The idea that being in debt is the modern equivalent to being a peasant in thrall to a liege lord. The most popular form of serfdom currently seems to be credit card debt, which is unfortunate, since it usually has the highest interest rate.

Student loans, car loans, mortgages, and the nascent home equity loan are popular alternatives to plastic.

Don't be a serf. Live below your means, and only take on debt if it'll be profitable.

"When you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty." -Benjamin Franklin

Unfortunately, many today are not able to live below their means without sacrificing food, shelter, adequate health care, transportation, or other essentials. They are then forced into serfdom, whether by losing a job, having an illness in the family that requires medical care, an unusually cold winter or high heating oil prices which lead to increased heating costs, or simple chronic inadequacy of income. Rather than give up feeding their children or somesuch, it's common to use a credit card or even more nasty car title loans and paycheck loans, which lead into an even nastier spiral of debt and poverty.

The charging of interest is an essentially unChristian practice that goes against the moral foundation of our society (the original meaning of usury is "interest"), so it's not surprising that it's so commonplace. (Ah damn, there I go being cynical again...) We need to get rid of the usurers—as well as the economic conditions that drive people to them.

Forgive the softlink to male genital mutilation below... That was a big oops on my part.

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