Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix

Susan Boskey
Activist Post

Cast off the chains of market-structured consciousness. — Jay M. Handelman (1999), “Culture Jamming: Expanding the Application of the Critical Research Project”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December, 2014, 1 in 5 of the Millennial generation (birth years from early 1980s to early 2000) live in poverty and have lower rates of employment compared to their Baby Boomer parents of a similar age in the 1980s, one of the most prosperous eras of American history.

Obviously, the Millennials need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children. Not to mention time and money for travel, and doing fun things, as well. Oh and then there is saving and investing for the future. Go figure…

The problem is, like the saying about seeing the nose on your face; it’s hard to see it. The world of commerce has gradually overwhelmed and may totally smother whatever non-commercial essence of life is left, having nothing to do with money or its demands. While commerce has always been with us, today, everything not nailed down seems to have become a brand of one sort or another that vies for dominance over the others.

Social standing and status, though also always with us, has risen in importance among the 99%. The judgment of someone’s value leans heavily on image: the kind of work they do, the type of car they drive, what degrees they hold, what brand clothing and accessories they buy, where they live, and who their friends are. Perception is everything; truth, not so much. No one wants to admit that these things are often true because nowadays, keeping up appearances is a make-it or break-it proposition of survival.

Yet, all the while, a dark side of living large in 21st century world of commerce lurks in the background. Personal debt does serious damage to mental and physical well-being, health, marriage and family behinds closed doors.

Most people, under age 45 or so, are unaware of the uptick in the surround-sound nature of commercialism because they grew up with it. But for those of us who are older, we see how no aspect of life is beyond being turned into a service or product. The worst part? Human life itself appears more like a commodity than ever before.

The criteria for human value, to the world at large, has shifted from that of someone who champions high ethical standards at work, has personal integrity in his dealings, and who is committed to doing the right thing no matter what, to someone who, at work, is willing to do whatever can ensure the greatest commercial viability and his own personal security, and get away with whatever s/he can in their personal dealings. The more noble qualities of human nature are unwittingly being sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Most do not realize the cost: ending up as two-dimensional beings, mere cogs in the wheel of commerce without a heart capable of compassion.

There’s a deeper reason Millennials are having such a tough go of it in a world now resembling Disneyland, but you’re not going to hear about it on CNN. Indeed, NAFTA, the off-shoring of American jobs, continues to rob jobs, but to get to real solutions beyond Band-Aid measures for any problem, it is imperative to go to the root cause.

Systems Run the World Not People

Systems run the world and the largest of them is the monetary system, affecting all others throughout the world. All aspects of life are captive to the system that rules money, including the natural world and so as the (global) monetary system goes, so goes everything else.

Money is a private product. It comes into existence almost exclusively when issued by a central bank at the moment money is borrowed via a loan, making it a debt instrument. The system called fractional-reserve banking means loans are paid back with interest that compounds (increases exponentially) over time. Business owners add the interest on the money they borrow (debt-service), to the consumer price of their goods and services. As a result of what some call wealth extraction, over time debt-based money of every nation loses value, understood as the loss of purchasing power (get less, pay more). What was purchased in the United States in 1913 for $1.00 now cost over $24.00, a fact easily confirmed on any online inflation calculator.

This expanded view of money is the portal to many new insights. For example: Who would have thought that the financial/banking industry, the largest “educator” of consumers about money and finance, would omit such vital information about the negative impact systemic money mechanics (how money is issued) have on one’s personal finances? By this omission, people earn, borrow, and spend in ways they otherwise might not if they had this additional piece of financial data. But because over 70% of the American economy is based on consumer spending, systemic self-preservation appears to trump the ethics of full disclosure.

Once in the know about the fact that all banking and therefore, our economy, is actually based on debt, and that money loses value over time as an ongoing systemic event, the light bulb goes on. You also begin to understand that the system of commerce has had to crank up every possible revenue-producing prospect it has to make up for money’s compounding loss in intrinsic value.

Nonetheless, for the Millennials (and everyone else for that matter), there is a way out, a way off the vicious cycle of credit and debt. When one’s intelligence and effort are turned towards learning what it will take to restore the quality of life for the long term, the game changes and options open even as the world is increasingly dominated by the profit motive.

