There is a tendency to look back on the pre-industrial era as an idyll. But if you think life was great before sordid commericalism appeared, you should try being a peasant. Life was a combination of back-breaking work, few human rights, illiteracy, short life expectancy and little chance for advancement (especially for women). It is no coincidence that all these things have improved in our more sophisticated economy. ...Most people recognize that it is better to be wealthy than to be poor. However, far too many people think of the world's wealth as being fixed—that if you have more money, it forces me to have less. That is not the way the economy works. Humanity grows wealth over time. The more productive we are—through harder work, better education, greater innovation, and more efficient use of resources—the faster the economy grows and the wealthier we all become.
Societies that have destroyed their money, like Zimbabwe, have not moved into a post-materialist world; they are full of famine, disease and brutality.
Without money, wealth, and economic growth, we would not have refrigeration for food, airplanes for travel, running water for sanitation, or computers for learning. Man's desire for money, and his willingness to employ his productive resources in order to obtain it, gradually makes the world a better place.