Thursday, January 7, 2010

Money is Best When it is Made

I'm in business school. As a result, I have become ultra sensitive to the media's extraordinarily vocal displeasure with business and business leaders. It seems that I can't pass one day without hearing more angry rhetoric.

Luckily, one can always look for a balancing view by checking other sources. Take this excerpt from a speech that I read recently:

But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made -- before it can be looted or mooched -- made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.
It's unfortunate that this particular speech comes from such an old source. It was published in 1957 in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, spoken by the brilliant character Francisco d'Anconia.

I would not argue that every business-person is good and honest, but many are. And those many are extremely valuable. They enable production which allows the world to consume.