On Profit: What Do Spiritual Books Say?

Profit is something that is becoming a concern for the general public nowadays. There are many questions to be asked regarding this topic. For now, I would like to focus on Spirituality and the idea of lending money at interest, in order to make a profit.

For those who consider themselves Christians, I think the notion of banks and bankers lending money at interest should be looked at as a vile way of making a living – a lazy and rotten path, I may add. It literally means that one person is using another person simply for their own benefit: usury.

What is written in the Bible is fairly straight forward, in my opinion: “If you should lend money to my people, to the afflicted alongside you, you must not become like a usurer to him. You must not lay interest upon him”, Exodus, 22:25.

In Psalms 15:5, it is said: “His money he has not given out of interest, And a bribe against the innocent one has not taken. He that is doing these things will never be made to totter.” And in Ezekiel 18:13, the words are even harsher: “On usury he has given, and interest he has taken and he positively will not keep living. All these detestable things he has done. He will positively be put to death. On him his own blood will come to be.”

There are countless passages in the Bible which clearly speak against lending money at interest. Yet, I have still to hear Christians speaking against the way bankers are acting like leaches. How can millions and millions of Christians use banks and support such a greedy and corrupt system?

After these thoughts fermented in my mind for a while, I wondered what the Qur’an says on this topic. It did not take me long to find a quote which reads: “O you who believe, beware of God, and refrain from all outstanding gains from usury, if you are truly believers. If you do not, then know that you are at WAR with God and His messenger...” (2:278-279)

So, Islam teaches the same thing as Christianity, regarding lending money at interest: it is a no-no, to put it plainly. Yet, this does not seem to have translated in day to day life. Bankers and their rotten institutions have ravaged through societies world-wide in the last few years, hitting hard on the middle class and keeping the poor, poor or driving them even poorer. All this while profits for banks and bankers have sky-rocketed.

Greed has taken control of our social and political systems and I wonder what people who regard themselves as pious followers of Christianity or Islam have to say about this state of affairs? Is it acceptable?


Note: My photograph, Paris, France, 2010


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Comments 35 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

My poor understanding of the change from strict bible instruction to our current state of usurious affairs, begins with the New World. The Church as it was at the time wanted badly to have a hand in conquering and converting those souls in the New World. Expeditions were costly. Some of the best were not Christian. It would take large scale financing for exploration and exploitation so, the Church relaxed the standards that are biblically clear. Definately it was not intended to allow for consumer debt to be usurious. The credit/debt industry as it now exists, pretty much includes all that is wrong with man.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"the Church relaxed the standards" - I am not even sure what to say about this, Mr. EricDierker ... how does one relax on morality? We can relax on slavery a little too then, maybe relax on rape, murder, etc.

I am not Christian, or Muslim but I appreciate many of the guiding teachings in the Bible and the Qur'an. And when I look around at all the people who claim to be so faithful, I have to ask myself if they have even read these texts ...

"The credit/debt industry as it now exists, pretty much includes all that is wrong with man." - You nailed the point here! I do think we can change the status quo though. I have faith.

Thank You very much for joining the discussion on lending at interest in order to profit. All the best!


forall profile image

forall 4 years ago

Hi Mr.Happy glad to read this hub of yours. You're right in what u said about usury, human greed is endless and even in the presence of such strong religious texts still usury is practiced wherever you go in the world. Talking about the Islamic world, Alhamdu Lillah there are some Islamic banks that lend money without interest and in which you can save money without that interest percentage offered for saving. These banks are the ones used by Muslims in their area, I hope that more will be created for that more Muslims can benefit. About those who use the other banks to save money because they had no choice, what they do is to give the interest they gain from saving money to the poor and needy to help the balance be re-established in society waiting for more Islamic banks far from usury.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I am happy You took the time to read and leave a comment here, Mrs. Forall. I actually asked someone from Saudi Arabia how the system of banks works there, knowing that Saudi Arabia conforms to Sharia Law. I received no answer yet.

