I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.
Many individual fallacies in economics are founded on the larger, and usually implicit, fallacious assumption that economic transactions are a zero-sum process, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But voluntary economic transactions — whether between employer and employee, tenant and landlord, or international trade — would not continue to take place unless both parties were better off making these transactions than not making them.
I like to sit and think and I like to spend a lot of time doing that. Sometimes it’s pretty unproductive, but I find it enjoyable to think about business or investment problems. They’re easy, it’s the human problems that are the tough ones. Sometimes there aren’t any good answers to human problems; there is almost always a good answer with money.
Philosophy, with the aid of experience, has at length banished the study of alchemy; and the present age, however desirous of riches, is content to seek them by the humbler means of commerce and industry.
– Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
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A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank.
Riches are valuable at all times, and to all men, because they always purchase pleasures such as men are accustomed to and desire; nor can anything restrain or regulate the love of money but a sense of honor and virtue, which, if it be not nearly equal at all times, will naturally abound most in ages of knowledge and refinement.