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1. I bet you’re all wondering what it’s like to be a billionaire? It’s disappointing really.

David Andrews (b.1935) Irish politician. Speech (1997)


2. The rich would have to eat money, but luckily the poor provide food.

Anonymous. Russian proverb.


3. A man who has a million dollars is as well off as if he were rich.

John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) U.S. entrepreneur and financier. Attrib.


4. Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher and statesman. “The Antitheta of Things,” De Dignitate et Augments Scientiarum (1623), bk. 6,ch. 3, pt. 3


5. Riches are for spending.

Franbcis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher and statesman. “Of Expense,” Essays (1597-1625)


6. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Bible. Matthew, 19:24


7. It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.

Edmund Burke (1729-97) British philosopher and politician. Letter (April 23, 1778)


8. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen…who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. Address at the presentation of the Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (November 5, 1895)


9. Not evil, but good, has come to the race from the accumulation of wealth by those who have the ability and energy that produce it.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. “Wealth,” North American Review (June 1889)


10. Rich men should be thankful for one inestimable boon. They have it in their power during their lives to busy themselves in organizing benefactions from which the masses of their fellows will derive lasting advantage, and thus dignify their own lives.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. “Wealth,” North American Review (June 1889)


11. The man who dies rich dies disgraced.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) U.S. industrialist and philanthropist. “Wealth,” North American Review (June 1889)


12. Today, it’s enough to pull together a good story, to implement the rough draft of an idea, and-presto-instant wealth.

James Collins (b.1958) U.S. business thinker and author. “Built to Flip,” Fast Company (March 2000)


13. Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) U.S. president. Speech, Boston, Massachusetts (June 11, 1928)


14. The Rich aren’t like us-they pay less taxes.

Peter De Vries (1910-93) U.S. novelist and short-story writer. Washington Post (July 30, 1989)


15. The secret point o money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power’s sake…but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy.

Joan Didion (b.1934) U.S. novelist, screenwriter and journalist. 7000 Romaine. Los Angeles (1967)


16. The public mind is polluted with economic fancies: a depraved desire that the rich may become richer without the interference of industry and toil.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) British prime minister and novelist. Speech, House of Commons (May 15, 1846)


17. Enterprises are paid to create wealth, not control costs.

Peter F. Drucker (b.1909) U.S. management consultant and academic. Harvard Business Review (January/February 1995)


18. We are the poorest rich people we know.

Charles Dunstone (b.1964) British business executive and founder of Carphone Warhouse. Referring to the reality of being a “paper millionaire.” Management Today (August 1999)


19. There are many excuses for the persons who made the mistake of cofounding money and wealth. Like many others they mistook the sign for the thing signified.

Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929) British female suffrage leader. Political Economy for Beginners (1870)


20. Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) U.S. writer. Said to Ernest Hemingway. He replied: “Yes, they have more money,” “Rich Boy,” All the Sad Young Men (1926)


21. You don’t have to worry if somebody says “Gee that guy’s a nut.” If you have enough money, they say “Gee that guy’s eccentric.”

Malcolm Forbes (1919-90) U.S. publisher. Quoted in Obituary, Daily Telegraph (London) (February 26, 1990)


22. In every well-governed state wealth is a sacred thing; in democracies it is the only sacred thing.

Anatole France (1844-1924) French novelist. Penguin Island (1908)


23. At the level at which entrepreneur like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, or Ted Turner operate, consumption is not a meaningful motive…money is more a symbol of their ability as entrepreneurs rather than a means to acquire goods.

Francis Fukuyama (b.1952) U.S. economist and writer. The End of History and the Last Man (1991)


24. In the affluent society, no useful distinction can be made between luxuries and necessities.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Affluent Society (1958)


25. Wealth is not without its advantages and the case to the contrary, although it has often been made, has never proved widely persuasive.

  1. K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Affluent Society (1958), ch. 1


26. There are three ways by which an individual can get wealth-by work, by gift, and by theft. And, clearly, the reasons why the workers get so little is that the beggars and thieves get so much.

Henry George (1839-97) U.S. economist. Social Problems (1883)


27. It’s hard to make money in business; it’s very difficult…and if your reward is relatively great, that’s the way nature works. I don’t see it’s any more extraordinary for a man in business to accumulate a large fortune than a man in politics to attain high office.

  1. Paul Getty (1892-1976) U.S. entrepreneur, oil industry executive and financier. April 1974. Quoted in Getty (Somerset de Chair; 1989), ch. 2


28. If you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.

  1. Paul Getty (1892-1976) U.S. entrepreneur, oil industry executive and financier. April 1974. Quoted in Getty (Robert Lenzner; 1985)


29. the higher our income, the more resources we control and the more havoc we wreak.

