Usury: A Scriptural, Ethical and Economic View

Mr. Elliott wrote this title in 1902 and complained of how any interest rate, large or small, presented a gradual shift of wealth from the poor to the owners of the banks. A simple, insidious process of concentrating the wealth of a nation into fewer and fewer hands. It’s no wonder that so many people have spoken out against the crime of usury, defining it as any interest charged, as a means of oppression of the poor.

Reading in light of today (2011), I cannot help but underscore most of Mr. Elliott’s points. Even if one discounts the divine nature of Christian and Jewish religious figures, one cannot deny their innate compassion for the plight of the poor: it is in harmony with many other leading intellectual and religious movements that value compassion. By allowing usury, we have sealed our fate. Even if we have no direct debts ourselves, we pay the debts of others through the prices they charge on their goods and services, set at such a level so as to clear a profit after paying interest on their debts. No one person can truly be debt free without society itself being debt free.

The book is free as an eBook from Project Gutenberg and Amazon’s Kindle Store.

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