I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
— Ben Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, 1776
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It is beyond belief that we know so little about how people get rich or poor, about how it is they come to dwell in comfort and health or die in penury and disease.
Financial markets are the machines in which much of human welfare is decided; yet we know more about how our car engines work than about how our global financial system functions. We lurch from crisis to crisis. In a networked world, mayhem in one market spreads instantaneously to all others—and we have only the vaguest of notions how this happens, or how to regulate it.
So limited is our knowledge that we resort, not to science, but to shamans. We place control of the world’s largest economy in the hands of a few elderly men, the central bankers.
— Benoît Mandelbrot, The (Mis)Behavior of Markets (2004)
Mandelbrot was also a brilliant mathematician, the father of Fractal Geometry
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Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
– Ben Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack
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