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.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

After the unexpected, smashing success of Sergio Leone’s direction in “A Fistful of Dollars” with the newly-found presence of Clint Eastwood as the gunfighter who would become The Man With No Name, Leone ‘s direction in “For a Few Dollars More” was even more successful, artistically and financially.

Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars became the first spaghetti western to receive a major international release, and American males were ready for The Man with No Name, a new, no-nonsense hero that took care of business the old-fashioned way.

In the second of Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy, Clint Eastwood’s role as the loner with a purpose became even better defined as a bounty hunter. Even the prelude to the film declares that “Where life had no value, death, sometimes, had its price. That is why the bounty killers appeared.” The Man With No Name hunted down and killed wanted criminals for money.

Eastwood’s character in the film would be joined by another equally ambitious bounty hunter, Colonel Douglas Mortimer (played by Lee Van Cleef). They will clash and then eventually become partners in their chase to catch El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte who played Ramon Rojo in A Fistful of Dollars). El Indio is a ruthless, intelligent gang leader given to laughing when torturing his victims, and then smoking marijuana (cannabis) to relieve this stress afterward.

El Indio is one bad dude. He is being sought by The Man with No Name for the $10,000 bounty on his head. He is being sought by Colonel Mortimer—an apparent Confederate military officer in the Civil War and the best shooter in the Carolinas—for raping his sister after killing her husband in cold blood. His sister takes El Indio’s gun and commit suicide while he is raping her.

El Indio has his gang on target to relieve the impregnable Bank of El Paso of its “special” safe containing $1 million, and does so despite the trap that The Man with No Name, who has become an insider in Indio’s gang, and Colonel Mortimer have set for Indio. You must see and learn about the special safe, it is too good to give away here.

There are many great moments in this film, but two of them are at the beginning and the end of the film. This first occurs when Colonel Mortimer goes after an outlaw with a price on his head. He interrupts the bad guy while he is in the tub with a prostitute. After sliding a “Wanted” sign under the door of the room, the outlaw dashes to the balcony of the hotel and jumps from the first floor to his horse to make a getaway.

Mortimer crashes the door, assesses the situation, coolly walks downstairs and out the front door, hits a release on the side of his horse which appears to be a blanket but really holds several rifles, picks an appropriate weapon, and calmly shoots the outlaw off of his horse. The outlaw is wounded but stands upright, only to receive a second bullet in his forehead. Male moviegoers thrive on this kind of controlled violence.

The second occurs when El Indio has Colonel Mortimer outfoxed and ready to kill him when The Man with No Name makes their standoff a 3-man face-off by allowing Mortimer to have an equal draw against Indio. Mortimer easily kills Indio and retrieves the watch Indio had taken and held, which showcased a picture of his sister. Mortimer had a watch to match the one Indio had stolen.

Lee Van Cleef (Colonel Mortimer) claimed to be faster on the draw than Clint Eastwood, and in fact he was. Film shows that Lee Van Cleef took exactly 3 frames (one eighth of a second) to draw, cock and fire his weapon.

Director Sergio Leone had originally wanted Lee Marvin for the role of Colonel Douglas Mortimer, but I believe that Lee Van Cleef proved to be an excellent choice for the part.

The final scene is spectacular in its presentation. It is a huge circular area and Leone’s brilliant direction captures the moment with extreme close-up views of the participants, building upon the emotions of fear and the satisfaction of vigilante justice in the process.

Leone’s taciturn characters, precise filming, extreme close-ups and the haunting music of Ennio Morricone all add to making For a Few Dollars More a legend, and one of the classic westerns ever made.

For a Few Dollars More gained even more steam in the United States as it was double-billed with A Fistful of Dollars. For a Few Dollars More was released in 1965, one year after the release of A Fistful of Dollars.

Despite becoming what is now recognized as one of the greatest westerns ever filmed, For a Few Dollars More could not collect a single award. It does not really matter, as Leone’ second spaghetti western keeps being replayed while other award-winners now sit in the can on a shelf.

These Are Possibly the 5 Most Accurate Sentences You Will Ever Read

Copyright 2020
by Ed Bagley

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working, another person must work without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

America is getting perilously close to losing its four most important freedoms:

1) A republic form of government based on law and order to ensure a civil and livable society.

2) The right to choose your own path in life, to speak freely and assemble freely without control from a government hell bent on becoming a socialist society that will control our means of production and jobs, seek to limit our source of information in the media and in our educational system and provide us with a substandard, universal healthcare system that will go broke, just like every other government program since the beginning of time.

3) The right to keep arms to protect us from a government that becomes too big and greedy in its control over us, moving into socialism and then morphing into a communist or totalitarian system with a dictator, controlling every aspect of our lost freedoms, taking our property and assets, destroying our family, raping our women and killing us when we object.

4) The right to free and fair elections to determine who will represent us without government officials fixing elections to elect the candidate of their choice, to protect our borders from criminal actors and elements that threaten our safety and security, and career politicians who can be bought and sold by special interest groups, including businesses making money and creating jobs, and minority groups littered with victims who have little interest in working within the existing system to get ahead and prosper and seek government control and government handouts while complaining and whining voraciously while achieving nothing.

America is the freest country with the greatest opportunity on the face of the Earth. Clearly, the underachievers who are unhappy in America are out to change our system rather than themselves. The do not understand this reality: When you blame others you give up your ability to change. Albert Einstein said it best: The difference between ignorance and intelligence is that intelligence has a limit.

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.)