quotations about wealth
Wealth is nothing more or less than a tool to do things with. It is like the fuel that runs the furnace or the belt that runs the wheel -- only a means to an end.
HENRY FORD, Theosophist Magazine, February 1930
So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent.
HENRY GEORGE, Progress and Poverty
Being wealthy when no one else is is like being the only one at the party with a drink.
TIM ALLEN, Esquire, November 2011
The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, -- when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.
JAMES MADISON, attributed, Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787
The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money.
JOHN HENRY JOWETT, attributed, 365 Devotions
In every well-governed state, wealth is a sacred thing; in democracies it is the only sacred thing.
ANATOLE FRANCE, Penguin Island
Wealth which breeds idleness ... is only a sort of human oyster-bed, where heirs and heiresses are planted, to spend a contemptible life of slothfulness in growing plump and succulent for the grave-worm's banquet.
HORACE MANN, A Few Thoughts for a Young Man
Behind the deceptive words designed to entice people into supporting violence -- words like democracy, freedom, self-defense, national security -- there is the reality of enormous wealth in the hands of a few, while billions of people in the world are hungry, sick, homeless.
HOWARD ZINN, preface, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
Our wealth is often a snare to ourselves, and always a temptation to others.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Never respect men merely for their riches; but rather for their philanthropy: we do not value the sun for its height, but for its use.
WILLIAM SCOTT DOWNEY, Proverbs
Jesus and the apostles nowhere speak of wealth as a thing to be prayed for. They nowhere characterize wealth as a blessing, or the accumulation of it, by enterprise and industry, as praiseworthy. The new dispensation nowhere promises either riches or long life to the righteous: it promises eternal life and treasures in heaven. The "poverty" which Jesus calls "blessed" consists, not in penury and the lack of the necessaries of life, but in abundance or non-abundance, with a knowledge that the abundance, if there be abundance, is the gratuitious gift of God; and also the knowledge, if there be non-abundance, that "whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth."
WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic, and Financial Fragments
Among the idle rich, boredom is one of the most common causes of unhappiness. People who have difficulty in earning their living may suffer greatly, but they are not bored. Wealthy men and women become bored when they depend upon the theater for their enjoyment instead of making their own lives interesting.
ANDRÉ MAUROIS, An Art of Living
We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse.
MADAME SWETCHINE, "Airelles", The Writings of Madame Swetchine
If it is well with your belly, chest and feet, the wealth of kings can give you nothing more.
The fortunate man is he who, born poor, or nobody, works gradually up to wealth and consideration, and, having got them, dies before he finds they were not worth so much trouble.
CHARLES READE, Christie Johnstone
For having wealth and wherewithal to "do good", if you do it not, talk not of faith, for you have no faith in you.
LANCELOT ANDREWES, Ninety-six Sermons
Wealth just keeps growing for the 62 richest people in the world. Collectively, this ultra-wealthy group controls $1.76 trillion, which is about the cumulative worth of the poorer half of the world's population, or around 3.5 billion people. And since 2010, wealth has become more and more concentrated in favor of the richest of the rich while those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder have seen their positions worsen.
GILLIAN B. WHITE, "Where Is All the World's Money Going?", The Atlantic, January 19, 2016
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH, "The Deserted Village"
Wealth makes an ugly person beautiful to look on and an incoherent speech eloquent; and wealth alone can enjoy pleasure even in sickness and can conceal its miseries.
SOPHOCLES, fragment, The Sons of Aleus
There is a saying that no man has tasted the full flavour of life until he has known poverty, love and war. The justness of this reflection commends it to the lover of condensed philosophy. The three conditions embrace about all there is in life worth knowing. A surface thinker might deem that wealth should be added to the list. Not so. When a poor man finds a long-hidden quarter-dollar that has slipped through a rip into his vest lining, he sounds the pleasure of life with a deeper plummet than any millionaire can hope to cast.
O. HENRY, "The Complete Life of John Hopkins"