In an Over-Communicated, Intrusive World, Simple is Better

Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” Part 2 – The 7 Cures for a Lean Wallet and The 5 Laws of Money

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

Part 1 of this 2 Part series ends the synopsis of George Clason’s book “The Richest Man in Babylon,” but Clason raises an important question: Why should
so few men be able to acquire so much gold?

The answer is because they know how.

One may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how. Neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability.

And so it was that the good king of Babylon sought out the richest man in Babylon to teach to others in his kingdom the secrets of his success.

This is a synopsis of what the richest man taught to the people
of Babylon:

The Seven Cures for a Lean Wallet

1) Start your wallet to fattening. Save one-tenth of all you earn. Remember that a part
of all I earn is mine to keep. Do this faithfully. Do not let the simplicity of this escape you.

When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings,
I got along just as well.
I was not shorter than before, and, money came to me more easily than before.

2) Control your expenses. How is it that all do not earn the same yet all have lean wallets? Here is the truth: That which each of us calls our “necessary expenses” will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to
the contrary.

Confuse not necessary expenses with desires. We all have more desires than our earnings can gratify. Examine which of the accepted expenses of living can be reduced or eliminated. Let your motto be 100% of appreciated value demanded for every dollar spent.

Budget your expenses so that your actual necessities are met without spending more than nine-tenths of your earnings.

3) Make your money multiply. Protect your growing treasure by putting it to labor and increasing. Money in your wallet earns nothing. Money that we earn from our money is but a start; it is the earnings generating earnings that builds fortunes.

When the richest man in Babylon loaned money to the shield maker to buy bronze, he said this: “Each time I loaned money to the shield maker, I loaned back also the rental he had paid me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased.”

4) Guard your money from loss. Everyone has an idea of how to make quick money; few, however, have the evidence of making money to justify their idea, scheme or offer of quick riches. The first sound principle of investment is security for your principal.

Before you loan your money to any man assure yourself of his ability to repay your loan, and of his reputation to do so. Make no one a present of your hard-earned treasure.

Consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is often freely given for
the asking, and may possess more value than the amount you
are about to invest.

5) Make your home a profitable investment. When you can set aside only nine-tenths of what you earn to live, and can use a part of that nine-tenths to improve the investment in your housing, do it; owning your own home is also an investment that grows with your wealth.

Your family deserves a home they can enjoy and call their own. It builds a sense of stability and well-being.

6) Ensure a future income. Build income-producing assets that do not require you to work forever. We will all grow old and die.

You should prepare a suitable income for the days to come when you are no longer younger and cannot work as hard, and to make preparations for your family should you no longer be with them to comfort and support them. Provide in advance for the needs of your growing age, and the protection of your family.

7) Increase your
ability to earn.
Desire precedes accomplishment, and the desire must be strong and definite. When you have backed your desire for saving $1,000 with the strength and purpose to secure it, you can then save $2,000.

Desires must be simple and definite. Desires defeat their own purpose when they are too many, too confusing, or too difficult to accomplish. Cultivate your own powers to study and become wiser, more skillful, and more productive.

Here is more sage advice from Clason’s masterpiece on financial matters:

The 5 Laws of Money

If you had to choose, would you choose tons of money or wisdom? Most men would take the money, ignore the wisdom, and waste the money. Here is the wisdom:

1) Money comes gladly and in increasing quantities to any man who will put aside not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and the future of his family.

2) Money labors diligently and contently for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying unto itself in infinity if kept working diligently. Money multiplies itself in surprising fashion.

3) Money clings to
the protection of the cautious owner who invests it with the advice of men wise
in its handling.

4) Money slips away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes that he is not familiar with, or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep. The inexperienced handler of money who trusts his own judgment, and puts his money in investments which he is not familiar, always pays with his money for his experience.

5) Money flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings, or who follows the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers, or who
trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

Here is the hard lesson of the 5 Laws of Money: You cannot measure the value of wisdom in bags of money. Without wisdom, those who have it quickly lose money, but with wisdom, money can be secured by those who have it not.

This ends the condensation.

Chocolat – 4 Stars (Excellent)

It is rare when you can say that a movie is so warm and wonderful that it can even overcome a manipulative, vindictive authority figure and a husband guilty of spousal abuse, but “Chocolat” manages to do so with some great acting, writing and directing.

Chocolat is everything that is right about moviemaking—a romantic comedy with some drama and important lessons to be learned about rejection, love, compassion, kindness, friendship, acceptance and helping people at their point of need.

Like many great movies that earn Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Chocolat has a storyteller that weaves a tale fantastic fueled by the current of the north winds.

It is the north winds that bring Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche), a single mother, and her 6-year-old daughter Anouk (Victorie Thivisol) to a small, rural village in France, where Vianne immediately opens a chocolate shop—with Sunday hours—across the street from a Catholic church during Lenten season.

Many of the village’s 350 residents are skeptical of Vianne’s arrival, and especially because she has opened her business when many of them have given up eating candy during Lent as a sacrifice to their maker.

Comte Paul de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), the mayor, is beyond incensed that anyone would do such a thing in his village. The mayor is a manipulative, control freak who demands that the villagers live up to his code of conduct—basically doing what he says, when he says it, on cue. You are expected to conform to the mayor’s rules, or face being ostracized, and being told to leave.

It is clear that the mayor and the town’s new chocolatier will lock horns. What is not clear is how Vianne’s chocolates will affect those who dare to eat them.