Therefore, I appreciate You explaining this issue. I am also very happy to find-out that there are banks (somewhere out there - I have not seen one myself) which do not charge interest for lending money. I would also say "Alhamdu Lillah", to that! There is some Light at the end of the tunnel, after all. Awesome! : )

All the very best!

P.S. Perhaps we can create a social System based on morality. The teachings are there and as You well pointed out, there are also examples. Thank You for the insightful comment!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

On a side-note Mrs. Forall, I would like to say that I greatly appreciate the teachings about Zakat, from the Qur'an. Beautiful!


a49eracct profile image

a49eracct 4 years ago

Considering the banks are not a "christian" business it is no surprise. Many of our first presidents were HIGHLY against a banking system. However, I don't think the problem really began until just before the Great Depression when people starting buying stock on credit. Credit is what the problem is, not necessarily the bank itself. Solution: pay in cash.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

You are very right Mrs. A49eracct, banks are not a Christian business but many bankers are of the opinion that they are Christians. A business is not just some abstract entity - each business is run by people. Thus, we can hold people accountable through the way they do business.

"Credit is what the problem is" - I do agree with this statement. Credit is crippling in many ways.

Thank You for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

All the best!


glmclendon profile image

glmclendon 4 years ago

This was a good HUB. thanks for sharing. It seems that Christians, not all but many, forget who they are when it comes to money. They talk about LGBT, and abortion, but not money. There is no big sin, or little sin, just sin.

Stay Well


backporchstories profile image

backporchstories 4 years ago from Kentucky

They banks are horrible today...and these scriptures, rather Christian or Islam sure explains why so many banks are failing now! Hmmm....


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"There is no big sin, or little sin, just sin." - These are strong words, Mr. Glmclendon. I agree with You though.

Thank You for the visit and your comment. I appreciate it.

All the best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I think the truth eventually comes out, not just regarding the banks and bakers but in general. I will use your words and say: "They say that out of the darkness, light will grow" - I believe in that; I Will that.

Many thanks, Mrs. Backporchstories.

Cheers! : )


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

This is amazingly true. However, the question arises - "If not the for-profit system, then what is the replacement model?"

Very often, the only other choice offered is the Socialist one and people go into the thousand drawbacks there.

My master, the Man in Orange, has given another model - the "for-service" model.

Let me explain a bit here.

Swami says that the proper study of mankind is man. This means that if one has to understand mankind, one should study man. He further adds that when a thorn pricks the foot, the hand reaches out automatically to help. It never thinks, "What will I gain from this?" This should be the basis for our living. Feeling the pain of others like our own (for there is not actual 'other' - we are all parts of the same body of humanity) is the way to go. Otherwise, we just become some disconnected organs and parts rather than a body of life!

When He exhorted this, there were detractors and critics who said that this would never work. Swami came from a very poor background - he did not have two pairs of clothes for his needs.

And yet, He said that He would start a drinking water project to supply water to 700 villages that lacked them. His close members felt that this was a foolish project - where would the money come from? The money came as donations - the world is full of good people. They just need a cause to unite.

Then came the multi-super-specialty hospitals - offering tertiary health care absolutely FREE OF COST to EVERYONE. Again, people said that starting them is one thing. They won't sustain because they have no 'profit-motive'. Apparently, the service-motive is more 'profitable' than the 'profit-motive'. It has been 21 years now and the hospitals still run amazingly well.

And now, the critics say, "He did it because He had influence and people donated to Him."

Why did people donate? - That is not asked sadly - because the intent was pure and 'for-service'!

"For-profit" makes us forget the reality - that we are all one. There are subtle connections between every being in the world and nobody can benefit at the cost of another! We all progress together or we don't. Helping others helps us more than helping ourselves. That is what my master's life has taught me. Just see for yourself the magnificent social service projects that have been started and are still going very strong even today.

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/Who-is-Sathya-Sa...

"for-service" which inculcates love and celebration of diversity is the model to replace the "for-profit".


