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AngelRho
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10 Jan 2011, 5:42 pm

pandabear wrote:
Inuyasha wrote:
Why do I get the feeling that this proverb is being taken out of context?


Because it was written thousands of years ago, and you feel that it is no longer applicable.


The context of Proverbs is that it is a collection of a proverbs. If you take these as Biblical commands, you are taking them out of context. "The rich will rule over the poor..." Well, don't they? Wealth grants people a certain amount of power and freedom that poor people lack. The idea of debtors being slaves--well, it's true. Borrowing money or otherwise becoming indebted does commit you to repayment. Everything seems just fine when money is plentiful. You have plenty of surplus and don't really miss the money that you're paying back. But what if you lose your job? What do you do about collection calls? They will only be ignored for so long before filing suit against you. Student loans are the absolute worst because judgments are easier to get as opposed to medical bills. They are easier to work with than most other collectors, because you do at least have a chance at deferment or forbearance, but you have to use the least amount of time necessary to get your act together and start sending them money. Their patience only goes so far. Debts seem to be casually bought and sold among creditors, which isn't that far from slavery. It just comes down to how much of a percentage creditors have staked in you.

Simple advice: If you have borrowed to go to school, spend your first 5 years living on the barest minimum necessary. Cheese, crackers, peanut butter, and bread go a long way. Break up with your gf/bf during that time, and if they are themselves debt free, make them come to you on your terms--do not buy gifts or go out on dates. My second teaching job grossed over $30,000. Even if all I had was $24,000 take-home, no insurance, no 401k, and lived ONLY on what I needed to survive and rented a $250/mo rat hole, walked/biked to work every day, I'd have worked off ALL of my student debt within 5 years' time.

I'd be interested to know whether anyone has actually tried this. Maintain your focus, don't take on excess baggage along the way, and it will work.

So if I'm able to put away $10,000 every year, that means I can pay cash for my car, buy a modest house, and so on. Marry someone who is likewise frugal and debt free, and you have an extraordinary degree of financial freedom. With insurance, your medical obligations are at a minimum, so even with worst-case scenario you can easily afford to have children and have that wiped out in a year. Insist on only buying the cheap stuff or grow your own garden, you can make your own baby food. Cloth diapers reduces yet another tremendous expense. Keep saving your money and you can afford to send your kids to the best private schools and even have enough left over to pay all of their college expenses, but insist that beyond a certain limit they will need their own jobs to get through. Keep working another 20 years, invest conservatively, and then enjoy your retirement years without any debts at all.

I'm not the best example of this, btw. But I can say that I own my own car, my wife just made her last car payment, we own our modest trailer and the acre-lot it sits on (a manufactured home on a rented lot is considered "personal property" by the federal bankruptcy court, fyi), and we are slowly but surely working through nearly $100,000 of debt, some of which we're just praying the collectors will consider more trouble than its worth to collect. We know good lawyers, of course, and the law is on our side for the time being. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip. But we do try our very best.

But the proverb is still very much applicable. You really want freedom these days? Practice self-denial and frugality, insist on paying for everything in cash, and you will do well. Practice the art of making loans to other people and charge little or no interest. If you get in a tight spot or you wish to make a big purchase for which you lack funds, call in your debts.

If you say that the rich do not really rule over the poor because we live in a free world and the proverb doesn't apply, well then, that's the point of the proverb being a proverb. Generally speaking this is true in many ways, and it was especially true in the day and age it was written. Rich people have no hold on me despite the fact I do provide services for wealthy people. Half of my regular income is taken from church tithes, and the church I work for has a number of wealthy members. I also play music for weddings, funerals, private parties, fundraisers, and such to supplement my regular income. My piano students are sons and daughters of young professionals, some of whom are in the medical profession, in addition to long lines of farming families. If they don't like the service I provide, they can always go elsewhere, but they have no hold on me nor do they determine how I teach or what I teach. However, wealthy business owners who staff their businesses with lesser-skilled workers do "rule" over them in the sense that they set the terms for contracts, hourly wages, and job responsibilities. Unless you work independently, these people really do rule over you.



ikorack
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10 Jan 2011, 6:04 pm

Inuyasha wrote:
Why do I get the feeling that this proverb is being taken out of context?


It isn't.

Incase your still not sure for some odd reason click here for the whole chapter with some interpretations of each proverb.



@Angel Why do you write such long posts for such simple questions/statements?



pandabear
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11 Jan 2011, 12:47 pm

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Proverbs 22:7 “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” “Some sell their liberty to gratify their luxury,” [M. Henry]. Money indeed talks and it often talks with a loud and gruff voice to those who have it not. The poor and the borrower are today protected much by laws, so that there are not the abuses that there once were, but it is still true that those with money exercise a lot of influence over those who have it not, and who must borrow. The high cost of homes, cars, etc., often make borrowing a necessity, but many borrow needlessly to buy luxuries when they could practice self-denial for a time, and labor industriously until they have the where withal to buy without borrowing. So many today have borrowed to the utmost limit so that a bad depression would likely bankrupt most families. We need to get back to the principle of frugality, honest labor and self-denial.


Ever since Ronald Reagan, our government has been borrowing needlessly to buy ridiculously luxurious armaments. The Chinese have been practising self-denial and labouring industriously. Eventually, China will rule over the USA. We're just living too luxuriously, imagining that national debt just doesn't matter--some future generation will pay it off, maybe. Anyway, there is no reason for us to think about it, so long as we are presently enjoying the luxuries that deficit spending affords us.