then look for a conservative Mennonite congregation, dress appropriately, visit with humility and with respect, and LISTEN in order to learn. (This is not even my “tradition” but I have Mennonite friends and worship with them periodically).

    You might question why I mention your mode of dress. I am talking about respecting others (and God) in a worship service (to the Lord). Modest apparel is all that is needed for visitors; church members will dress in a particular way out of their clear understanding of God’s little instruction book and owner’s manual for a good life – the Holy Bible.

    Once you learn how these people live, some of the comments by Greg and Ishefa will become clarified.

    But I will give you one hint; Christ said that neither He nor His followers would have a home or place to lay their heads. I think this means that He knew that unlike God’s promises to the Jewish nation, regarding the re-formation of the nation of Israel (denoting the beginning of the end of time), Christians would not have a nation on this earth, and thus far, this has also been true, as evidenced by the statements made by Ishefa. But one also mustn’t solely point to the USA; no nation is a Christian nation.

    People can choose to follow Christ, and positively in fluence a nation within which they live.

    And yes, I also believe that God has occasionally placed His great hand of protection and given blessings to many nations, but likewise He is also free to remove same at His free will.

    Perhaps the curse of corporate-government fascism and socialism, as well as the huge break-down in values is actually the result of God removing His hand of protection from not just the USA but all rebellious and quite literally anti-Christ nations.

    Kind of like a parent of a rebellious adult teenager being told by his parents to go ahead and leave home and take the consequences of his actions. Just as was told in the parable of the lost son.

  • Not so Mad Max

    I think morality has little to do with this issue. I understand the dilemma, but this is not going to turn into mad max, somebody is going to get that note. The banks are going to get there’s the only issue is how much hell are you going to go in the process. If you really can’t pay them if it car see if you can negotiate with them, they don’t want to the car look at bankruptcy . People are having judgments taken out on them and the banks lawyers are having warrants issued if the judgments are ignored.
    http://www.startribune.com/local/95692619.html

    Strategic Defaults was a goofy idea when I first heard of it on You Tube. Your just going to walk away from your house, and you think the bank is just going to wave Bye, Bye. Only in the fuzzy thinking of early 21st century America would that kind of bone headed idea makes sense. The Banks are in serious trouble and believe it or not they know it, they would much rather have you negotiate a cash for keys before getting lawyers involved. Most people wait to long get caught up in loan mod hell, and before they know it the county is selling their home.

  • Mike43

    I beleive that America is a phony place with phony people.I believe that because most of the American people have false phony egos,We are the most anti-socialable people on earth.We don’t even know who our own neighbors are.The men and women in this country are ingrates,what do we expect.

  • allenwrench

    Yes, paying debt is the ‘moral’ thing to do.

    But…we can see that from the top down, morals have been thrown out the window. The rich and powerful will destroy our world for a lousy buck.

    So, ‘moral balancing’ is what is needed to survive in our new world.

    You do what is best for YOU!

  • Jon

    Of course, there’s the other party — the people who actually have NO ability to continue paying on their debts, morals aside. When they are threatened with lawsuits and wage garnishments, they do the only thing they can do to survive. They file bankruptcy.
    Then the banks who lent them the money they received for free from the federal reserve write off the loss, then the Fed just gives them more money.

  • bob

    well written Ishefa

  • gregbo

    As noted above, lenders create “money” out of thin air. Lending is based on the theoretical future value of the collateral: the value of real estate and other assets and the value of the borrower’s earning ability. The “money” becomes wealth when somebody somewhere gets up and goes to work paying it back. The cold hard reality is that many of us have watched the value of our assets and our labor plummet through no fault of our own. The banks have thus far been unwilling to write down principal balances to reflect this new reality leaving many with no choice but to default. There is plenty of moral blame to go around in this economy.

  • Sharonsj

    If morality and ethics were part of the mortgage process, then maybe you could say people should keep paying. But the real estate bubble was based on fraud.

    Also, when you borrow to buy a house, you are playing well beyond what you borrowed. So if you bought a house for $700,000, your 30-yr mortgage could mean paying over a million dollars for a property now worth $350,000. Anybody who stays in that house and keeps paying is a patsy.

    I do think people should pay off credit card debt, but students need a break. College tuition is another racket when there are no jobs to be had.

    I also notice that the people who scream the loudest about the lack of God in public institutions are the same ones who are most uncharitable toward their fellow man. Just look at the Republicans who claim to champion family values but object to food stamps, unemployment compensation, and Social Security.

  • Paulina

    I was going to suggest this site to some friends from overseas because it does a good job explaining my own thoughts about the U.S. economy in plain English. However, I don’t think I will be doing it now that I found so many references to ‘God’ in your post above. To be perfectly honest, I think it is a bit disrespectful to Americans from other religious denominations, as well as to atheists, to refer to the Bible as a code of conduct for consumer behavior. Please stick to the economy – you were doing such a good job at it. Let people decide what moral code they should use for their economic behavior without pushing your beliefs on them.

  • ham

    12 trillion is 1.2 X 10(13)..its unpayable

  • This is an extremely important and debatable question. It has become increasingly clear to more and more people that the Engine of Economy, USA is an illusion, using the simple mindedness of good people to exploit the resources of the World of which human being is one of them. Since Real Government is Hidden, it is difficult for sane people to fight. However, doing things by proxy is a game played throughout history. Jesus called the pharisees – white washed tombs, meaning they were dead inside. So it is with the evil that spreads its shadow over the world. We can know them by their FRUITS. Nothing is really improving the condition of Humanity World-wide since 1945; There has been nothing but an obsession for material wealth while more and more people fall into the Poor Category. This is a Fact admitted by the Leaders in UN. So if you know it and things are getting worse and you let it be, that is Not called leadership. That is called Devil in Disguise.

  • I disagree that bankruptcy or even a strategic default is a matter of sin. In the first place, charging usurious interest for loans is a sin and has been considered so throughout the Christian era until very recent times. In the second place, God’s opinions about such things can be found in the law of Jubilee in the Mosaic law, which involved the outright cancellation of debts every 49 years. The saying “the wicked borrow and do not repay” does not mean that all who do not repay are wicked. Jesus sent the rich young ruler away, and told parable after parable which exalted the poor and condemned the rich. One of the signs of the Messianic era was to be release from debts. Mary’s song, the Magnificat, says that the rich will be sent away empty, while the poor will be exalted.