Monday, March 7, 2016

Ben Franklin On Usury and Land Prices

Usury is wrong because it does damage, and Ben Franklin points out man-made laws do nothing to curb usury.  He goes on to note specific damage done by usury:
And here it may be observed, that it is impossible by any Laws to restrain Men from giving and receiving exhorbitant In terest, where Money is suitably scarce: For he that wants Money will find out Ways to give 10 per cent when he cannot have it for less, altho' the Law forbids to take more than 6 per cent. Now the Interest of Money being high is prejudicial to a Country several Ways: It makes Land bear a low Price, because few Men will lay out their Money in Land, when they can make a much greater Profit by lending it out upon Interest: And much less will Men be inclined to venture their Money at Sea, when they can, without Risque or Hazard, have a great and certain Profit by keeping it at home; thus Trade is discouraged.
 If this is true, then land is expensive right now, relatively speaking, since interest rates are being forced down to zero and negative.

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Anonymous said...

Some people think that loans with interest are important for economic prosperity:

John Wiley Spiers said...

Hmmm, that article is not making your point, or any point as far as I can tell, except to assert that places that expelled Jews do poorly to this day. Well, not enough places are considered, nor time frames vis a vis poorly or well, nor a definition of poorly vs well. I'd rather live in Rome anytime than Berlin anytime. Northern Europe is not my idea of prosperous.

It was Calvin that backed the legitimization of usury, for at no point, to this day, has the Church accepted usury, Jewish or otherwise. That protestant countries (northern europe) practice it, and in so doing have brought great destruction upon themselves, it clear in history.

As USA is headed to right now. The article is too loose with facts and points.

Anonymous said...

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild.

"The refusal of King George 3rd to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution." - Benjamin Franklin.