For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain. (1 Timothy 6:10)
There is nothing immoral, sinful, or in any way wrong with making money, even A LOT of money. True, “it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God “ (Matthew 19:24), but I don’t think Jesus ever told his disciples to take the easy road. I’m not being disingenuous or twisting His words to suit my own needs and desires. But I will make the unequivocal statement that I don’t believe Jesus would have any problem with a person earning great wealth. It’s all in the attitude toward the wealth and what a person does with it that is the crux of the issue.
In a free market how does one attain wealth? There is really only one path: by offering a product to others in exchange for something of value from them, normally money of some sort. Money can be cash, gold, Bitcoins, stock in a company, or innumerable other assets, but for our purposes in this article we’ll keep it simple and stick to cash.
To get started, let’s make sure we understand the nature of the transaction being described:
- In a free market there is no coercion involved in the transaction. The seller willingly offers a thing for sale; the buyer has the option to buy or not without any coercion of any kind.
- The product is owned by the seller who has all rights to it, including the right to sell, keep, or dispose of it as he desires.
Given these circumstances, both buyer and seller benefit from the transaction, should it occur. For example, A sells to B a widget for $10. To A, the widget is worth less than $10, else he would not be willing to part with it for that price. On the other hand, B values the widget at more than $10, else he would not make the exchange. In this manner, both A and B are better off after the trade–they both possess something of greater value after the trade than they gave up.
Note that the value of the widget is totally subjective; there is no intrinsic, set value to it.
A, if he also values $5 more than the widget, may then offer the widget to C for that price. If C accepts the offer both A and C are better off. B has not suffered because he valued the widget at more than $10 and willingly made the trade. In these transactions A, B, and C are all better off. Both transactions were made completely honestly and in accord with the subjective value of the widgets and dollars given and received.
If A sells widgets to one hundred willing buyers, one hundred people plus A are all better off than they were prior to the trades. If A sells widgets to a million buyers, one million people plus A are all better off; because of the creativity and productivity of A, a million people benefit. If A creates great wealth by making a million people better off, who loses? Absolutely no one.
But now to get back to the original premise, if A develops a love of the money he has made, he is indeed, in this case, worse off. But that is an ancillary question to the general proposition that a person can create something of value to others, exchange it for something else of value in a free market, and all parties to the transactions are better off. To create wealth in a free market signifies nothing more than the fact that a person has created something that many others value greater than the price they paid in the exchange.
It’s been said, “Create a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Not necessarily. Leif Erikson may have arrived on the shores of the future North America before Sr. Columbus, but Columbus was a better marketer. Creating a better mouse trap, or a widget in our example above, isn’t enough; you have to tell the world about it. That’s where marketing comes in. I’ve found a better mouse trap. The internet is full of good ideas but marketing is essential. Michael Cheney has some great marketing tools and has developed a fool-proof program for others to join in the marketing fun. Check it out here.