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"He further adds that when a thorn pricks the foot, the hand reaches out automatically to help. It never thinks, "What will I gain from this?" - This part made me laugh ... It is so very true though! If All people finally realized that we are All One, many things would be solved. The Law of One ...

Most good work is indeed done because the intent is there, to do something just for the sake of doing it and not for profit or something else; for the Love of Creating.

Your comment is appreciated, Mr. Aravind. Much food for thought in it. Thank You for taking the time to share your thoughts.

All the best!


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 4 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

Just another addition which was triggered by a comment by a49eracct. The credit system is a terrible one. My parents always taught me to live within my means. The credit system does otherwise.

I feel that happiness can be depicted by an equation:

Happiness = Desires fulfilled/ Desires entertained.

In the quest and pursuit of happiness, we always try to increase the numerator. And somehow, the nature of 'desire' ensures that when the numerator increases, denominator too automatically increases!

Decreasing denominator or putting a ceiling on desires is something that we should consider. The credit system works against this and just keeps increasing our desires.

Increasing desires to increase spending is not a solution for was a planet of limited resources!


DDE profile image

DDE 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I voted this Hub as interesting


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"Increasing desires to increase spending is not a solution for was a planet of limited resources!" - I fully agree with You here, Mr. Aravind. It is a bit of a problem though, since all I hear around me is that we need to consume more because otherwise the world's economy will slow down ...

Globalization has created a world economy which is based on pure consumption so, we keep cutting-down forests, we are drilling-up anywhere we can for oil, diamonds, gold, etc ... I sometimes think we are copying termites, going around and eating-up all we can see. Not very nice, in my opinion.

Thank You again for your insight. It is greatly appreciated it.

Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I am glad You enjoyed the read, Mrs. DDE.

Thank You for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

All the best!


rmichaelf profile image

rmichaelf 4 years ago from North Central West Virginia, where the green grass grows...

Mr. H,

Ahh, my friend! was just recently chastised for not focusing on the book from which the stories I have posted reflect excerpts and the thought progresiions of that book! I had just decided myself that that was what I was going to now that I have a deadline and am working wiht a co-writer on a book of his in which he wanted to use my story as a descriptive for his technical oriented book on PTSD teatment....

But, you pose such deep questions which I hold also and which I deal with in some of thse writing exercise... so here are a few thoughts on these comments and your essay... In general terms...

2,000 to 3,000 years ago (when many of the World's Holy Books came into existance) the buying and selling of goods was an mportant function to all cultures. That somone grew or made a resource in exchange for some resource that they needed was a necessary action which provided support and continuity within small communities. It was self regulated for if one man's request for his offering was excessive folks went elsewhere, the greedy man began to starve and he thought about it all again lowering his asking for a fairer trade.

As population and communities spread, than it was natural to trade different needs and commodities and services to each other thus growing a stronger sense of interdependence. Trade routes developed and civilaztion spread. People (not "markets" as today they are defined..) had talents for somethings and not others so they traded for them with each other. This is addressing more some comments left here.... Barter became cumbersome so a monetary system, basic as it was, sprang up.

And then, as you state Greed and Power became the primary influence.

And... the institutions of the Church (of whatever religion you wish to think) and the ones who didn't like being powerless, fought their way into the hierarchy and imposed rules to create their authority and collect money wit which to control the flow of money into the church under the guise of "charity."... and the idiocy started....

It's not just the Qur'an and the Bible, but the Holy Books of S.E Asia and Asia, as well as aboriginal beief systems all over the world speak loud and clear about Usury.

As far as the comment about "the New World", I'm not sure about the dates to which he is referring, but Constantine, in the 3rd(4th?) Century, was trying to consolidate the Roman Empire (which at the time had two "capitals" or "centers". One in Rome and one in Constantinople, with an Emporer in each.) As a political power move, Constantine (under the influence and tutalage of his mother) decide to make this new Religion, Christianity and the Catholic Church the state Church, and the citizens ahd to swear allegiance and give the churh and the government huge "donations" and taxations, or be put to death by either the Church or the government. The Church rebated a ton of that to Constantine, which he used to fund his army. Long story short it all worked and the seat in roam declined into disary and Constantine became HMFIC of the Holy Roman Empire, and his mother died a Happy Woman knowing she had an honored seat at the foot of God.