Susan Boskey is author of the book, The Quality Life Plan®: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security. The information in the book not only exposes the systemic-root cause of the 2008-09 economic meltdown but, perhaps more importantly, provides critical steps to help everyday people turn the tide and build real wealth. To learn more or to purchase the book, visit her website at

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15 Comments on "Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix"

  1. What is snowballing the debt is the interest. Interest is the cause of inflation.

    We need to change our way of thinking about usury. Usury kills. Forget it.

    • OMG another expert.

      Usury may be immoral and wrong, but has nothing to do with inflation.

      As you probably do not read, try youtube

      The Spanish Empire, Silver, & Runaway Inflation: Crash Course World History #25

      How many “f”‘s are there in the word “Usury”

      Please explain the Spanish inflation when a) they had expelled the usurious jews. b) the Catholic church had a total ban on usury and c) there was no “f”in usury.

      • Average Joe American | February 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm |

        Let me get this straight: Inflation is when a government, or a central bank, prints too much money. They usually do this because they are or have been in expensive wars or other misadventures and have huge debts. Whether interest-based lending is legal or forbidden within a given country, it does not preclude their ruling governments receiving war loans from outside entities. These would usually be interest bearing loans (why would anyone lend vast sums for no profit?).

        So un-backed currency gets printed, cash loses value in relation to available goods and services. The lenders know this, and either threaten to call in the loans, raise interest rates, or demand other concessions (such as a foot in the door to the beleaguered country’s economy, and/or a seat in government councils–sort of like when a corporation goes into receivership).

        And you, PJ, don’t see a direct connection between usury and inflation? Not that there can’t be inflation without usury, but there is nearly always inflation following usury unless the sovereign nation in question comes to its senses, kicks out the money changers, and takes control of its financial destiny. An extremely rare occurrence.

        The US has had a century of steadily rising inflation following Wilson’s decision to allow the Federal Reserve Bank (a western branch of the central banking empire of Europe and England) to take managing control of the US money supply.

        You being such a (self-professed) historian, I’m surprised you missed that bit. “Inflation” and “usury” may have no letters in common, but historically they’ve had an extremely close relationship, as one world power after another collapsed through financial misadventures involving world bankers and war, debt and inflation.

        • Printed currency and coins form less than 3% of the “money” in the US and yet you blame the Central Bank printing for inflation.

          The Fed has been extending billions in credit to banks and finance houses and yet there is very little inflation.

          But somehow you can ignore that and claim that usury and printing money cause inflation.

          Inflation is caused by a change in the amount of money in relation to the amount of goods. More money than goods (being bought) equals inflation, less money than goods equals deflation.

          “there is nearly always inflation following usury” because people drink milk before they drink alcohol, you would claim that milk drinking causes alcoholism.

          Usury is nearly universal, you could just as easily say “there are nearly always earthquakes following usury”.

          Does the fact that there are cases where inflation occurs where there is no usury not cause you to question your premise?

          Inflation of housing occurred without any increase in currency, the Fed did not increase the money supply until after the sub-prime collapsed. Inflation came before the increase.
          The commercial banks increased credit, using houses as collateral, and that caused inflation in the price of houses. Nothing to do with usury, nothing to do with the Fed, nothing to do with Fiat v’s Backed money, merely the supply (of credit) outgrew the number of houses.
          I know that it means that you will have to rethink your fundamental prejudices, but please think it through, don’t just repeat the simplistic memes of the MSM talking heads.

          (As an exercise, ask yourself where the money (credit) that the Fed has given to the banks has caused inflation? It has not caused it in the “main-street” because the banks have not spent it in the main street, so where, in your opinion have the banks spent the money and caused inflation, or do you not believe that the mere creation of “money” causes inflation?)

          • Average Joe American | February 5, 2015 at 2:04 pm |

            PJ, I’m about through, here. You say: “Inflation of housing occurred without any increase in currency, the Fed did not increase the money supply until after the sub-prime collapsed. Inflation came before the increase.”

