Theos

Home / In the news / Theos in the media

Maxed–out morality: the dark side of debt

Maxed–out morality: the dark side of debt

Natan Mladin features in The Tablet for ‘Talk Money Week’, to discuss why we need to talk about debt in materialist society. 19/11/2018

Interested by this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e–newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Supporter Programme to find out how you can help our work.

Broken Britain

This is Talk Money Week, which aims to get more people talking about money in order to improve their financial management. But we also need to talk about debt, the darker face of our materialist society.

The facts are well known. As we are borrowing hand over fist, our debt levels keep rising. Today, personal and household borrowing are at levels unseen since the financial crisis 10 years ago. There is around £240 billion of unsecured debt in the form of credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts – a growth of 9 per cent since 2014. All the while, wages are falling by 0.4 per cent a year, taking inflation into account.

More than 8.3 million people in the United Kingdom face debt problems. Precarious work arrangements, low incomes, mental–health issues and relationship breakdowns are some of the reasons people end up stuck in debt. Young people today are one of the worst groups affected. Clearly, economic and fiscal measures could be taken to address some of these problems. Interest rates, for example, have been kept at very low levels since the financial crisis, the Bank of England base rate sitting at 0.75 per cent today.

There are reasons for this, but one thing is clear – the regime favours borrowing over saving. The third of the British population that has less than £500 put aside for a rainy day bears this out. What behaviour does a low–interest rates policy encourage? What message does it send? There is precious little public conversation on these questions. That has to change.

Read Maxed–out morality: the dark side of debt‘ in–full on The Tablet website here.

Read ’Maxed–out morality: the dark side of debt‘ in–full via PDF here. 

 

 Image from the Tablet website.

Nathan Mladin

Nathan Mladin

Natan joined Theos in 2016. He has just completed a PhD in Systematic Theology at Queen’s University of Belfast with a thesis on divine action in dialogue with theatre studies. He is the author of the chapter on Václav Havel in The Mighty and the Almighty: How Political Leaders do God (Biteback, 2017) and co–author of That They All May Be One, a report looking at inter–Church relations in England. Current research interests include theology and economics, with a focus on debt, ethics of AI/robotics, theology and contemporary art.

Posted 19 November 2018

Research

See all

Events

See all

In the news

See all

Comment

See all

Get regular email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once or twice a month.

Thank you for signing up.