From around this time, the power structure learned that with the use of Usuary, they could double their cash flow to pay for this expansion, which they got the Eastern Popes to go along with, and it was "off to the races all the way to "here." The Western Churches were the primary one doing this, as Western Man's culture was most accepting of this due to the teachings of the whole the devil made me do it" absolving us of self responsibility...

Than the Capatilistic System began redefing things and is currently simply totally out of control. To the extent that ANY monatary system will eventually produce all of the ills we have now if not regulated, we have moved beyound a "profit driven" system today. It has evolved nto a "debt based system" Primarily because the "profit motivated system" as used, is just no longer a viable system... there just isn't enough money left in the hands of the lower and middle classes to satisfy owners and shareholders greed motivated needs.

We have been for sometime, about 40 years, operating in a "debt based system." Where the entire focus is, through financial instruments (like mortgages and credit cards) is now all about taking any future money away from the lowere and middle classes, since they have so little left in the present. (Think WalMart and day trading...) Corporations, through newly developed bookeeping tricks, are no using that "future income" from current sales and that resulting profit, to report their current eranings and to use for commercial loans for expansion to make more money to satisf the greed motives of their own and their shareholders. Our government has been doing that, heavily since WWII.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Wow Mr. Michael,

You have given quite the historical account regarding profit and debt. Thank You very much for your perspective.

"And then, as you state Greed and Power became the primary influence" - Why do You think this is? Not why I made the statement but why did Greed and Power become "the primary influence"? And I do not mean to sound cocky but I am not satisfied with the answer I get from many people that: "that is human nature". I find this answer in specific, very weak/defeatist ... I simply do not know for sure, I only have vague ideas.

All the best and thank You for stopping by, once again!


rmichaelf profile image

rmichaelf 4 years ago from North Central West Virginia, where the green grass grows...

Mr. H,

This is one of those Hubs of yours which will have me pondering, the thoughts from my subconscious rising and mixing with my daily observations and the years of spiritual teachings and practice. It is a critical and highly important question that must be answered and verbalized if one ( any one at all) wishes to further themselves along that that path of "The Great What Is." And the answer must be arrived at intuitively and not from a classroom, it must come from a personal experience that directly connects those random wanderings in our heads into a non-verbal "seeing" the issue as a whole making giving the moment the quality of a vision. Ad then, one can gently begin to piecemeal it out into parts and have the answer come as a revelation.

I have experienced it in this way (not that there may be ocher ways to achieve this..) but I have never been asked to answer the question, so am content to let it live and roll around in my Mind, letting it influence me in my daily living.

If you have an idea as to how I might share my thoughts, I would be glad to share them with you. You have always been such a teacher and mentor to me, how could I not?? :-)

I will at what ever level, offer my learnings to date with you in an email, or if you think it worthy, in a Hub. Especially if we can make a conversation out of it and I get to learn from your peace. :-)))

Namaste Namaskar,

Make me learned, more so than I may be currently!

Michael


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"It is a critical and highly important question that must be answered and verbalized if one ( any one at all) wishes to further themselves along that that path of "The Great What Is." And the answer must be arrived at intuitively and not from a classroom, it must come from a personal experience that directly connects those random wanderings in our heads into a non-verbal "seeing" - I agree with You here Mr. Michael. I'm on it! (lol)

As You well pointed out, I think I have to let this question "live and roll around in my Mind" for a little longer. Perhaps I am not ready to understand It yet ...

Much to think about ... and I will think about It! Haha.

Cheers Mr. Michael!

P.S. I think I will email You on this topic. Thank You for the insight.


wheelinallover profile image

wheelinallover 4 years ago from Central United States

As a business person banks are an important part of business. When I sell something I want to be paid. Without some kind of bank system how would this be possible? Our main product costs $1000. This is the lowest we can afford to work for and survive. When you consider the value of time there is no profit.

