THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Could we devise new economic system?

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We are living in very uncertain financial times. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is still optimistic the economy will recover, but what if he is wrong?

What if this crisis is not a blip but the end of the economic system with which we are familiar? The world witnessed the end of Communism at the end of the 20th century. Perhaps, we should be getting ready for the end of Capitalism at the start of the 21st.

It is hard for us to imagine what that might be. We are used to a system based on lending and borrowing money in return for interest. Interestingly, since this was forbidden in the Bible where it is called “Usury”. It was illegal to charge interest in Britain until the reign of King Henry VIII. Orthodox Jews and Muslims are still careful that their banks avoid doing this, and they find other ways of making money through sharing in the profits of investments.

Could we, even now, devise a better economic system, where everyone contributes according to their ability and takes only what they need and there isn’t a yawning gap between rich and poor?

John Bennett

Vicar of St Mary & St Nicolas, Spalding