The Problem With Our Monetary System--In A Nutshell
In a democratic republic that proclaims that all men are created equal the monetary system must accord with this proclamation.
A monetary system is supposed to be designed to facilitate the exchange of labor among ALL men and women, not just among the rich.
If it does not, then it is oppressive and unjust and breaches the trust of the people who agreed to be bound by the social compact that brought them together.
In order to promote their own individual welfare, men and women agree to join together as a nation and be governed by uniform rules and standards (e.g., money) that protect and promote the general welfare.
The government breaches this contract when it gives a privileged few both the means to manufacture need among their fellow countrymen (control of the money supply) AND the instrument by which they can proceed to fully exploit that need (interest).
Having said that, there is no practical way that a government can abolish charging interest on money loaned since there will always be those who are ready to exploit another's need and those that are desperate for money because they cannot acquire it through legitimate means.
However, it is a completely different story for our government to transform generation after generation of us into defenseless captives, subject to the mercy, or lack thereof, of a privileged few that control the money supply. This is what happened when the government handed the reigns of the monetary system to private banks two hundred years ago.
There is no such thing as a FREE LUNCH, and I do not advocate that there should be. BUT, giving people equal access to capital either as interest-free loans or in the form of equity capital IS NOT a free lunch. Everyone would remain responsible for paying back their loans, or for using their best efforts to put equity investments to productive and profitable use.
And of course, the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on the financial sector for their livelihoods must contine to have the opportunity to maintain that livelihood. EVERYONE has a RIGHT to OPPORTUNITY!
But, the central banking system MUST NOT be for-profit or privately owned because there is too much danger in allowing others to profit from the public trust. Having said that, branch banks can and should be run as non-profit organizations at the local level, charging fees for the administrative costs and financial analysis required to circulate "the public trust" (money), prudently.
There could still be privately owned for-profit equity investment banks if it's desirable, but they would not be in the business of lending at interest simply because there would be plenty of access to interest-free loans through non-profit lending institutions.
Poverty can result from a number of factors. But, it is obvious that there is something terribly wrong with our monetary system when poverty is this severe and this pervavise in a country that has more than enough resources for everyone to survive and thrive comfortably.
My estimate is neither naive nor idealistic, nor does it require a communist or socialist regime to decide who should get what and how much.
This outcome is entirely possible in a free market, capitalist economy provided that there is interest-free public capital accessible to EVERY man and woman who has the desire, will, and ability to make PRODUCTIVE use of it.