            What? Back to the basic premise: Whether the Fed is printing currency (Reserve Notes, which are a debt instrument) or handing out (lending) money to commercial banks which they in turn lent out in the form of “liar’s loans,” money (debt) was being created. Lots of it. People refinanced these homes to pay down credit cards and get additional cash to live on, send their kids to school, buy cars, etc., which put money into the street. Prices went up (real prices, not the fake government Consumer Price Index). That it can be considered “usury” is that bank-owned credit card companies famously jacked up card interest rates without warning (often without even mentioning it to cardholders), and home loans came with balloon payment clauses resulting in large increases every few years (typically five, about the length of the housing boom).

            When the bubble burst many people lost everything, banks were repo-ing houses, cars, boats, slashing preset credit card limits on cardholders in good standing. So, by accepted rules of economics, deflation should have occurred. But except in isolated cases (low end housing and the auto industry, not to mention wages) it has not. We still have cost of living inflation. And incidentally, obscenely overpaid CEOs, Wall Street brokers, rich politicians and bankers of various sorts, they’re still spending money (trickle down) so some of it’s still finding its way to the street (just nowhere near enough…more is finding its way to the Caymans and Swiss banks).

            You’re saying fractional reserve lending (money creation from thin air) had nothing to do with our current state of affairs? Why all the bailouts and quantitative easings? Because things were peachy? Or because bogus wealth had been created by lenders, and now all they could do keep the sinking ship afloat was to bail out (by printing yet more money…and don’t insult our intelligence by differentiating between “currency” and “loan debt,” it’s all fiat “money” by anyone’s definition, however it’s created).

            If you agree that fractional reserve lending (at interest) creates money (whether currency or notes of any sort), then how can you say lending does not create inflation? And if you agree that what banks and credit card companies charge in interest is immoral and/or unethical (if not at first, certainly in the longer term), then you must admit usury has everything to do with inflation.

            Widespread economic results and generally accepted financial practices do not exist in separate compartments. The latter cause the former, just as gravity causes things to go splat. To claim otherwise is either naiveté or sophistry.

          • Your whole argument is summarised in :
            “And if you agree that what banks and credit card companies charge in interest is immoral and/or unethical (if not at first, certainly in the longer term), then you must admit usury has everything to do with inflation.”

            The logic is astounding. Let me change one word :
            “And if you agree that prostitution is immoral and/or unethical (if not at first, certainly in the longer term), then you must admit usury has everything to do with inflation.”

            The stupid just gets bigger and bigger.

  2. Oh dear, the central bank doesn’t create money by making loans.

    The commercial banks create money. The Central bank prints Currency, which allows people to make small value transactions without the need to have the commercial bank involved. Currency is only a small part of the thing called “money”

    Central Banks issue licenses to operate Commercial Banks (and most types of Finance houses)

    The Central Bank is the clearing house for the transactions between commercial banks (and in some countries between the Treasury and the Commercial Banks).

    What the Central (in USA Federal) Bank can do is to relax the rules governing the amount, and type of assets that a bank needs to create loans.

    If the Banks exceed these limits then the Central Bank withdraws the license and the Bank ceases to operate.

    Fractional banking has nothing to do with Interest Compound or simple.

    Inflation “the nominal value of goods versus money” has nothing to do with interest or repayments. It has to do with the total amount of “money” v’s the total number and value of “Products”. One of the greatest inflationary periods was in Spain when the Spanish stole vast amounts of gold from the Americas and dumped it into Europe without a corresponding increase in products.

    “systemic money mechanics” congratulations, you have just introduced a completely new and meaningless term into economics.

    “and that money loses value over time as an ongoing systemic event” except of course in periods of deflation such as Japan has been in for 20 years and the world in the early 1930s (Discuss Germany and the Weimar republic as the exception).
    Deflation in prices when the “products” increase faster than the “money” increase, or when “money” is withdrawn from the system, usually through reduction in credit facilities. (Explain why when access to Mortgages are reduced the value of properties decreases, regardless of the interest rate on the Mortgage. In fact when the interest rates go up, the prices of houses and property comes down)

    There may be many things that you can write about knowledgeably, but finance and monetary economics is not one of them.

    It goes to show that one can write a book, give it a fancy title, and still be totally clueless.

