Pope Francis on Consumerism

In Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love in the cradle of American Liberty, Pope Francis addressed our obsession with consumerism. 70% of our economy is driven by consumer purchases. Most of those purchases require the consumer to acquire more debt. I don’t think there is any other way to interpret that except to say that the consumer cannot afford those purchases. Most of the consumers consist of workers whose wages have been stagnant and whose expenses continue to rise.

By replacing wages with offers of money that are irreconcilably tied to the acquisition of debt by the consumer, we have transformed our society from a nation of savers to a nation of borrowers. The servicing of that debt by the consumer is a hidden expense that reduces the actual wages of the worker. Looking at all of the additional expenses that people are now required to pay for cell phones, Internet service and debt service, it is not difficult to perceive the increasing demand for more debt.

In plain language we have replaced wages with debt. And that places the wage earner between a rock and hard place. It is virtually impossible for the average wage earner to scale down when he or she cannot pay for their household expenses without acquiring more debt. Consumers have been fooled into purchasing items that appear to be discounted in order to fuel another impulse purchase. When debt service is factored into the purchase, the item immediately loses its discount, and instead, the item comes with a hidden surcharge.

But I think that Pope Francis was raising a more basic issue. Anyone who has seen the video from Black Friday or any of the other days in which in the illusion of discounts draws thousands of people to stores, must come to the same conclusion as the one drawn by Pope Francis. We are part of the civilization that is obsessed with purchasing things, whether we need them or not. Not only are we looking away from a life with meaning, but we are doing so while we are digging our own graves.

It is a popular notion to blame consumers for getting in over their head. That means that they cannot service the debt load of their household. And there can be no doubt that consumers have become obsessed with the acquisition of things while utilizing the various debt products that have come to litter our marketplace. The Pope addressed the issue of those who are the purveyors of debt and who see the general population as a nonhuman mass of resources whose existence is only justified by the ability to transfer what little they have to the Titans of industry and finance.

The imbalance between those who have too little to survive and those who have too much is often justified by the Darwinian concept of the the survival of the fittest. It is interesting to note that many of the people who promote this concept argue vociferously that Darwin was wrong and that evolution is a failed theory. I suppose that is just one of many instances that demonstrate the paradox of being human.

40 years ago, when we started pulling the plug on public education and students failed to learn history, much less the lessons of history, we set the stage for our present condition. Pope Francis obviously has been a very good student of history. He gave good spiritual reasons and some good worldly reasons to turn away from our worship of money and the acquisition of things. But he obviously was not in a position to suggest the outcome of allowing our present condition to determine our future.

What he did not say, and I don’t fault him for this, is that if we continue to permit the present imbalance of wealth and income to exist and even allow the inequality to grow, there is not one instance in all of human history where that pattern has not resulted in massive changes to government and society, frequently accompanied by unimaginable violence. But to paraphrase Pope Francis, we are on a very long and heavy train traveling above the speed where the train can be controlled; and so Pope Francis is right that without all of us getting involved in this process, the brakes won’t work, and we will be watching the train wreck on a television we should not have purchased in the first place.

30 Responses

  1. is he a foreclosure lawyer or a debt , credit card lawyer? i have a foreclosure lawyer (still in my home in the middle of my 2nd foreclosure ugg) but the bp oil spill devistated us financially and now the charged off debt we could not pay was bought for peenies on the dollar by sharks using our courts to collect. i adoing my case pro se but i am worried the judge will laugh at me. they havd MSJ on friday> i have motioned for a continuance, i have motioned for more discovery, have not had one of my motions addressed yet. THANK GOD this is the smallest of the charged off debt so it is great practice for the future. in litigation 5 yrs with BP. if they would pay out individuals i would not be in foreclosure court or alleged debt court😦

  2. Furthermore, the fact COMMANDER IN CHIEF OBAMA, let PUTIN on U.S. SOVEREIGN SOIL when PUTIN threatened to NUKE us last July 4th & the U.S. MILITARY had to chase their war ships off the coast of CALIFORNIA proves he’s PUTIN’S COMRADE.

    Moreover, that meeting proves the U.N. is no more than one vast WAR TRIBUNAL.

  3. The BANKSTERS would have us believe the STATES have rights over SOVEREIGN U.S. CITIZENS & they don’t because we don’t do business with WAR CRIMINALS.

