"It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money -- and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it. Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it. Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter."
by:
Ayn Rand
[Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum] (1905-1982) Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter
Source:
Atlas Shrugged, P. 384-85 (1957)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Wow. One of the most astute observations of human character ever. Years ago, I abandoned _The Fountainhead_ in disgust at its 1-D characters. The laser accuracy of that quotation makes me want to read at least _Atlas Shrugged_. Simply outstanding.
 -- Byron, Fort Collins, CO     
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    Excellent quote from Ayn Rand's book 'Atlas Shrugged!'
     -- Mary - MI     
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     -- J Carlton, Calgary      
    I have known some "lovers of money " who are not "willing to work for it.
     -- wayne, naples     
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    The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. I think that it's the lack of money, not the love of money.
     -- jim kilpatrick, Austin, Tx     
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    Wonderful author ..this quote is true ..
     -- Pandora, lake Elsinore     
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    Not all lovers of money work for it. Ayn as usual overstates her case. The inheriters of wealth do not work for it. For them it is just a pure welfare system. Byron is on to the fact that Ayn is a simple one dimensional person. Her books made for simple easy reading for adolescents, and her sloganeering is repeated many non thinkers. I give her one star because the slogan has a nice ring to it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    In the greater context to which it was written, it is even more accurate. It is a slogan with a nice ring to it.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Great quote. Carlos Slim says it best today by noting that charity never advanced mankind. It is the duty of the man with money to invest his money which gives people jobs.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    I could use the NRA quote "It's not Guns that kill people it's people" - then it's not money that kills people it's greed. It's a silly quote as there are to many if and buts. Though the point is well made...
     -- Robken     
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    I suppose the Rothschilds and wonderful human beings because of their love of wealth and power - with wealth comes power, with power comes corruption, with corruption you start down the slippery slope of Armageddon. So, yes, money (wealth) can be evil, but it can also do good things you just have to know what side your bread is buttered.
     -- Robken     
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    Pure Ayn Randian sophistry. She was very good at that sort of thing and she made lots of $$$ doing it. Not bad for a poor immigrant who arrived in the U.S. practically penniless. I met her once many ago.
     -- Anonymous, Potland, Or.     
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    Socialists continue to fail to discern the difference between someone who produces something from his own labors to trade in the open market with those that have rigged the game to protect their monopoly of living off the labors of others. Ayn Rand argues for man's own drive for self-preservation and self-sufficiency, while her detractors ever try to twist personal responsibility into some perverted form of dictatorship. I believe the reason is because the modus operandi of progressive liberals is to constantly dicate to others what they must produce for them, and the assumption is that if Liberty were to actually rule, then we would all become dictators -- the mistake is that those that wish to take care of themselves are not dictating to anyone, and liberals just cannot fathom such independence and ability. It is not 'greed' that one LABORS for his fruits, but it is greed to covet another's fruits and pass 'laws' that require the laborer to give 45% of his fruits to government employees that produce nothing. The Rothschilds empire was accomplished not by capitalism but by progressive liberalism, i.e. government enforced dictates to a free people to accept funny money owned by the Rothschilds in lieu of cash, i.e. gold/silver. The Federal Reserve and the central banks of the world are the tools of COMMUNISM, and we have been duped as we have been taken over from within by the idea that all are entitled to every one else's labors and property. And believe me, the Rothschilds and their lords, the uber rich, are never taxed -- they aren't even targeted. Instead they have gotten us to fight and blame each other's 'greed.' Rand's comments are RIGHT ON THE MONEY.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    WOW...In our society, in my generation anyway, at the age of 15, it was made clear to us, that if we did not work, we did not eat, so, many of us worked our asses off , me for 40 years, again, following the principals of our constitution, is the answer, freedom. Money, in our world, means freedom, . I have heard many say, "money cant buy you love" The fact is, money can give one the freedom to find anything they want.The only ones complaining about money are those without. I was raised to understand, if you want things, you have to work for it. Archer, well written
     -- Kimo, Hawaiian Nations     
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    Archer, that must be one of the biggest projectionist's to date - The Free Masons and the Federal Reserve are all under the auspices of the Rothschild. Really, Archer, you have this thing about transposing reality. Look under Global Research.ca and you will see the article. Laissez-Faire; a freemarket, NAFTA; Capitalism; WTO; Glass/Stagall act; are just a few example of our demise. And the Bilderberg gang run it all.