    • Commercial banks maybe, but what about investment banks _ and the Glass-Steagall act

      • I am sorry, I was not clear enough, Investment Banks are usually Finance Institutions which may ( or may not) be “Arms” or departments of normal Commercial, Retail banks. They were split off precisely because of the Glass Steagall and equivalent laws. It was to stop banks taking normal depositor money and placing casino bets. I should have had them covered under “Finance Houses”. Most countries’ Central Banks regulate the actions of Finance Houses and Institutions, but under a different (much looser) set of rules and parameters. They are also licensed and can have their licenses withdrawn, Then they become Hedge funds and do a Madoff.
        Mixing up deposits and mortgages with investments and equities, is a recipe for over extension and loss. Normally, the fractional reserves for loans and margin allowances for investments are quite different. The risks are quite different and the outcomes are too. This is why, covering derivatives with ordinary depositors money (through bail-in) and Taxpayer insurance (FDIC) is dishonest and guaranteed to fail.
        This has screwed up many times, the Founding Fathers understood it (Tulip Mania, East India company et al.) and made laws about currency (but not banks, there you were on your own, Caveat Emptor) most recently after 1929, and laws were put in place to prevent a repeat. The laws worked quite well, but limited the amount you could place on the black or red bet. The banks kept on wanting to “double down” and had congress (and G Brown in the UK) remove the limitations, until it went really sour. Then they cried to mommy and said it’s not fair.
        They are like two school boys betting a million dollars on whether it will rain tomorrow. When the loser can’t pay they go to his father and hold him responsible.
        It has to go belly up. Not because of interest, but because of Sub-prime sovereign debt. Even if they cancelled all interest, there is no way that without total currency devaluation, a country such as USA or UK or Greece could repay the debt already outstanding. There just aren’t enough products to go around. What could USA possibly create that would be worth, $200 trillion? That is what is owed to the bond holders and citizens.
        What has to happen (in my limited estimation) is that the countries have to be like Cuba 50 years ago. Make do with what you have and pray for a big brother to help you out, at least for a while.
        Greece has the right idea.
        Bond holders P’off I am not paying.
        Hello Russia, Hello China let’s trade, no charity, just trade. (of course it helps that Russia and China are morally in a better situation than the lying stealing EU-US, the ordinary people are much more supportive of morals and ethics than are the bankers. They will accept and understand austerity from trading lettuces for DVD players, but not to pay bankers bonuses in Berlin.)
        In 4 to 5 years if they stick to their guns, they will be another Iceland.

    • Average Joe American | February 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm |

      “Oh dear,” PJ, most would agree with Boskey that if the central banks print currency (such as Federal Reserve Notes–i.e. “loans” to the government whose name is imprinted on them) then they are creating debt. Most would also agree that if a central bank has authority over interest rates and the fractional reserve system rules as practiced by commercial banks, they are by extension “creating money” out of thin air every time a loan is written.

      I had no problem with Boskey’s phrase “systemic money mechanics” as an overall descriptive term, since the message is being delivered to a specific audience of consumers who are not versed in the Byzantine universe of banking, investment and finance, and do not need to be to realize they are being screwed by a system which various sorts of financial institutions, in collusion with debt-ridden governments, have constructed and are manipulating.

      I’d like to point out that, having worked for a time in real estate, I found your paragraph on deflation to be useless because meaningless, and in fact contradictory. It’s true that when access to mortgages is scarce (WHY scarce?) property prices come down, but when central bank interest rates are held near zero, as is the case currently and for several years, housing prices can still remain very low, because no one’s lending when there’s no money to be made in doing so. When lending is a severe risk, in fact, because the much touted 5.6% unemployment rate is in fact a cruel politically-based lie, and lenders realize that even employed borrowers may well have no job tomorrow. They know personal debt can wipe out even borrowers with a stellar credit history in very short order, even if they put everything they “own” up in a fire sale and send the wife and kids out to work flipping burgers. Because no one’s buying, and no one’s hiring.

      Your loftier-than-thou comments may baffle a few brains, PJ, but have no useful bearing, here. This article may be a book-peddling advertisement, but for some outside the system it may be a stepping stone to financial survival. Your responses here certainly are not.

