“For more than twenty years it has been a somewhat popular and growing pastime for radicals, self-seeking politicians, racketeers, crooked labor leaders, and on occasion religious leaders, to take potshots at Wall Street, The Money Changers, and Big Business.”
Sound familiar? Was it written today? By whom?
No, it was written by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich initially published in 1937. Interesting isn’t it? It could easily describe today’s world.
However, the paragraphs around the above statement are even more intriguing. First, he sets the stage talking about capitalism as the foundation of our prosperity.
“This is a capitalistic country, it was developed through the use of capital, and we who claim the right to partake of the blessings of freedom and opportunity, we who seek to accumulate riches here, may as well know that neither riches nor opportunity would be available to us if organized capital had not provided these benefits.”
Afterwards, he talks about the people taking the potshots at business – the foundation of what puts food on the table and clothing on the back.
“The practice became so general that we witnessed during the business depression, the unbelievable sight of high government officials lining up with the cheap politicians, and labor leaders, with the openly avowed purpose of throttling the system which has made Industrial America the richest country on earth. The line-up was so general and so well organized that it prolonged the worst depression America has ever known. It cost millions of men their jobs, because those jobs were inseparably a part of the industrial and capitalistic system which form the very backbone of the nation.”
“During this unusual alliance of government officials and self-seeking individuals who were endeavoring to profit by declaring ‘open season’ on the American system of industry, a certain type of labor leader joined forces with the politicians and offered to deliver voters in return for legislation designed to permit men to take riches away from industry by organized force of numbers instead of the better method of giving a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.”
He goes on to say, “Millions of men and women throughout the nation are still engaged in this popular pastime of trying to get without giving.”
Making adjustments for our country’s move away from an industrial focus, Mr. Hill’s description could easily represent today’s political, economic and employment environments.
Both business and Wall Street investment firms cause their share of problems in our society. However, wouldn’t it make more sense to work on those specific problems rather than break the system?
Without businesses, you would have to grow, harvest, prepare and preserve food for your table. Plus, you would need to grow, harvest and construct the materials for your clothing. Of course, you would need a water source to sustain life and a shelter to protect you from the elements.
Forget all the “toys” we enjoy today, the basic fundamentals to live – food, water, shelter, clothing – would be very difficult for the majority of people to acquire cost effectively without “business.”
The next time you agree with a pundit’s rant against business or capitalism, take a minute to think about how business supplies you with what you need to live.