My company is debt free. Our goal is not to put anyone in debt. We are up front about how much we charge and what we deliver. We have provided our product free of charge for those who can't afford it. It is not something we can do on an ongoing basis. A business does cost money to run.

At some point in time we plan on making a profit. Not from lending to others, from the ever increasing value of our product and name. We purposely targeted the market who can afford to pay out of pocket for our services.

In the past two years we have turned people who wanted to start new businesses away who would not benefit from what we do. In any business passion plays a part. If we don't see a passion which will carry someone through the hard times we know they will be wasting their time and money as well as our time. Brands are build to last. If you don't believe us ask a cow, or the oldest known brand which has been around since the 1400's.

We have never been asked to brand a bank. I honestly don't know how I would answer if one did ask. The end choice of who we brand and who we don't rests with me.

Your blog has made me think. I think all good blogs should do this. Thanks for taking the time to write it.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Wheelinallover,

in this article I was just talking about the issue regarding banks lending money at interest. I was not questioning the need for banks.

I am happy your company is debt free. I wish it will remain that way because falling in debt is often a slippery-slope to financial slavery.

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment.

All the best!


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Mr. Happy, Something about this bothered me. Turns out that it is the use of words like interest and usury. I have some digging to do but I think those words have historical connotations and in fact legal ones.

Here is why it bugged me. Borrowing against the future is one of the clearest signs of hope.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello again Mr. Eric Dierker,

To be honest, I am not sure I understand what You mean by: "Borrowing against the future is one of the clearest signs of hope."

Are we still talking about money and the banking system or about borrowing in general? Not quite sure here ...

Thank You for the visit though and for continuing to engage in this conversation. Much to think about still.

Cheers!


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

It seems to me that: Lending money is fine. Borrowing money is fine. Making a living is good. So what we are looking at is the cost of borrowing and how it is calculated. Usury is charging too much in exchange for lending money.

I am not satisfied that the translations refer to interest at all or usurius interest. Also it seems points are not interest.

Borrowing on credit is based on a future event -- ability to pay back. Hope in the future.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I think I am more clear now, thank You for the explanation.

I think lending and borrowing are just fine. Here, I would say to think of the family circle. I have borrowed money before from family members and I have also lent money to family members, in the past. I am sure You might have as well, Mr. Dierker. The question here is, did I charge my family members interest on the money that I lent-out? Would You charge your children or wife interest on lent money?

I personally have not and would not. I also view all human beings as my relatives. Therefore, my morals would not allow me to lend money to anyone and expect more of it in return. This is where I think the term usury comes in and I think the Bible and the Qur'an have good guiding words on this issue.

I also do not like borrowing on credit if it involves paying an interest/usury. That is the slippery-slope to financial slavery and a way in which people end-up on monthly payments forever. Think of our societies which are built on debt and monthly payments - from the house, to the new car, to the phone bill, internet bill ... all monthly payments; many based on debt - the societies are constructed in such a way that we get milked on a monthly basis by endless corporations/services.

Just my opinion - thank You once again for the visit and the discussion.

All the best!


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 3 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

whether lending for profit is absolutely wrong or if it is the high interest rates that are wrong, I can't really say right now. What I do know is that the middle and lower classes of at least western societies are being enslaved for life in many cases. I have a bit of debt right now, but in a year I should be free. I won't be going down that road again, you can be sure. Thanks for the very thoughtful and challenging hub.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Cam8510,

getting out of debt is the best thing one can do at the moment. And not going back to debt is probably the second-best thing (lol).

I wish You financial freedom as soon as possible!

Cheers. : )


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 3 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Hi Mr Happy,

Very much enjoyed this. Islamic law prevents certain kind of interest, but the subtleties of how and where, etc. escape me. I am very interested in spirituality & money & also wrote a hub about it. I came away deciding that religions often contradict themselves about money, but that doesn't surprise me given that religions in my opinion are products of human imagination anyway. Liked your photos, too.