      • “systemic money mechanics” perhaps you would like to enlighten me with the definition of the phrase?

        The Central banks only has control over the interest rate of overnight credit offered to the commercial banks by the Central Bank. Mortgage interest rates and loan interest rates are purely the domain of the individual banks, how is that a Central Bank issue? Different banks offer loans and mortgages at different rates.

        You have agreed that prices (of houses, but applies to all other products, services and goods) do not follow your paradigm of inflation. In fact they follow exactly my version, more credit for houses equals higher prices regardless of interest rates. As interest rates rise, banks restrict the number of loans that they issue and this reduces the demand for houses, or the banks can just decide to restrict the loans to certain classes of individual or to certain areas. Your thinking would say that higher interest increases inflation not creates deflation in prices.

        Sorry average, but your thinking just got busted by your own arguments.

        Thomas Jefferson

        “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

        Restored to the people ie a Central Bank.

        Josiah Stamp, former Director of the Bank of England said:

        “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again.”

        “However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.”
        Rothschild Brothers of London
        “The few who can understand the system (check money and credits,) will either be so interested in it’s profits, or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no oppositions from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.” —

        “the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending” ie the “Average Joe”

        A quote from a 1924 edition of the American Banker’s Association not intended for the public sums up what is currently happening all around us:

        “Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through the process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers. These truths are well known among our principal men who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

        Lord Acton – “… the issue which has swept down the centuries and will have to be fought sooner or later is THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE BANKS.”

        • PJ, you are not “educating” me by quoting stuff I’ve been familiar with for years. What you are doing is obfuscating while appearing erudite attempting to elucidate with irrelevancies. And you contradict yourself while misinterpreting me.

          The bottom line is that all lending institutions, by any name, create “money” (un-backed debt) out of thin air, which process can be called by its old-fashioned name: usury (or debt issuance). When the available money (scrip) or credit (notes) supply exceeds available goods and services at current price levels, it causes an increase in prices (too much money chasing too few goods and services). That is called inflation.

          You can confuse people all you like by throwing out words and concepts you either don’t or only dimly understand, or merely employ to refute the observations of others, even when your conclusions are self-contradictory. But the fact remains that inflation (while it may have one or both of the two origins I’ve outlined elsewhere) IS in fact ONE direct result of excessive usury (money creation by lenders seeking simple or compounded interest-profits).

          This is my response to your impassioned refutation of the comments of “Usurykills,” below, apparently based on the lack of an “f” in the word “usury” later in this thread. If that’s your notion of a convincing argument directed at the uninformed, you’ve lost me, pal.

          I’m not quite so uninformed.

          Boskey cuts to the chase in words most people can understand. You do the opposite, and in fact begin to sound more like a shill for the fraudulent banking industries the more you write. If anyone else here feels enlightened by your disjointed “insights,” I’ve yet to see them speak up here and break them down for us. So far you’re certainly not doing it.

          • Everyone else understands what I have said. You chose to ignore facts and carry on with your dumbness.
            If you bothered to actually read the quotes, your comment about me “shilling” for the banks is really stupid.
            Unlike you, I actually have worked in finance and banking, I understand how it works from the inside.
            Boskey may speak in words you understand, but she speaks nonsense.
            I understand that you are lost “pal” you do not have the wit to follow logic or to refute a single fact that I put forward. You just repeat the nonsense that substitutes for logic in your mind.
            Go back to selling second hand cars, it is your forte.
            Have a nice life.

          • Average Joe American | February 5, 2015 at 2:48 pm |

            You actually worked in finance and banking and “understand how it works from the inside?” Nothing I’d be proud of, but your admission and it’s a telling one.

            I understand why you might shill for a system which has brought us to where we are now. I’m guessing you feel neither you nor anyone you worked for, or with, has any responsibility.

            I, on the other hand, have never sold used cars, nor bundled second hand loans, for that matter. Actually I have a great deal more respect for the used car sales industry than I have for the people who sold liars loans and worthless derivatives on a massive scale, bringing the world’s economy to its knees.

            I’m through here.

          • You are right, you are through here.

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