    That would be the definition of STATE RUN FASCISM.

    Moreover, we would never sign contracts with HITLER.

    Therefore, the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, & the JUDICIAL BRANCH which now think they FRAUDULENTLY CONTRIVE the EXECUTIVE BRANCH who think they’re job is to be FASCIST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT RELIGIOUS PERSECUTORS should be brought to the HAGUE for WAR CRIMES.

  4. losingmyinflorida I have a great attorney in Florida. His name is Richard Kalinoski 407-492-3067. Go for it and give him a call.

  5. LA could be the prototype for this ADMINISTRATIONS GAY HIPPIE COMMUNE they want to try to turn this country into.

    Charles Garafino of FOX NEWS called STATE RUN FASCISM MAMONY.

  6. Its really pathetic on the westside of Los Angeles the crookedness of the folks in real estate,title,escrow and how they look for any chance to take advantage of people and increase their profits.
    This is why I say that there a many players in the game even today,my friend was many months behind on an Americas Wholesale Lender,AKA-Countrywide piece of garbage pick a pay loan that they paid into 450k in interest only when forced to sell for fear of losing the remaining equity.
    This was a once in a lifetime home on the coast that was only on the market one other time.
    The agent who also lived across the street colluding with the manager of the local sothbys and a women who is connected to 60 LLC’s across the nation and gets farm subsidies for a farm that doesnt exist,nice huh.
    Agent under priced the home by about 1.5 million and comes in two days later with an all cash offer,and a ten day escrow and is out of town for five,escrow refuses to answer the first time sellers questions or show any sort of accounting or wire transfer proof that the buyer is who she says and that they paid the loan off.
    Instead they bring in a non principle to sign off on some quit claim deed as a diversion the around day seven refuse to accept any more of the sellers calls and they go forward anyways without a care,I begged them to cancel the sale and fight the bunk loan that was prepared by JIGGER JUMAMIL no shit at the top of every page that is what it said,not to mention 70k in closing costs.
    I filed around 10 complaints all of them ignored,or was told it was not my transaction so piss off,no joke and my friend has not been able to get past the hurt and loss she feels today,the so called buyer charged her 3500.$ to stay an extra 10 days because she said she was moving in and that was over a year ago,the house still sits empty today.

  7. I never watched that pogram elexquisior so no.

    I plan on being here long enough to see justice served & that would probably include the likes of you.

  8. @Ivent – The TEMPLARS?!!! You mean like the family of the TV series “The Saint”? I sure hope you don’t plan to stay long.

  9. Correct typo: Their fraud relies _upon_ the UNEDUCATED CONSUMER.

  10. Their fraud relies uoon the UNEDUCATED CONSUMER.

    The vast majority of CONSUMERISM is created by the CREDIT BROKERS who want us to “need” & “have to buy” stuff that keeps them CREDIT BROKERING.

    Most things get outdated quickly to keep the CONSUMERISM rolling & the CREDIT BROKERAGE HOUSES gambling.

    Then they got even more greedy & started gambling on our BIRTH CERTIFICATES, LEGAL RIGHTS, TITLES & the place slowly turns into one vast DRUG CARTEL of CARNAL SIN that is one giant DEBT FRAUD DEN OF BANKSTER INIQUITY.

  11. And im backing sC re who we owe? not the
    govvy that’s for sure
    We owe our next generation

  12. Dc – exactly – WHERE WERE THE GATE KEEPERS

  13. The problem is TEMPLARISM behind the scenes of BANKS & BANKING AKA CREDIT BROKERING that is filthy.

    The TEMPLARS issue credit like money & collect money like credit.

    In other words the TEMPLARS don’t pay their bills & that’s DEBT FRAUD.

  14. Time for Neil to run for President….He could beat Hillary!

  15. It all comes down to the fact that our congress who has allowed these things to go on and has looked on while big banks steal homes and judges rule against us and lawyers take our money and do nada because they are bought by Wall street and any street that can pay their way.Big Gov,and big corruption has undermined our democracy and that’s where we need to focus our attentions or else.
    I cant say that if I were in a position to take at will what I wanted from a large group of people that have no choice but to pay up or get out,that I would not do the same[sick yes but think about that].