Voted up, interesting and useful.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Hello Mrs. Rogers,

I am happy You enjoyed the read.

I think for the most part it is the religious followers who contradict/deceive themselves. Regarding profit especially, the Bible and the Qur'an are clear: Charging interest on lent money to make profit, is bad - plain and simple. Yet, many people support the debt system in this world and claim to be faithful followers of their religion. That is the contradiction, in my opinion.

Thank You for taking the time to read and comment.

All the best!


Louisa Rogers profile image

Louisa Rogers 3 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

Mr Happy--

Please call me Louisa! I'm not formal.

Thanks!

Louisa


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Okay, will do Louisa. Thank You.

Cheers! : )


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 3 years ago from Chicago

As far as "profit" goes, there is nothing wrong with it, in and of itself, of course. Business has always been accepted as a right and proper activity by all cultures, including those that reject usury.

The Israelites who lived in Old Testament times were forbidden to charge interest on loans made to other Israelites, but they were absolutely allowed to charge interest on transactions with non-Israelites. This is one reason why so many Jews got into banking in Old Europe. There was no prohibition to them charging interest to Gentiles, who were reluctant to become bankers if they were Christians.

My grandpa told me when I was young to never, ever borrow any money from anyone under any circumstances. He never did. Thus, usury never affected his life one way or the other.

I am amazed, however, by snivelers who: 1) Decide they want to borrow money, maybe to buy a new television 2) they seek someone who will loan them the money so that instead of saving up to buy one with their own hard earned cash, they can enjoy it now and pay for it later 3) They find someone—who does not defraud them in any way but tells them flat out you can have the TV today if you pay me X for X months, which includes 24% interest. 4) They agree to the terms, are of sound mind, they sign a legal and binding contract, but later complain to high heaven what crooks the people are who loaned them the money.

As I point out in my Hub, "The Presidency of Jimmy Carter," which I think you would get a particular kick out of, if I may quote myself:

'Before the presidency of Jimmy Carter, Americans had always been conservative with their finances. Americans were by and large thrifty, never threw things away, were suspicious of good times, and saved for the "rainy day" that was sure to come. They resisted credit and debt—seen as moral weakness.

But with inflation at 12 percent a year, to let money sit in a savings account earning 5 percent interest was a losing proposition. Hard-earned savings were becoming worthless. To save money meant to pay for tomorrow's higher-priced goods with yesterday's diminished dollars. Instead, why not purchase today on credit, and pay later with inflated dollars?

As Alfred Kahn, President Carter's inflation "czar," said, "[the] inflation that we have experienced has given rise to a permanent change in our attitudes toward savings." American began to spend more, borrow more, speculate more, and save less—trends that have continued to this day.'


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greeting Mr. Watkins,

I quoted the Bible here just because I see so many want-to-be Christians who profit from lending money at interest, that I about had enough. Some of these people walk around like they have halos over their heads, talking Jesus this and Jesus that then, they support banksters and their rotten business ... It is encouraging to have heard the story of your grandfather.

Almost the entire western hemisphere is drowning in debt. I call it financial slavery and as of late, the banksters are going after countries too not only individuals. The bloody IMF is sinking country after country ... many of the common people are screwed beyond their comprehension. The next financial melt-down will be a cataclysm from which capitalism will never recover, not that it has really recovered after the last one.

The thing about Americans spending more is a real issue and it has many facets. The media and advertising are appealing on people's emotions to continually make them buy useless crap (ohh wait, You wrote an article describing how people can do this effectively ... lol), the wages are so low that for some it is simply not enough to make ends meet (sort of like Wallmart employees who have to use food stamps because they are paid peanuts ... I mean hey, Wall-mart has to make its billions somehow ... ) and lastly, a point I am sure You agree with: we have lost most of our morals and values so, we chase money (be that borrowed or not).

Thank You for the visit and the comment, Mr. Watkins. This is certainly not an easy topic to discuss, especially amongst people who consider themselves religious.

All the best!

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