Here’s a great article from Charles Hugh-Smith from his OfTwoMinds blog. He defines and details the profile of “undebtors”. His language is strong, his case is solid, and his advice is incredibly worthwhile.
Those who refuse debt, regardless of the sacrifice, are starving the parasitic, exploitive machine; those with debt are feeding it.
We hear a lot about debtors, and very little about undebtors. I define an undebtor as an individual or entity that has sworn off debt or considers debt a necessary evil that must be paid off as quickly as possible regardless of the sacrifices required to do so.
Undebtors are created by these conditions:
1. People with cultural/familial values that eschew/fear debt.
2. People who have been crushed by debt in the past and refuse to repeat the experience.
3. People who recognize debt as the status quo’s favored instrument of oppression, control and exploitation.
4. People who understand that paying off debt is the easiest way to earn a zero-risk significant return on one’s money.
If you pay off a 12% credit card, that’s the equivalent of earning 12% on your money.
There’s no mystery as to the low profile of undebtors in the mainstream media: undebtors are the equivalent of the cross to the vampire-parasites peddling debt. How can banks and other financial parasites make money off the undebtors? They can’t, and therein lies the problem for the status quo, which lives off the blood of debt extracted from debt-serfs.
The profits skimmed off debt fuel the speculative gambles that benefit Wall Street, and fund the politico lackeys and toadies who enforce the power of banks and Wall Street.
Debt also funds insurance companies and pension funds. Remember, every student loan dragging a starving student into servitude is owned by a pension fund or insurer as a solid, high-yield asset and every subprime auto loan that is extracting a pound of flesh from a marginal borrower feeds Wall Street’s profit machine.
People talk about starving the machine. You want to truly starve the machine? Get out of debt and stay out of debt, regardless of the sacrifices needed to do so. I personally know many immigrants to the U.S. who paid off 30-year mortgages in four years or less. How did they do it?
1. Everyone in the family 16 or older worked.
2. Everyone’s earnings went to pay off the mortgage.
3. No money was squandered on cable, dish TV, eating out, new clothing, costly vacations, etc. Zip. zero, nada.
There was a saying in the 1960s–you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. Those who refuse debt, regardless of the sacrifice, are starving the parasitic, exploitive machine; those with debt are feeding it.
Yes, I have debt, too, but we are doing everything in our power to pay it off as soon as possible. That’s all anyone can do. But it’s important to do so, starting now.
…I purchased this box of chocolates for my mother for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday.
More importantly, she and I will spend time together, over breakfast, which she will most certainly not cook. This commitment of time–which cannot be purchased, only given–helps me moderate my distaste for rampant consumerism fueled by monthly manufactured holidays (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, or whatever).
We have breakfast, when we’re in the same city, on a regular basis. A week doesn’t pass that we don’t email and speak on the phone. Our conversations frequently end with the words, “I love you.”
Still…still…I bought the box of chocolates from my friend Christian at L’Artisan du Chocolate as well as a snarky Mother’s Day card which should elicit a chuckle from the one who brought me into this world.
Does anyone else share my anxiety at the dilemma: the importance of expressing our love for someone vs. the knowledge that we are, at some level, just perpetuating a consumer racket?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
An Old Money Gal shares some of the memories and rules of behavior she grew up with.
- You do not praise yourself. Ever. If you are good, “everyone” knows. (It’s a small world.) If you are not, it’s embarrassing. Do not draw attention to yourself. You are there as a resource, and if people need you, they will ask.
- You do serve the community. At least in my family, there was a deep concept of leadership. You establish your leadership role in the community usually by being a professional (doctor, attorney, academic, and POSSIBLY businessperson, though that was gauche) or if not working, by establishing non-profits and serving in the community directly. In my family, it was thought leadership. My father did groundbreaking work in the rights of children as a psychoanalyst, and my mother was a feminist artist. By the time I was 8 I was experiencing solidarity with the downtrodden (the teacher hated boys). Really, being protective was so deeply ingrained as to feel instinctive.
- There are high expectations of success. As my mother used to say when I whined, “Oh, you’re so deprived!” My father used to say “Who told you life would be fair?” I really don’t recall anyone so much as asking if I had homework. The expectation was that I would do what needed to be done, get A’s, and attention only went to the exceptional.
- Social expectations of privacy. You do not take more than your own space; you do not intrude on others. This covers all areas of aesthetics.
- Money is never a factor in parenting decisions; character development is. You study what you study because it’s important, or you enjoy it. You do not study it because you’re going to make a living at it. You study music and art because you are developing a sense of aesthetic, not because it makes you smarter or perform better on tests.
- Also since money is never a factor in decisions, you manage risk tightly: you have all the insurance you could possibly want or need, even if it’s stupidly priced. You choose the best schools.