miercuri, 17 octombrie 2012

Defending Capitalism 1 - Cămătăria este legală sau nu?

This is WAR! Don't forget that!

* What is Capitalism
* Does Capitalism work?
* The Morality of Capitalism
* The conditions under witch Capitasm works.

Yaron Brook at The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

"The love of money is the root of all evil." (Timothy 6:10)

Jesus: 'If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give [it] to one from whom you will not get it back." (Gospel St Thomas, V95)

"Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it."( Torah: Chapter 23, verse 20)
CÁMĂTĂ, camete, s.f. Dobândă (excesivă) pe care o ia cămătarul pentru sumele date cu împrumut. Dex'98

Plutarch - Against Debt & Borrowing upon Usury

Plato in his Laws permits not any one to go and draw water from his neighbor's well, who has not first digged and sunk a pit in his own ground till he is come to a vein of clay, and has by his sounding
experimented that the place will not yield a spring. For the clay or potter's earth, being of its own nature fatty, solid, and strong, retains the moisture it receives, and will not let it soak or pierce through.

But it must be lawful for them to take water from another's ground, when there is no way or means for them to find any in their own; for the law ought to provide for men's necessity, but not favor their laziness. Should there not be the like ordinance also concerning money; that none should be allowed to borrow upon usury, nor to go and dive into other men's purses, as it were into their wells and fountains, before they have first searched at home and sounded every means for the obtaining it; having collected (as it were) and gathered together all the gutters and springs, to try if they can draw from them what may suffice to supply their most necessary occasions?

But on the contrary, many there are who, to defray their idle expenses and to satisfy their extravagant and superfluous delights, make not use of their own, but have recourse to others, running themselves deeply into debt without any necessity. Now this may easily be judged, if one does but consider that usurers do not ordinarily lend to those which are in distress, but only to such as desire to obtain somewhat that is superfluous and of which they stand not in need. So that the credit given by the lender is a testimony sufficiently proving that the borrower has of his own; whereas on the contrary, since he has of his own, he ought to keep himself from borrowing.

, although a faith that has come into existence much more recently in comparison, rejects the principle of taking what does not belong to you. Says Nanak. "To grasp what is another's is as evil as pig's flesh to the Muslim and cow's flesh to the Hindu. The Teacher shall intercede for his follower, only when he has not eaten carrion." (Adi Granth, Var Majh, M.1, p. 141)

Taoism, another modern religion states in the text :"Banish skill, discard profit, And thieves and robbers will disappear." [ Ch. 19] Theft, according to Wilson , means to take property that belongs to another or to the public. This encompasses fraud, usury, extortion, and dishonest trading.

Likewise, Confucianism is indicative in its text of a disliking of unjust transactions. "The Master said: 'The gentleman is familiar with what is right, just as the small man is familiar with profit.'" [ 4:16 ]

Islam of course does not allow riba - interest - in any case, even if it has not been accepted by Muslims countries throughout the world. According to Imam Ali, "If someone comes to you for a loan, he comes out of need. If I loan you money and I find that you have difficulty paying me back, Islam encourages me to forgive the debt. God will reimburse me."

Plato, Aristotle, Catos, Cicero, Seneca and Plutarch
all condemned usury in one form or another (Birnie, 1958) . Their synchronized stance in the civil law can be seen, for example, from the Lex Genucia reforms in Republican Rome (340 BC) which outlawed interest altogether. Furthermore, to these ancient philosophical thinkers, modern reformists too can be included amongst those who rejected interest.

Adam Smith, despite being the father of free-market capitalism and advocating laissez-faire economics, strongly desired controlling usury (Jadlow, 1977; Levy, 1987) . Although he opposed full elimination of interest, he favoured the nuisance of an interest rate ceiling, to ensure that low-risk borrowers likely to employ socially beneficial investments, were not disadvantaged as a result of "the greater part of the money which was to be lent to prodigals, who alone would be willing to give an unregulated high interest rate" (Smith, 1937: 339).

