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Rooted

March 2009

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?"

— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged ("Francisco's Money Speech")

Nato commented:

I believe the original verse is better translated "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil"

Nato commented:

dang, the "tags" I added to make it clear that I was being a(n annoying) bible geek were removed

Fraser commented:

...and following on from Nato's comment, I posit that interest is "the love of money", built right into our economic system. It leads to the evil of unbridled economic growth, and enables rich people to abuse poor people more effectively.

The possibility of charging a person or institution for the privilege of borrowing my money (thus increasing my wealth at someone else's expense, and ultimately consuming extra energy) encourages me to:

  • work more for my own benefit than I need to, and thus have less time for others
  • keep more of my income for myself rather than giving it away.
  • support unsustainable economic growth because it increases my income.

I don't really mind that interest rates are dropping. I'm trying to think of my savings as simply savings, not as an investment on which I can expect a return.