The Poverty Role in Alcoholism
and Preventive Moral Principles

In preventing alcoholism, it is helpful to ascertain the various causes and eliminate them. Sublatâ causa, tollitur effectus: Otez la cause, l'effet disparaît, eliminate the cause; the effect disappears, says H. A. Depierris, M.D., Physiologie Sociale (Paris: Dentu, 1876), p 328.

This paper covers the poverty-alcoholism link. Scholars have researched the subject, for example, Shaila Khan, R. P. Murray, and G. E. Barnes, and their article, “A structural equation model of the effect of poverty and unemployment on alcohol abuse,” in the journal Addictive Behavior, May-June 2002, Vol. 27 (Issue # 3), pages 405-423: “Results indicate that (a) increased poverty causes increased alcohol use and alcohol problems, and (b) recent unemployment decreases alcohol use while longer unemployment increases it.”

Poverty and unemployment are in turn linked to inability to pay bills, including mortgages, which in turn leads to foreclosures. A million foreclosures are expected in the immediate future. People are paying thousands of dollars a year, yet the 'principal' goes down very little and slowly, due to interest charges. The initial years’ payments especially are devoted mostly to repaying interest, thus increasing the cost some 100-200% or so over life of a typical 30-year mortgage loan.

Aspects of this unfortunate situation including any and resultant alcoholism (‘drowning their sorrow’ so to speak) could be prevented, by adherence by society, the government, and lenders, to pertinent Bible commands and principles. For example, various Bible commands and references cover the ban on charging interest also known as / aka usury (Commandments 171-173). See e.g., Exodus 22:25;   Leviticus 25:36-37;   Deuteronomy 23:19;   Nehemiah 5:7 and 10;   Psalms 15:5;   Proverbs 28:8;   Isaiah 24:2;   Jeremiah 15:10;   Ezekiel 18:8, 13, and 17;   Ezekiel 22:12;   James 2:6;   and James 5:1.

The Bible system of laws also provided for cancellation of any remaining debt after seven years, Deuteronomy 15:1-11 and Deuteronomy 31:10, even when this commandment means that some of the principal would not be repaid. Cancelling debts each seven-year cycle meant no humiliating begging aka “bankruptcy” was needed, instead, Bible law mandated automatic debt cancellation each seven-year cycle.

The Bible system of laws included another cycle, a cyclical fifty-year “Jubilee” (Leviticus 25:10).

The result of all these Bible laws was prosperity for all – prosperity systemically and systematically established. This approach fulfills to divine intent of prosperity and health for all (3 John 2 and Micah 4:4).

The Bible system during the time it was actually obeyed, resulted in wealth for all – wealth so great that silver was spurned (like stones!), as everyone had so much gold money (1 Kings 10:21 and 27, and 2 Chronicles 1:15). (In contrast, modern era people are reduced to mere “paper money”!)

The Bible system in institutionalizing divine purpose (3 John 2 and Micah 4:4) had numerous benefits. It provided health and prosperity for all. It prevented typical societal evils such as recurring unemployment, economic cycles of recessions and depressions. It prevented crime, big business, homelessness, institutionalized banking, economic disparities, long-term debt, foreclosures, and results such as high divorce rate and family breakdown, etc., and thus prevented a significant amount of alcoholism by preventing the “drowning their sorrows” situation even arising.

Pres. John Quincy Adams“The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes . . . of universal application—laws essential to the existence of men in society,” said U.S. President John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), p. 61.

The Bible Law system included Ancient Israel to be the model nation for other nations to imitate, Deuteronomy 4:6-8, so all peoples would have the benefit of good laws, vs the abuses of politician laws, 1 Samuel 8:11-17.

Sadly, this was not done. Modern politician laws
  • "legalize” what the Bible forbids, e.g., usury (Commandments 171-173), and
  • fail to prevent poverty.

    By their fruits we know them, Matthew 7:16 and 20;   Matthew 12:33-34;   Luke 3:8-9;   Luke 6:43-45;   John 15:8;   Galatians 5:22-23), the bad effects of such modern non-Bible-based laws. The bad fruit of carnal politicians’ laws allowing usury and failing to prevent poverty includes family devastation, homelessness, increased alcoholism, and in turn more crime, etc.

    The Bible system of laws and moral principles included many benefits, in short, including but not limited to the prevention of substantial alcoholism. American desperately needs these benefits.

    For more on preventing alcoholism, click here.