7 ¶ The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Here is a Bible fact that many people fail to understand. The rich and I mean by rich, people who have millions of dollars of disposable income, through their control of banking and commerce, are as much a part of the governance of a country as the elected or appointed government entities. The rich receive benefits from the government in that even with tax rates as high as 90% during the Eisenhower administration with tax write offs and deductions worked with by high priced accountants the rich could actually pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than a poor person. The scandal when I was in high school regarding this was that a cleaning lady in Newark, NJ paid more actual income taxes than Standard Oil of NJ which became Esso which became Exxon-Mobil. Today, the story is about how billionaire financier Warren Buffet revealed that his servant paid more than income taxes he did. Now, don’t misunderstand me, the rich pay huge amounts of money in taxes all across the board but in regards to the percent of their personal income they pay a much smaller amount than the working class unless they’re idiots or have incompetent accountants. (Special note: you pay taxes not only on income but through other taxes and by government inflating your money.)
The rich have a great deal to say about job creation, where venture capital goes, and provide the pool of money for all sorts of investments. This is not to comment on a system of economics; whether capitalism or socialism is bad (we have a mix). This is not to condemn the rich, as the rich and poor meet together and God rules over both as it said a few verses earlier. But, it is important to understand that the rich do rule over the rest of us. Our own American Revolution, our war for independence from Great Britain, was mainly the doing of wealthy men who led the rest of the country who would follow into revolt against their king. There are those who rule over us whom we have elected, or thought we elected, and there are those who rule over us in a manner of fact whom we did not elect but just by virtue of their management of vast sums of capital, on which commerce, banking, and industry feed.
Remember that government itself, which although technically answerable to the people, and I say that is a mere technicality, is the richest entity of all and by taxation controls the most wealth and enacts laws that narrow the actions of the rich. It is a stress of our form of government to try to keep the rich from controlling the government and the rich free enough from the government’s control to provide some kind of benefit for the rest of us and themselves without corrupting the government. Simon Cameron, a one time Secretary of War under Abraham Lincoln, is purported to have said, “An honest politician is one, when he is bought, will stay bought.”
The point is simply that the rich rules over the poor. Deal with it. I’m not talking politics here, just pointing out a fact the Bible points out.
On the second point Israel was not to be the servant of other nations. Israel was to be, had she been faithful to God, the top kingdom on earth.
Deuteronomy 15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
Israel was to have the money and the power to control other nations through it. Americans must not think much of their freedom. They so easily sell their birthright of freedom for “bread and pottage” (Genesis 25), for comfort and ease of living. We put ourselves in servitude to lenders for vacations, homes, and cars caring more about the monthly payment than the overall cost, putting ourselves in hock to the lender, working a part of our lives to satisfy them through the principal and the interest, and encouraging the producer to raise prices as long as we can handle the monthly payment. So, just as the rich rules over the poor, the lender rules over the borrower. The Bible makes clear that there is no political freedom without economic freedom and the person who is in debt is neither economically free nor is he or she in the will of God.
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
You are a servant to the government, the richest entity in your physical life, and will work to pay your “debt” to them through April as I understand it. The date that the country satisfies its tax burden is called Tax Freedom Day. In 1900 it was only January 22. In 2000 it was supposed to be May 1. In 2011 it fell on April 12 according to The Tax Foundation found at www.taxfoundation.org. Your servitude to the rich through profits and the power those profits provide will continue through the rest of the year.
While it has been argued that you need a certain amount of debt to maintain a good credit rating, and that is arguable, the young person’s wisest choice would be to avoid going into debt. Save, do without unless you have cash, and deny the materialistic obsessions of your parents. Do not willingly become the servant of anyone through debt. Of course, we could go into a lot more about you being forced into debt to foreign governments by greedy and power drunk men in charge in Washington, how the cash you use is just paper not based on any real value, and unless we adopt a balanced budget amendment and a precious metal standard for our money we are just playing Monopoly as any economist will tell you, “money is fiction,” but that doesn’t add any more understanding to the Proverb.