     -- robken     
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    Yes robken Archer is good at his false projections, ie, 45% of our money goes to government employees, what hogwash. Anyone who views the USA the way the above guys do just have their heads somewhere else. Did not the Soviet Union and now Communist China follow are precepts for a free market driven economy. Is not the free market that we espouse driving our jobs and our dollars to the cheap labor house of China. Free markets and capitalism are rampant in the world today. Capitalism however cannot solve all of our problems. It fails to maintain highways, fight wars build infrastructure etcetera. It does provide Mercedes Benz and Rolls for its owners but that is about it.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Robert, you cannot have laissez-faire, a free market, or capitalism with a private central bank monopoly debt-as-money system -- it is impossible as 'money' is turned inside-out into DEBT -- the more prosperous the nation is, the more in debt they become -- it is a trick for enslaving the world. NAFTA, WTO, Glass/Stagall act are NOT free trade, they are monopolistic acts that aim to put the control of all production into the ruling class's hands (i.e. Bilderbergs, and other clubs of the ruling class). The enemy is the private central bank that is creating money out of promises to pay and charging interest on it -- this is UNLIMITED power. As we see today, the government never ceases to make more promises to pay and loads the people with an unpayable debt -- yes, unpayable because if all debts were paid THERE WOULD BE NO 'MONEY.' And yes, our taxes go to government employees, Waffler, you ought to know, you worked for a federal government tax office probably earning a living dishonorably off the backs of people who actually produced something. Loosen the hold of labor unions and watch American productivity return. The progressives have progressively hamstrung the workers and businesses. And government has simply become a way to fix the game in someone else's favor other than the ingenious and innovative. Well, the chickens are coming home to roost my friends and the house of cards is coming down -- and it is not because of the productive, it is because of the parasites. BTW, there are and always were enough funds for roads and highways from gasoline taxes alone -- but whenever any money shows up in any government account, it gets raided by another government bureau -- it is corruption in government that is the problem -- government is NOT the solution, it is the problem -- THEY LIE AND LIE AND LIE about the number one job they perform: THEY STEAL AND STEAL AND STEAL! And we have little defense since we have given up our money and our rights to work in our fields without central planning. No, capitalism is not rampant, Waffler, but socialism in all of its forms IS -- most of the UN nations' governments are totalitarian, socialist, fascist, or communist, and America has been taken over from the inside by those who eye ruling the world with the US military as their attack dog -- all paid for by the bankrupted American people -- and they were intentionally bankrupted by progressive liberal policies. History proves it so.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    @Waffler: "Did not the Soviet Union and now Communist China follow are precepts for a free market driven economy?" NO, they have not. China is a slave labor force. "Is not the free market that we espouse driving our jobs and our dollars to the cheap labor house of China?" NO, excessive rules, regulations, taxes, and unions have driven manufacturing to other nations. "Free markets and capitalism are rampant in the world today." NO, they aren't, Waffler, totalitarian statism is rampant. "[Capitalism] fails to maintain highways, fight wars build infrastructure etcetera." Says, who? Where do you think these highways came from before socialism? Save your proselytizing for some gullible idiot whose pocket you are trying to pick. Progressive liberal policies are UNAFFORDABLE and require massive debt creation and WAR in foreign lands from which to take their resources. This is not capitalism, this is fascism, pure and simple, and socialism is its root.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    to think i wanted to burn a dollar bill in history class to prove a point. i guess i'm a looter and not a worker. either that or i misunderstood the quote.
     -- dan, middleburgh     
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     -- S E Seed      
    Waffler, you've been caught out AGAIN ! The US is moving closer to communism, not China closer to Capitalism. The Chinese Rulers are capitalists who enjoy using communism to control (as Archer says) a slave labor force. ALL Communist rulers are a form of Capitalist that is just as evil as are the Crony Capitalists of the west in bed with Government. Real, genuine, pure capitalism has never existed on a broad scale...anywhere!
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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