Friday, December 18, 2009

Money is the root of much good

Despite the widespread belief that "money is the root of all evil," The Economist points out that money's virtues outweigh its vices:
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. ...

Societies that have destroyed their money, like Zimbabwe, have not moved into a post-materialist world; they are full of famine, disease and brutality.
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.

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.


  1. "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV). The expression is commonly misquoted as simply "Money is the root of all evil". [1]

    The difference is significant.

    It is the feeling, the personal attribute of a human being, "The love..." that is "the root of all evil".

    The evil is in the behavior of the individual.

    Money itself, the object, is neutral. Alone, it has no attribute of good or bad.

    I must point this out as it seems to be a very common cognitive error of human beings, ascribing the feeling to the object. Feelings are the subjective experience of reality. Reality is objective.


  2. Money is good for all things you stated; however, the pursuit of wealth just to get more is evil (backwards:Live).

    This economy is constipated. Too much is at the top and the wealth gap is growing because lower classes are in deficit spending; this combined with wasteful government spending created the conditions for the Great Depresssion - when will this next one start?