Could you explain me in English what "the demands of interest" in the following text means? The text is from Steven R. Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - see excerpt here.

"I want it now." People want things and want them now. “I want money. I want a nice big house, a nice car, the biggest and best entertainment center. I want it all and I deserve it.” Though today’s “credit card” society makes it easy to “get now and pay later,” economic realities eventually set in, and we are reminded, sometimes painfully, that our purchases cannot outstrip our ongoing ability to produce. Pretending otherwise is unsustainable. The demands of interest [emphasis added] are unrelenting and unforgiving. Even working hard is not enough. With the dizzying rate of change in technology and increasing competition driven by the globalization of markets and technology, we must not only be educated, we must constantly re-educate and reinvent ourselves. We must develop our minds and continually sharpen and invest in the development of our competencies to avoid becoming obsolete.

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    When you borrow money, you have to pay it back with interest. This is the "demand of interest." This is why "we" (whoever that is in the quote: individuals, corporations, countries, the whole planet,...) will get into trouble unless we learn to handle it.
    – GEdgar
    Nov 30 '18 at 21:36
  • Textual analysis is off-topic here but would normally be appropriate on our other site Literature. However, in this case the question would be off-topic there as well, since in this context "the demands of interest" simply means what @GEdgar suggests and no analysis is being requested. Nov 30 '18 at 23:42
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When a person purchases anything using a credit card that carries a balance, the balance is charged with interest each month. (Side note: charging items to a credit card and paying off the balance each month incurs no interest.) So "the demands of interest" increase the balance and require the person to pay significantly more than he or she charged.


In short, it means interest demands something and we're going to talk about the nature of those demands from the angle of the debtor.

"The demands of interest" is the subject of the sentence, but it's important to recognize "interest" is what really does the demanding. "demand" is the important verb, even if not used as one.

  • But what does it mean?  Also, where do you see passive voice in there?
    – Scott
    Dec 2 '18 at 1:58
  • I added meaning. I see passive voice because the creditor is the agent who makes the demands of interest unrelenting, but the creditor isn't in the sentence.
    – selden
    Dec 3 '18 at 22:49
  • @Scott Yes, I agree. If the sentence were "The demands of interest are made unrelenting and unforgiving." then it would be passive voice.
    – selden
    Dec 3 '18 at 23:56
  • Yes I agree it's not passive voice.
    – selden
    Dec 4 '18 at 19:28

The meaning of the word "demands" is plural form of the act of requirying the payment of monthly interest or a term from economics?

  • My question was about "demands" and not "interest". Can someone answer the question correctly?
    – Szkot
    Dec 2 '18 at 9:58

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