One by one she begins to win over the villagers by helping them at their point of need. Vianne befriends Armande Voizin (Judi Dench), her landlord, whose daughter Caroline Clairmont (Carrie-Anne Moss) refuses to let her mother see her grandson Luc Clairmont (Aurelien Parent-Koenig). Armande is a diabetic who will not take proper care of herself, choosing to live out the rest of her life as she pleases.

Vianne also befriends Josephine Muscat (Lena Olin), who finds refuge at Vianne’s rental above the chocolate shop when she leaves her alcoholic, abusive husband Serge Muscat (Peter Stormare). Violence erupts when Serge storms the apartment to recover his wife; he is as smart as a rock and treats his wife like a punching bag.

Vianne also manages to enliven a couple’s married life with a chocolate aphrodisiac, and encourages an elderly man’s secret love of a widow who has been in mourning for more than 40 years.

Things really begin to spin out of control when a band of river gypsies led by Roux (Johnny Depp) camp on the river near the village, and Vianne takes up with the Irish wanderer Roux. A near death incident leads to some serious consequences for the culprit involved, and the instigator as well. See the movie to find out how it all ends. Hint: You will know it ends with the north wind.

Chocolat (French for chocolate) gets some great acting performances from Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Lena Olin and Alfred Molina among others. Johnny Depp plays guitar in the movie in three different scenes, and does two songs on the soundtrack.

The film has a star-studded, international cast. Prior to filming Chocolat, French actress Juliette Binoche had won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “The English Patient”, British actress Judi Dench had won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in “Shakespeare in Love”, and Swedish actress Lena Olin had earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress in “Enemies: A Love Story”.

Chocolat was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, whose wife is Lena Olin. The film is based on the novel by Joanne Harris with the screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs.

Appreciative voters did not ignore the excellence of this film. The Academy Awards nominated Binoche for Best Actress, Dench for Best Supporting Actress, Jacobs for Best Screenplay, Rachel Portman for Best Original Music, and Chocolat for Best Picture. Binoche, Dench, Portman and Chocolat were also nominated for Golden Globe Awards in the same categories. Chocolat also garnered 8 BAFTA nominations.

The box office numbers were good for Chocolat too. The production budget was $25 million and it pulled in $152 million in revenue worldwide. Chocolat also ranked among the Top 5 films ever to generate the most revenue without hitting the No. 1 rank.

In preparation for the film, Binoche went to a chocolate shop in Paris to learn how to make chocolates. One recipient of chocolates in the film had this to say, “And it melts, God forgive me, it melts ever so slowly on your tongue, and tortures you with pleasure.”

No wonder the villages were won over by Vianne’s creations.

However great the chocolates were in Chocolat, the real sweetness in this film is Juliette Binoche; I fell in love with her all over again. See Chocolat, it is not only tasteful, but delightful and delicious. May God bless the cast and crew for bringing us such a marvelous presentation.

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Sid Miller Wants to Know: What are you voting for?


That moment when someone says, “I can’t believe you would vote for Trump”

I simply reply “I’m not voting for Trump.”

I’m voting for the First Amendment and Freedom of Speech.

I’m voting for the Second Amendment and my right to defend my life and my family.

I’m voting for the next Supreme Court Justice(s) to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for the continued growth of my retirement investments and the stock market.

I’m voting for an end to America’s involvement in foreign conflicts.

I’m voting for the Electoral College & the Republic we live in.

I’m voting for the Police to be respected once again and to ensure Law & Order.

I’m voting for the continued appointment of Federal Judges who respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I’m voting for our jobs to remain in America and not be outsourced all over again to China, Mexico and other foreign countries.

I’m voting for secure borders and legal immigration.

I’m voting for the Military & the Veterans who fought for this Country to give the American people their freedoms.

I’m voting for the unborn babies that have a right to live.

I’m voting for continued peace progress in the Middle East.

I’m voting to fight against human/child trafficking.

I’m voting for Freedom of Religion.

I’m voting for the American Flag that is disrespected by the “mob.”

I’m voting for the right to speak my opinion & not be censored.

I’m not just voting for one person, I’m voting for the future of my Country.

I’m voting for my children and my grandchildren to ensure their freedoms and their future.

What are you voting for?

About the Source: Sid Miller is the Commissioner of Agriculture in the Great State of Texas.

(Ed’s Note: The current 2020 Presidential Election has been reduced to a choice between our “constitutional republic” form of government and creeping into a “socialist” form of government in America. We should not allow any political party in America to bring advancing socialism—example: The Green New Deal—under the guise of improving our constitutional republic. Every form of socialism as a government in history has failed to advance the welfare of the citizens therein. Smart people know that socialism does not secure our rights as citizens but rather reduces our personal rights to the point where we have none and ultimately end up as a dictatorship.)

Financial Thoughts
on Investing
by Warren Buffett

(Ed’s Note: The following condensation is from The Tao of Warren Buffett, written by Mary Buffett and David Clark and available for sale at Amazon and bookstores nationwide. I am always impressed by what Warren Buffett has to say and am doing this condensation to help promote their book.)

On Investing: Never be afraid to ask too much when selling offer too little when buying.
(Ed’s Note: How much you get from a sale or how much you have to pay when making a purchase determines whether you make or lose money and how rich you ultimately become.)

(Ed’s Note: For more of Warren Buffett’s advice go to the menu bar above and click on Financial Thoughts.)