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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 201 of Steven Landsburg’s 1997 book, Fair Play [2] (footnote omitted):

When Richie [Rich] and his dad build a mansion, they use bricks, mortar, and cement that might have otherwise become part of a hospital, a community center or a housing development.  They hire masons, carpenters, and electricians who might otherwise have been employed building roads, shopping centers, or – with a little retraining – automobiles.  The food served at the Rich’s extravagant feasts is food that nobody but the Riches and their guests can eat; the fuel burned by their private jets is made from oil that will never heat their neighbors’ houses.

But when Scrooge bathes in his dollar bills, the only thing he keeps from his neighbors is a lot of cheap paper.  As long as he hoards his money instead of spending it, there are more bricks and mortar, more ready workmen, more food, and more fuel for Scrooge’s neighbors to enjoy.

There are some who get this exactly backward: They believe that lavish spending spreads prosperity, while a miser is a burden to the community.

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