Paul Carter Harrison (b.1936) U.S. dramatist. Guardian (London) (May 1992)


30. Desire of riches, covetousness: a name used always in signification of blame, because men contending for them are displeased with one another’s attaining them.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) English philosopher and political theorist. Leviathan, or, The Matter, form and Power of a Commonwealth Eccelesiastical and Civil (1651), pt. 1, ch. 6


31. Few rich men own their own property. The property owns them.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-99) U.S. lawyer and writer. Address to the McKinsey League, New York City (October 29, 1896)


32. Sir, the insolence of wealth will creep out.

Samuel Johnson (1709-84) British poet, lexicographer, essayist and critic. Quoted in The Life of Samuel Johnson (James Boswell; 1791), vol 3


33. There’s nothing surer,

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,

In the meantime, in between time,

Ain’t we got fun?

Gus Kahn (1886-1941) U.S. songwriter. “Ain’t We Got Fun?” (1921)


34. Money you haven’t earned is not good for you.

Robert Maxwell (1923-91) British publisher, business executive and politician. Quoted in Time (November 28, 1988)


35. Most rich people just shop.

Robert Maxwell (1923-91) British publisher, business executive and politician. Quoted in Time (November 28, 1988)


36. Writers on Political Economy profess to…investigate the nature of Wealth, and the laws of its production and distribution: including the operation of all the causes by which…human beings are made prosperous or the reverse.

John Stuart Mill (1806-73) British economist and philosopher. 1848. Principles of Political Economy, with Some of their Applicatins to Social Philosophy. 7th ed. (1871)


37. I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

Edward Moore (1712-57) British writer. The Gamester (1753), Act 2


38. Prosperity has no fixed limits. It is not a finite substance to be diminished by division. On the contrary, the more of it that other nations enjoy, the more each nation will have for itself.

Henry Morgenthau, JR. (1891-1967) U.S. politician and publisher. Speech, United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire (July 1944)


39. I don’t know what we have. It becomes so complex that you need to have ten accountants working for two years to find out what you have.

Yoko Ono (b.1933) U.S. artist and musician. Interview, Playboy (January 1981)


40. Short of genius, a rich man cannot imagine poverty.

Charles Pierre Peguy (1873-1914) French writer. “Socialism and the Modern World,” Basic Verities (1943)


41. Money can be translated into the beauty of living, a support in misfortune, an education, or future security. It can also be translated into a source of bitterness.

Sylvia Porter (1913-91) U.S. journalist and finance expert. Sylvia Porter’s Money Book (1975)


42. Having money is rather like being a blond. It is more fun but not vital.

Mary Quant (b.1934) British fashion designer. Quoted in Observer (London) (November 2, 1986)


43. There are men who gain from their wealth only the fear of losing it.

Antoine Rivarol (1753-1801) French journalist. L’Esprit de Rivarol (1808)


44. Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high position are to be valued only be…personal profit.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) U.S. president. Presidential inaugural address (march 4, 1933)


45. As long as there are rich people in the world, they will be desirous of distinguishing themselves from the poor.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) French philosopher and writer. Discours sur l’Economie Politique (1758)


46. Any considerable amount of wealth most often proves a curse than a blessing…I know how easy it is to acquire expensive habits which, so far from increasing the real richness and fullness of life, add to its burden.

Joseph Rowntree (1836-1925) British confectionary entrepreneur, philanthropist and social reformer. 1907. Memorandum to his children. Quoted in Enlightened Entrepreneurs (Ian Campbell Bradley; 1987)


47. The enormous increase of wealth which has come to the country since the introduction of machinery has not been all that evenly distributed…and the share of the great body of workers has been inadequate.

Joseph Rowntree (1836-1925) British confectionary entrepreneur, philanthropist and social reformer. 1907. Rowntree was a pioneer in the introduction of minimum wage rates and employee pensions in Britain. Memorandum to his children. Quoted in Enlightened Entrepreneurs (Ian Campbell Bradley; 1987)


48. the writings which we (verbally) esteem as divine…declare woe to the rich, and blessing to the poor. Where upon we forthwith investigate a science of becoming rich as the shortest road to national prosperity.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) British art critic and writer. 1860. “Qui Judicatis Terram,” Unto This Last (1862)


49. What is really desired, under the name of riches, is essentially, power over men…this power…is in direct proportion to the poverty of the men over whom it is exercised and in inverse proportion to the number of persons who are as rich as ourselves.

