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Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets by Lila Rajiva, Will Bonner

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So You Really Want to Be Rich?

The first question to ask yourself is: What do you really want? “More money,” comes the typical answer. It is a reasonable one, but we are suspicious of it. As we will see, people's relationships with money are formed not by what they say they want, but what they actually do want—or what they actually deserve. When fat people are asked if they want to lose weight, they say yes. Rarely is one impolite enough to follow up with the obvious question: Then why haven't you done so already? Contrary to popular opinion, losing weight is easy. It involves no self‐discipline, willpower, planning, or action. What it requires is the opposite—inaction, lethargy, and indifference. In order to eat too much, people must work at it. They must organize meals, take the time to eat them, and find the money to pay for them. Not only must they take a positive interest in their nourishment, they must take an inordinate and exaggerated one. Those who wish to lose weight, though, can relax. They don't have to do a thing.

Watching a fat man with the keen eye of a zoologist observing a species of dumb animal, you would come to the conclusion that losing weight is not his primary concern. He also desires other things—such as Krispy Kreme donuts and Aunt Jemima's pancakes. The two desires, he knows as well as you do, are incompatible. It is his preferences you see in his waist size, not his desire for weight loss.

So is it with matters of money. Assuming you are employed, on ...

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