Friday, December 5, 2008

The Bible, Bailouts, and Debt

Proverbs 22:7: "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

Four years ago when I bought my current home, my wife and I went through this experience known as "closing," where we signed approximately 570 pieces of paper, that, in short, obligated us to pay back the mortgage money we borrowed and to take care of the home and otherwise meet reasonable obligations during that period of repayment.

And if we wanted to borrow the money, we had to sign the papers. So we did.

To this day (and for many more yet to come) we must abide by the conditions set forth in those documents. We are, in essence, servants of the Wells Fargo bank.

God willing, the day will come when we completely pay off our mortgage. At that time, we are free from the "bondage" of the mortgage company. We can quit buying homeowners' insurance. We can stop sending them money on the first of each month. We can burn the place down, if we so choose. We can freely sell it to another person. (Of course, we will be good stewards of the home we now own, for that is our moral obligation to God.)

Now let's consider the situation in Washington D.C., where the Big Three automakers are seeking billions of dollars in "help." In truth, it would be a violation of conservative principles to just "give" them money (and just imagine how much every other company in the country would want some money, too). But should they be loaned money?

Two observations come to mind here. First, they claim they cannot borrow money through ordinary channels right now. Perhaps that is so...but is it so because their assets are currently collateral for other loans? Surely their vast manufacturing facilities and property holdings around the country and world would secure loans?

Second, do they really need to become "servants" to the U.S. Government, which, as it is about to be taken over by democrats, will be something of a nightmare of a "master" to companies like the Big Three...a master which will dictate to them that they must do things which will either run them into the ground financially or put them at a huge competitive disadvantage?

Are they really that desparate? Is it really that bad? If so, I should fear for the economy.

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