    Could be kinda fun, until it implodes and then there will be no lines,no dif though they think they will be above it all and the special forces will protect them,its kinda blowing my mind and that’s partly why the words of the settlement[court orders]have no meaning and banks do as they please.
    I have said to friends in the past that if you look at all the members of congress from California,and did background searches you are bound to find a couple felons in there.
    Lord knows theres plenty of felons and ex felons in the real estate industry but now they use multiple fictitious names and DBA’s.There is no way in hell they would have been able to pull off a sham of this size without the ok of our own Gov.
    It was an oops they messed up thing and now we should fix it now forking way.

  16. Im not so sure about that title you now see all over every state,city,etc,website “Consumer”?We are no longer humans,residents,people??????No kidding as I am 50 and can say that was not the case 10 years ago,and Im fighting for my home as well but was just reading an email and for me it tossed it all into perspective.
    We are getting screwed by are own elected officials who are no longer even elected and are very bought and paid for by Wall Street ass wipes.Thats why are judicial system is rotten and look most of those fools are huge consumers,I consume very little,this is a big gov creation,get everyone involved and getting paid and they will rob their own mothers,so sure the good versus evil bible thing.They also know that home sales and transfers means tax’s,prop tax,transfer tax,higher prop tax’s and thats why at least in cali there are certain real estate people and business’s that have above the law status and complaints get stonewalled.Title for one is most corrupt,realtors second and escrow third,The fidelity group is complete garbage,Chicago title steals homes daily,dirties deals with collusion but again I am putting this on our representatives lack of character,lack of spine and want of all things money.Banks are only doing what comes naturally,its the insiders that we trusted that are keeping this ball rolling.
    Thats why theres very few landmark cases and very few lawyers willing to fight they will be going against greedy judges and a long list of other greed driven jerk offs who really have no choice and why no fucking one has opened their mouths,as god is my witness this is the place for change and possibly answers to get solutions or a way to beat them.Good luck

  17. Aka- ” credit worthiness”
    We gotta just say no.

  18. Yep Neidermeyer, like hearing cattle I’ve used that term myself –
    They know everything about us and there’s a dollar amount value on our broken ass#%. – age, marital status, Number of dependents, profession, state of health, projected earnings and tax dollars they can claim.

  19. Many folks alude to the wisdom of Scripture but seldom study the bible to determine specific details it offers. E.g. if one seeks to find G_d’s directives on borrowing and lending, there is clear directives that loans should not exceed 7 years…. And even then within specific periods of time.. because the loans were to be totally forgiven at the end of the seven years block of time during which the loans could be made.

    This means that the maximum time for repayment of a loan made in the third year of the seven year period should only be for a period of 4 years, else the lender would forfeit principle and interest for all loans that had not been repaid by the end of the 7th year, when the loans had to be forgiven and all of the collateral had to be returned to the borrower.

    (Incidentally, according to the Jewish calendar, we are alnow at the end of one of those 7 year periods. More to the point, we are at a point G-d directed to be a Jubilee year, a special year of forgiveness that only takes place at the end of a “sabbath year”. A “sabbath year” consists of 7 consecutive “years of forgiveness” followed by the Jubilee year. 7×7=49 + 1 year = 50 years.)

    It’s interesting to note that stock market analysts are beginning to discuss the significance of 7 years cycles in the economic activities of nations…. maybe making financial decisions based on the “quaint” and “arcane” instructions of an “ancient” document (the Bible) could be more profitable than the ramblings of economists and “politically correct” professors in “institutes of higher education. ”

    Our bankruptcy debtor relief laws are based on English common laws addressing debt and forgiveness of debt…. and those laws were based on some of the Biblical principles above.

    Even though the debtor relief laws above have been codified, G_d’s proscriptions regarding lender loan requirements have not been codified.

    Maybe one day the Pope will start teaching Biblical truths… rather than couching his proclamations regarding “solutions for poverty” and the stewardship of the world itself upon the words and imaginations of G_d’s “creature” (mankind) and not upon the “doctrine” (teachings) of the Creator of the universe.

    Mankind still has much to learn from the Word of G_d (the Bible).

  20. Ims53: keep fighting. I have been fighting for eight years. Keep going. The whole thing is close to blowing up. Delay is a good thing, too.