Similarly, the great twentieth century economist John Maynard Keynes believed:"the disquisitions of the school men [on usury] were directed towards elucidation of a formula which should allow the schedule of the marginal efficiency to be high, whilst using rule and custom and the moral law to keep down the rate of interest, so that a wise Government is concerned to curb it by statute and custom and even by invoking the sanctions of the Moral Law" (1936: 351-3).
Alexander listening to Aristotle, his teacher in Mieza.

..described usurers as wretched, vulture-like, and barbarous... In Roman culture, Seneca condemned usury for the same reasons as Aristotle; Cato the Elder famously compared usury to murder; and Cicero wrote that 'these profits are despicable which incur the hatred of men, such as those of . . . lenders of money on usury'.

Plutarch, Plutarch's Morals,  W Watson Goodwin (Boston: Little, Brown, Company, 1874), pp. 412-24.
Lewis H. Haney, History of Economic Thought (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1920), p. 71.
Anthony Trollope, Life of Cicero (Kessinger Publishing, 2004), p. 70.

Thus, on scriptural and moral grounds, Christianity opposed usury from the beginning. And it constantly reinforced its opposition with legal restrictions. In 325 a.d., the Council of Nicaea banned the practice among clerics. Under Charlemagne (768-814 a.d.), the Church extended the prohibition to laymen, defining usury simply as a transaction where more is asked than is given. In 1139, the second Lateran Council in Rome denounced usury as a form of theft, and required restitution from those who practiced it. In the 12th and 13th centuries, strategies that concealed usury were also condemned. The Council of Vienne in 1311 declared that any person who dared claim that there was no sin in the practice of usury be punished as a heretic.
Jacques Le Goff, Your Money Or Your Life (New York: Zone Books, 1988), p. 26.

In 1190, the Jews of York were massacred in an attack planned by members of the nobility who owed money to the Jews and sought to absolve the debt through violence. During this and many other attacks on Jewish communities, accounting records were destroyed and Jews were murdered. As European historian Joseph Patrick Byrne reports: "Money was the reason the Jews were killed, for had they been poor, and had not the lords of the land been indebted to them, they would not have been killed" But the lords were not the only debtors: the working class and underclass apparently owed a great deal, and these violent pogroms gave them the opportunity to destroy records of debt as well as the creditors themselves.

Edward Henry Palmer, A History of the Jewish Nation (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1874), pp. 253?54. & http://www.routledge-ny.com/ref/midd...sh/England.pdf. 
Joseph Patrick Byrne, The Black Death (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004), p. 8

(Applause.) MR. LENO: Well, you know, it's interesting, when you said - it's, like, I had to laugh the other day when the CEO of AIG said, okay, I've asked them to give half the bonuses back. Now, if you rob a bank and you go into court - (laughter) - and you go, Your Honor, I'm going to give you half the money back. (Laughter.) And they seem stunned that we?re not jumping at this wonderful offer.

MR. OBAMA: Well, you know, the only place I think that might work is in Hollywood. (Laughter.)

Camataria, pedepsita cu inchisoare pâna la cinci ani:
Potrivit Codului Penal, la Articolul 450, punctul 2, litera (a), se pedepsesc cu inchisoare de la unu la cinci ani operatiunile de imprumut de bani sau titluri de valoare efectuate cu titlu profesional de catre persoane neautorizate, direct sau prin acte simulate, daca dobânda stabilita este mai mare decât dobânda stabilita de lege?. De asemenea, Codul Penal mai prevede ca se sanctioneaza cu acelasi cuantum al pedepsei operatiunile de imprumut de bani sau titluri de valoare, efectuate de catre persoane neautorizate, direct sau prin acte simulate, daca se stabileste o capitalizare a dobânzii pentru dobânzi datorate pe o perioada mai mica de un an. Aceste infractiuni sunt prevazute in Titlul XI privind crime si delicte contra economiei, industriei, comertului si regimului fiscal, capitolul 'Delicte contra vietii economice'

Sa revenim.

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