The Effect of Usury on Our Lives Name Instructor Date The concept of usury has evolved through the ages to the current perspective that it takes. In old times, usury was condemned on religious grounds and remains contentious in some regions. The current setup places it on a moral, religious and above all an economic platform…
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The old way was an endeavor to shield the poor and less fortunate from exploitation, but the current American economic system charges higher interests to the poor (Long, 1996). Despite the fact that usury-based economic systems are a common practice by all banks in the world today, people should resist it because of its enormous disadvantages to the society. Different schools of thought have been advanced towards the concept of usury. The traditional view perceives usury has a practice of seeking a payment for a loan advanced to another individual. This definition was development at the scholarly works of Aristotle and was embraced by other people of the times. The concept advancement by Aristotle was that money was barren; the medieval schoolmen accepted this view. Later on, changes stared emerging on the definition (Persky, 2007). The modern view of usury relates to charging of unethical interest that is exploitative to the borrower. However, some faiths have continued to uphold the concept of charging any form of interest as an act of usury. The banks have developed due to the demand to satisfy the market needs, laws that regulate their activities have been developed. It is an act of usury for a bank or any other financial lending institution or a person to charge more than the set percentages. In my view usury is a relative concept that relates to interest charged on loans, if the interest is unreasonable to the poor in the society and does not reflect the needs in the society that is tantamount to usury (Lewison, 1999). Usury based economy relates to the charging of favorable interests. The modern view started taking its shape around 1571 when Elizabeth I allowed an interest of 10% to be charged, this aspect led to enactment of some ethics to safeguard the interests of the loanees. At the initial stages, a lot of resistance was encountered since the interest was seen as a way of exploiting people (Steel, 1993). To further upgrade usury, came reforms that facilitated the enactment of ethics. Coincidentally, the activity led to an increase in the prices and consequently economies started growing. A lot of productivity and prosperity was evident in the process. In 1854, the usury laws were reformed further allowing the justice system to prosecute those that were charging exorbitant interests. The laws have continued to change in order to take care of the borrowers, as it stands the Consumer Credit act protects the borrowers against any form of modern usury (Steel, 1993). Human needs are many and unsatiable, in an effort to control the economy of the world by the giant economies they use their financial muscle to benefit themselves more. People in all societies need to invest their money in one way or another in order to live a secure and decent life. Money is the backbone of anyone’s life; however, people have very limited options to choose where to invest their money. Banks are the only winning side from this unequal equation (Mews & Ibrahim, 2007). They take people’s money to make as much profit as they can for the sake of themselves and the rich people. On the other hand, poor and middle class people will find themselves drowning in debt day after day. To simplify this lets take an average college graduate student as an example. If he wanted to satisfy the basic need of his life on his won, from getting married to finding a place to live, he will surely be in debt for at least 30 coming
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