He Said That? 3/30/17

From Garet Garrett (1878–1954), born Edward Peter Garrett, American journalist and author, noted for his opposition to the New Deal and U.S. involvement in World War II, “The Balance Sheet of Capitalism,” May 19, 1934:

The whole of the emotional case against capitalism turns on the unequal distribution of wealth. But is it peculiar to the nature of capitalism to concentrate wealth in a few hands? Here the first aspect truth is a little hard. It begins with the human disparities; and for these, God is responsible, not capitalism. Much more, perhaps, than we wish to believe, economic inequalities answer to human inequalities.

Again and again, wealth has been socially divided and then, in a little while, it has been again as it was before, that a few were rich and many were not. Lycurgus, who did it for the Spartans, heaping all their wealth in one pile and then, dividing it equally, thought of measures to make this pleasing equality permanent. He banished gold and silver money and put in place of it iron money so heavy and so nearly worthless that to hoard or save it would be absurd. All the same, it was not long until again there were debtors and creditors and a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

Such a very old fact has a kind of simplicity. Somewhat more than nine-tenths of us consume all that we receive, and would consume it all, no matter how much it would be. The wish to accumulate wealth is universal; the will to do it belongs only to a few, and the proportion of those few in any kind of society has probably been constant for thousands of years.

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2 responses to “He Said That? 3/30/17

  1. Bob:

    You have reminded me to pick up copies of Garet’s other work (I have read only his “A Bubble that Broke the World).” I found “Bubble” to be both wonderful in its intellectual content as well as its prose.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Dave

    Like

  2. I’m reading, and enjoying, Bubble.

    Like

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