Certainly, the discipline of paying off large accumulated debts teaches us some things about financial responsibility and how better to handle money. And for that, I’m grateful.
In the current economy, though, millions of people are struggling. And the idea of becoming instantly debt-free would be exhilarating (and life-changing) for just about everybody.
Not only would it impact people on a deep, personal level, it would also lift the heavy burden that’s dragging the economy down. Perhaps we could recover sooner rather than later.
Here are two things I think would be beneficial:
#1 Declare a Jubilee
In the Bible, a Jubilee happened every 49 years. Anybody who was an indentured servant was allowed to go free… and all debts were erased.
Essentially, in a Jubilee year, everybody got to start over at zero.
A friend recently asked me: But isn’t that being unfair to all those people who save money or charge interest on the money they’ve loaned?
My answer: Not really.
First: Savings retain their value when there’s an honest money system. The American system is dishonest; it creates money out of thin air. As the money supply increases, each individual dollar is worth less and less.
Inflation (also called devaluation of the currency) is the hidden tax, and it penalizes savers while rewarding debtors.
Second: God’s law prohibits charging interest on loans. If we were to honor and follow God’s law, then there wouldn’t be so much debt in the first place.
It is unhealthy to build an economy on debt-funded consumption. This can only happen when interest (especially exorbitant interest) encourages money lenders to lend.
But since God’s law prohibits interest, this would never happen.
#2 Get Rid of Most Taxes (Particularly the Income Tax)
Right now, chances are you pay from 15% to 25% of your income just to pay state and federal income taxes.
Then there are a whole raft of additional taxes you pay: sales tax, gas tax, real estate tax, car registration tax, etc etc etc.
Some organizations estimate that the average American pays 40% to 55% of his/her gross income in various forms of taxes.
God’s system is much better. Rather than demanding 20% or 30% or 40% or whatever, He asks for only 10%. And that “tax” is only due on the increase of the produce of the ground and on the increase of the herds.
Basically, God wants a return on His labor.
But God doesn’t get involved in double/triple/quadruple taxation like man’s government does. When you really study the Biblical law, you’ll discover that God is much more merciful than you might have imagined him to be.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about The Law of the Tithe here.
Now, whether you believe in the God of the Bible or not, imagine how radically the U.S. would change if all debts were forgiven and we eliminated most of the onerous taxes we pay.
Can you imagine what that would do for people — their lives, their feelings, their productivity? And can you imagine what it would do for the economy?
I’m not holding my breath waiting for this to happen… I don’t think “the powers that be” would ever willingly do such a thing.
But stranger things have happened. After all, Pharaoh did let the Israelites leave Egypt.