For nearly two thousand years, most countries that were founded in Christian ethics followed the rule of usery. This was a Biblical injunction against charging more than ten percent interest on borrowed money. In the 1970's, then President Jimmy Carter, purporting to be a most Christian and moral fellow, repealed the usery laws in the United States allowing banks a free for all in money lending.
Near the same time as this repeal, Bank of America had initiated a relatively new concept, a banking credit card called Bank Ameri-Card. This ultimately grew into the Mastercard/Visa arrangement we know today. A notable exception to then and now is the fact that in order to have a credit card one had to qualify for it the same as if they were applying for a loan. The applicant had to prove credit worthiness and fiscal responsibility. Today, one needs only pass a credit report and the absence of bad credit automatically assumes fiscal stability.
The banks no longer require financial soundness. At interest rates
that run 300 to 400 percent over prime rate
they can afford to have a higher ratio of losers and still make out like bandits. Recognizing this point, the average
American is indundated with solicitations from banks to have 'their' high interest credit cards. Kids just turning
eighteen are given cards while many have never had jobs and it was a surprise to me to discover that people who have just filed bankruptcy are soon the objects of solicitations for new credit cards even though they, clearly, should not indulge.
This country was founded with a fix in place for a very old problem. The Constitution forbade the existence of debtor's prisons and it was recognized that good people could get in over their heads due to no fault of their own except for a series of poor circumstances. During the last two years the Democrats have sponsered a bill through Congress to 'reform' the bankruptcy laws providing and exception for banks and their credit cards. Naturally, this benefits the banks and their userous interest rates at the expense of the people. The ad campaign is already underway noting that Burt Reynolds filed bankruptcy but still lives a luxurious life style. This manuever is an extention of the class warfare and class envy perfected to public policy during the last forty years.
The bankruptcy law was intended to give people a new start from bad circumstances. As with any law there are the few who misuse it to the detriment of the many who need it. The purpose of this 'reform' is to further the special interests of the banks by allowing a harrassment and seizure of what little may remain in a person's life until the statute of limitations expires. Even then, it is not uncommon for the banks to file illegal law suits against individuals for collection of debts knowing full well that the statute and their ability to collect has expired. They've learned that few people are sufficiently sophisticated in legal matters to defend.
We will discover what sort of man George W. Bush really is when this bill comes to his desk.
At the same time this matter is on the table, people who were paying
$80.00 a month of household gas/heating
are now paying $300.00 and more depending upon the part of the country they live in and the type of fuel needed.
In Colorado, 2,600 homes had their gas services turned off in the dead of winter for an inability to pay the usery.
Gasoline prices which usually drop during the winter, per the fictions
of supply and demand, remained 50%
higher than their base this same time last year. Expect $2.50 for a gallon of gas by summer.
Many telephone companys have recently raised their rates for directory
assistance 200% to $1.25 for a query.
If you use the auto connect function, you find that more than 30% of the time - you have the wrong number.
Your local telephone company charges you 25 cents a minute for a long distance call that Mci charges 7 cents a minute for. You get no prior notification of what your charges will be.
The utilities and monopolies have been given free rein to gouge to their hearts content with the banks standing in line for their share of the booty. Even when some agency steps up the plate to play the 'reform game', the people will still be nailed for 100% to 200% more than the service is actually worth in what used to be a free market economy.
This philosophy of raping the population smacks of the same mindset that once said, "Let Them Eat Cake".
At the same time, we see the IRS not willing to examine Jesse Jackson's books and payments from his tax exempt corporation to his mistress. The Service claims they don't have the resources to do many audits these days. As the sharks begin to feed upon the corpus of the public, it is becoming more apparent that the government also is in a state of decline. They pass laws. Yet, the public has also seen they only selectively enforce those laws when it suits their agenda of the moment. Can it be any surprise that contempt for our government has reached record levels?
During the years the federal government mandated a 55 mph limit on the nation's highways (to conserve fuel), most people ignored the law. Law enforcement made no attempt to cite the speeder unless they were at least 10 mph over the limit. Multiply an unpopular law against a raging contempt against the lawmakers and you find the fuel that revolutions are made of.
The American Revolution was initially fought with only 2% of the
population having any active involvement.
However, once the fire was lit - it became a wildfire. There arrives a point in the historical course of events where there arrives the straw that broke the camel's back. Once that spark ignites, no power on earth - military or otherwise - will put it out. Also, one must note that the ignition point nearly always is located at a grass roots level with the 'common man' at a point he won't take it anymore and is willing to die rather than continue holding his ankles for a non representative government. How much closer are we to the flash point?
The only force in America, at this moment, that CAN hold back the
forces of corruption, is George W. Bush. Your prayers should be dedicated
to the proposition that he stays centered in integrity.