Tuesday, March 13, 2007


An article in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) describes Mark Twain's perspective of money and economics. For example:

"Communism is idiotcy," he reckoned. "They want to divide up the property. Suppose they did it -- it requires brains to keep money as well as make it. . . . The division would have to be re-made every three years or it would do the communist no good."
And on why he writes:
literature was, for Twain, only a secondary goal. Mr. Krass maintains that the author's "primary focus" -- indeed, his "primal drive" (emanating from his father's bankruptcy) -- was to accumulate great wealth.
Of course, being motivated by financial self-interest does not make the work any less great. It just shows the magic of the invisible hand at work.

Update: Here is a free link to the article.