Monday, September 6, 2010

Gambling in the Stock Market

Americans are fascinated with making money. In 1884 a European magazine commented on this national characteristic:

“The English, however speculative, fear poverty. The Frenchman shoots himself to avoid it. The American with a million (dollars) speculates to win ten, and if he takes losses takes a clerkship with equanimity. This freedom from sordidness is commendable, but it makes a nation of the most degenerate gamesters in the world.”

Even though this was written 125 years ago, it still seems to describe the American spirit about making money off the stock market. It may explain what has driven us into the economic downturn we are experiencing today.

One of the seven deadly sins of the ancient world was wealth without work. From my perspective, that still applies in modern times. Maybe our society should reject the desire for a quick dollar and go back to work. We’ve had enough of gambling in the market.

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