The Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom

First Published: 2004-12-02

1. Nothing in our material world can come from nowhere, nor can it be free; everything in our economic life has a source, a destination and a cost that must be paid – by someone.

2. Government is never a source of goods. Everything produced is produced by the people, and everything that government gives to the people, it must first take from the people.

3. The only valuable money that government has to spend is that money taxed or borrowed from people’s earnings. When government decides to spend more than it has thus received, that extra unearned money is created out of thin air, through the banks and/or the printing presses, and when spent, takes on value only by reducing the value of all other money, savings and insurance.

4. In our modern exchange economy, all payroll and employment come from customers, and the only worthwhile job security is customer security. If there are no customers, there can be no payroll and no jobs.

5. Customer security can be achieved by the worker only when he/she cooperates with management in doing the things that win and hold customers. Job security, therefore, is a partnership problem that can only be solved in a spirit of understanding and cooperation.

6. Because wages are the principle cost of everything, wide spread wage increases without corresponding increases in productivity, simply increase everyone’s cost of living.

7. The greatest good for the greatest number means, in its material sense, the most goods for the greatest number, which, in turn, means the greatest productivity per worker.

8. All productivity is based on three factors: (a) natural resources, whose form, place and condition are changed by the expenditure of (b) human energy (both muscular and mental), with the aid of (c) tools.

9. Tools are the only one of these three factors that man can increase without limit, and tools come into being in a free society only when there is a reward for that portion of their earnings that people must temporarily channel into new tools of production as opposed to purchases that produce immediate comfort and pleasure. Proper payment for the use of tools is essential for their creation.

10. The productivity of the tools-that is, the efficiency of the human energy applied in connection with their use-has always been highest in a competitive society in which the economic decisions are freely made by millions of progressive-seeking individuals, rather than in a state-planned society in which those decisions are made by a handful of all-powerful people, regardless of how benevolent, sincere and intelligent those people may be.

We had previously published the Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom and attributed it to "Anonymous". However the following information was provided from a reader in California today, Wednesday, July 26, 2006.

Fred G Clark and Richard Stanton Rimanoczy (Chairman and President of The American Economics Foundation, 51 East 42 St., NY, NY 10017-as of 1969, the date of my book, "How We Live", where their Ten Pillars appeared). D Van Nostrand held the copyright. The Pillars apparently were on 10 plaques in the Hall of Free Enterprise at the 1964 NY City World’s Fair.

We sincerely appreciate this information so our record is correct.

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