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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 153 of Larry Schweikart’s and Lynne Doti’s 2009 book, American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States (footnote deleted; link added):

On the other hand, the Civil War inflicted huge economic costs, the most important of which were the 600,000 Americans killed and 500,000 wounded. In purely sterile terms, such as those used by insurance companies’ actuarial tables, economists have put a value on those lives of approximately $2 billion. Static approximations, however, offer no way of guessing how many Andrew Carnegies, Cornelius Vanderbilts, or, for that matter, Abraham Lincolns were among the dead. In other words, averages provide at best a still photograph of a situation, but they can in no way capture the dynamics of people who may have been in the infant stage of making a fantastic discovery, embarking on a nation-shaping political career, or founding an extraordinary business when the war cut short their lives.

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