John Ruskin (1819-1900) British art critic and writer. “The Veins of Wealth,” Unto This Last (1862)


50. Prosperity tries the souls even of the wise.

Sallust (86-35? B.C.) Roman historian and politician. Bellum Catilinae (41? B.C.), ch. 11


51. Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; the same is true of fame.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher. “What a Man Has,” Parerga and Paralipomena (1851)


52. An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth-in short, materialism-does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.

  1. F. Schumacher (1911-77) British economist and conservationist. Small is Beautiful (1973)


54. But, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail

And say there is no sin but to be rich;

And being rich, my virtue then shall be

To say there is no vice but beggary.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English poet and playwright. King John (1591-98), Act 2, Scene 1, II. 594-597


55. I am a Millionaire. That is my religion.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer and critic. Major Barbara (1907)


56. Idiots are always in favour of inequality of income (their only chance of eminence), and the truly great in favour of equality.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer and critic. The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928)


57. There is no fixed road to wealth, and goods do not stay with the same master forever.

Sima Qian (145?-86? B.C.) Chinese historian. Attrib.


58. Wealth flows to those with ability as the spokes of a wheel converge upon the axle but it slips like a smashed tile through the hands of incompetent men.

Sima Qian (145?-86? B.C.) Chinese historian. Attrib.


59. With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches…In their eyes the merit of an object…is greatly enhanced by its scarcity.

Adam Smith (1723-90) British economist and philosopher. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)


60. Wealth I would have, but wealth by wrong procure/I would not; justice, e’en if slow, is sure.

Solon (638?-559? B.C.) Athenian statesman, legislator and poet. Quoted in “Solon,” Parallel Lives (Plutarch; 1st century A.D.)


61. It is not the level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart.

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn (b.1918) Russian author and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature. Cancer Ward (1968), pt. 1


62. The millionaires are a product of natural selection…the naturally selected agents of society for certain work. They get high wages and live in luxury, but the bargain is a good one for society.

William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) U.S. economist and sociologist. Sumner was the leading U.S. advocate of Herbert Spencer’s Social Darwinism, “the survival of the fittest.” The Challenge of Facts and Other Essays (Albert Galloway Keller, ed.; 1914)


63. A society which reverences the attainment of riches as the supreme felicity will naturally be disposed to regard the poor as damned…if only to justify itself for making their life a hell.

Richard Tawney (1880-1962) British economic historian and social critic. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926), ch. 4, sect. 4


64. Industrialized communities neglect the very objects for which it is worth while to acquire riches in their feverish preoccupation with the means by which riches can be acquired.

Richard Tawney (1880-1962) British economic historian and social critic. The Acquisitive Society (1921)


65. Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) U.S. writer. Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854), Conclusion


66. The only way to create tremendous wealth is in the midst of an industrial revolution. It is then that you have the opportunity to do old things in new ways…never before conceived.

Lester Thurow (b.1938) U.S. economist, management theorist and writer. Speech, Sixth Workshop on Inventing the Organization of the 21st Century, Munich, Germany. “Building Wealth in a Knowledge-Based Society’ (February 2000)


67. The old foundations of success are gone…The world’s wealthiest man, Bill Gates, owns nothing tangible: no land, no gold or oil, no factories…For the first time in history the world’s wealthiest man owns only knowledge.

Lester Thurow (b.1938) U.S. economist, management theorist and writer. Building Wealth: New Rules for Individuals Companies and Countries in a Knowledge-Based Economy (1999), Prologue


68. The more good I do, the more money has come in. You have to learn to give. You’re not born to give. You’re born selfish.

Ted Turner (b.1938) U.S. founder of Turner Broadcasting Systems. Following his decision to donate U.S. $1 billion to the United Nations over a decade. Interview with Larry King, CNN (September 19, 1997)


69. When I got my statement in January, I was worth $2.2 billion. Then I got another statement in August that said I was worth $3.2 billion. So I figure it’s only nine months’ earnings, who cares?

Ted Turner (b.1938) U.S. founder of Turner Broadcasting Systems. Following his decision to donate U.S. $1 billion to the United Nations over a decade. Speech, United Nations Association-USA, Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York, CNN (September 19, 1997)


70. Purchasing power is a license to purchase power.

Raoul Vaneigem (b.1934) Belgian philosopher. The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967)


71. The most successful people are those who take pride in their work, pride in their family…It is great to attain wealth, but money is really just one way-and hardly the best way-to keep score.

Kemmons Wilson (1913-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and chairman of Holiday Inn. Referring t the measures of success. “What Makes for Success?,” Imprimis (March 1997)


72. Even a rich man is sad if he has no ideals. He may try to hide his sadness from himself and others, but his efforts only make him sadder still.

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (b.1933) Russian poet. A Precocious Autobiography (1963)