  21. S.I.N. Selfishness Is Nasty!

  22. It couldn’t be worse than California, where the state Governor got caught stealing approx. $300M from homeowners (from national settlement). That ’bout sum it up?

  23. thanks louise and losing my home. I have sent a new complaint to theCFPB (I lost count how many I have sent) A G A I N. I am also going to the local court and filing some kind of motion to let the judge know that I am being dual tracked. I just made my second trial payment so technically I am in modification meaning I have Qualified (shown ability to pay and apparently the bank thinks I have enough income to pay) In lawyer terms “offer and acceptance”. the bank cashed the first check and they will have the 2nd one in a day or so. I have been thru this before in fact 3 times prior. The bank reneged on the first three loan mods and I guess it is time for me to show the court all the previous payments I have made that the banks attorney’s have not wanted the court to know. whether it will make a difference or not, who knows. but the fact is I am not a deadbeat, never tried to get a “free house” have always paid my debts and still trying to pay this one. Like many of us I am the poster child of bank fraud. Sorry Neil, nothing against you, but either I have had some crappy lawyers (and I paid them plenty) or they conspired with the other side to not disclose all the wrongs in my specific case which I suspect the latter. I have equity in my house, but the bank is trying to steal it. I am not a lawyer but have learned a lot in this foreclosure fraud and I will keep fighting the good fight for us all as long as I can, but not hiring any more lawyers.

  24. Amen brother

  25. Amen . . .we are on a very long and heavy train traveling above the speed where the train can be controlled . . .

  26. thank you for your post lms53, way back in the day 2009 people would post ” you should not have bought more house than you can afford” or they would say “pay your mortgage” and you would not be in foreclosure. many of felt like screaming becuase we were paying mortgages and on time. some of us got modifications that ended up bein gmore than the original payment but it gave us time to find a new job and pay the higher amount but then a disaster like bp oil spill or hurricane sandy puts a wrench in that wheel, cant continue to pay that higher modification if there is no job? no one in florida will help homeowners. we are left on our own to fight the forecloure machine. so thank you for your post and good luck .

  27. sorry but blaming us is like blaming the economics teacher that taught us what we know in high school. buy a house, do not rent , when you rent you can not use the itemized deduction. we even went over the difference between renting and owning in class. so whe i graduated high school i want to go to college, earn a good living, so I can buy that “STARTER” home my ecomics teacher talked about everyday. Now we tell our kids save for a home do not buy anything till you have cash. even if it means buying a less expensive manufactured home. do not have a mortgage. save for a car do not have a car loan. all we were taught was about debt in high school. if anyone remembers back then even car loan intrest was tax deductible. i think that ended about the time i bought my 1st house in 1991. so blaming us for having these debt issues? go back and blamed what they taught our ecomics teachers in high school. we were groomed to have debt frown emoticon at least we are teaching our children different. the debt collection companies need to end. if there very few jobs and disasters (bp oil spill, sandy) NO ONE should be in foreclosure or have to go to court to pay a debt bought for pennies on a dollar NO ONE,

  28. The beginnings of the dumbing down of public education began shortly after 1900 when the bankers and the federal government were planning the Federal Reserve and the progressive elites who look at us in a “rancher and cattle” perspective saw a need to eliminate true knowledge and raise “cattle” to work in the factories as farm work dwindled. This is well documented… Now people are enslaving themselves with electronics and debt and porn… even children have cell phones (portable computers) that keep them connected to the datamining and “herding” influences of Facebook and the web…

  29. Ima53, send a complaint to the CPFB. It is worth a try.

  30. true, there are many that go in over their heads because their “want” takes over the “need” but as for owning a home, most people look upon that as a necessity and the lure from the banks, brokers, whoever was in the “creative financing end” to loan money when one was probably not qualified still has not admitted to their responsibility. you cant blame the borrower completely. I hope most people have learned their lesson with the housing crash. No matter what the msg the Pope gave, it does not excuse the corruption of the banks and the fraudulent paperwork that continues today. Well I have to go now because JP Morgan Chase is dual tracking me and getting ready to sell my house on the courthouse steps (figure of speech). I thought I was in a modification but I guess the modification paperwork that Chase sent me is fraudlent just like all their other paperwork. Date: Sun, 27 Sep 2015 15:32:45 +0000 To: lsnider52@hotmail.com

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