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

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.

Imagine Me & You – 1 Star (Terrible)

Imagine a bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day, getting ready to marry the man she has had an intimate relationship with for years, looking at another woman at the ceremony, and starting an awakening that would lead her to question her own feelings, eventually falling in love with the other woman, ultimately destroying her marriage, but living happily ever after with her new lesbian partner.

Now, maybe, you begin to understand why this premise does not work. It is sold in the film as perfectly natural and normal, with everyone making out fine in the end (no pun intended). This film does not work because it is not psychologically sound.

The offering is British made, of course, which accounts for the poor sound effects of the movie, and the annoying lack of proper diction and enunciation by the actors involved. It would be hard for me to believe that Imagine Me & You advances the cause and understanding of lesbian issues.

 In Good Company – 1 Star (Terrible)

An ad salesman gets demoted after a corporate buyout, and his new boss, young enough to be his son, falls for his daughter on the rebound from his divorce. You want to like this movie, but the scriptwriter and director will not let you; this movie ends without an ending, and becomes worthless in the process. In Good Company is beyond disappointing, it is a pathetic waste of time.

It Runs in the Family – 1 Star (Terrible)

A Michael Douglas produced movie with Kirk Douglas, his dad, and Cameron Douglas, his son. If the title of this film is the key to its presentation, then what runs in this family is a lot of incredibly dysfunctional people who are led virtually nowhere. There are not enough adjectives to describe how poor this presentation is so I am not even going to try.

Sum it up in two thoughts: 1) Am I a better person for having seen this film? No. Absolutely not, and I felt like I should have been. It was not even entertaining as a supposed “comedy.” This was so far from comedy it was very bad drama. 2) Michael Douglas had an opportunity to make a substantial film with meaning about what counts in life, and he failed miserably. When one examines the body of Michael Douglas’ work as an actor, I am hard put to find a film of substance; usually the theme is sex, warped values and bordering on revulsion. What should I have expected?

Just Like Heaven – 1 Star (Terrible)

“Just Like Heaven” is cute but not substantive. This movie effort takes off on the concept of Ghost in the reverse; instead of a dead person who can see the living but cannot be seen by the living, here we have a dead person who can also see the living, but the living can also see the dead person.

It just does not work like Ghost. Ghost is 1,000 times better than this effort. Ghost works because it is a drama and courts reality. Just Like Heaven does not work because it is a romantic comedy and has nothing to do with reality (just a minor point).

There are several more reasons why Ghost works, and Just Like Heaven does not (too many to mention in detail here). This effort entertains but lacks substance, and hence believability.

The best part of this movie is Reese Witherspoon (who would go on to win an Oscar for her lead role in the Johnny Cash story, “Walk the Line”). I would not see Just Like Heaven again, even with a monetary incentive.

Laws of Attraction – 1 Star (Terrible)

Light-hearted, fun romantic comedy about two divorce attorneys who fight in court over cases and then end up together in marriage. Both Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore make this an easy film to watch, despite its lack of substance. No depth here, but it is an easy film to watch as there is no nudity, no filthy language, no violence and no sex scenes (in other words, almost a miracle of moviemaking given it is not a Disney production).

Kingdom of Heaven – 1 Star (Terrible)

Unfortunately for the “Kingdom of Heaven”, what started out as an ambitious epic film about a little known time in history, became an almost disaster at its release and was only average at best. There is enough blame to spread around.

First, there is a reason why the immortal “Gone with the Wind”, which involved a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction, took almost 4 hours to see. You apparently cannot make a quality, classic film about the Civil War in less time. Ken Burns’ acclaimed documentary film “The Civil War” consisted of 9 episodes and took 11 hours to view.

Second, there may be a market for a film in the Middle Ages about the Christian Crusades, a series of military expeditions by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th and 13th Centuries. That market, regrettably, is very small compared to an epic about the Civil War, World War I or World War II.

This proved to be a critical mistake in judgment. It was nearly impossible for Scott to tell the Kingdom of Heaven story in 2 hours, and when the movie received really mixed reviews and proved to be a financial disappointment in the United States, the error was clearly noticeable.

Fourth, not only was this film to be an epic story, its production cost was enormous. Most of the filming was in Morocco, and Mohammad VI, King of Morocco, provided 1,500 of his military personnel with accompanying equipment to help in the filming.

In addition, there were apparently 15,000 handmade costumes for the film that also required helmets, boots, gloves, chainmail, belts and scabbards. The flag budget for the film was $250,000. There were 7,500 weapons, 3,000 shields and 20,000 arrows used in the film. In one scene alone, there were 143 extras, 60 military personnel, 125 horses and 60 camels.

A massive replica of Jerusalem was constructed in the Sahara Desert, containing 28,000 square meters of wall that required 6,000 tons of plaster. The front set was 1,200 feet long and the walls were 56 feet tall. Good grief.

Fifth, writer William Monahan’s first draft of the script was 186 pages. Executive producer Lisa Ellzey thought Fox would never approve the script because of its length, so she cut it to only 20 pages before sending it to Fox.

Sixth, Orlando Bloom was not ready to play the leading role as Balian of Ibelin, and his performance did not reflect the kind of command and presence necessary to pull it off.

Seventh, I had great difficulty as a moviegoer following the story as its presentation required much more help in context, or from a narrator, to understand what was happening when and why it was important.

Eighth, the sound in the film was terrible. There were times when it was impossible to understand the dialog and, without this essential element, there is no way the film would be rated good by my standards. Sound is too basic of a need to succeed and, when it goes unnoticed because it is well done, it is not an issue.

Ninth, this whole project was sad from start to finish. What could have become a good film could not overcome the obstacles along the way. Two bright spots in the film were the performances of Liam Neeson as Godfrey de Ibelin and Ghassan Massoud as Saladin, the great Muslim leader.

In his quest to be noble, Liam Neeson was able to deliver this dialog as Godfrey de Ibelin: “Be without fear in the face of our enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.” (Spoken to his son, Balian, when making him a knight.)

History records that Saladin and his Muslim troops did recapture Jerusalem after defeating the King of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin near the Lake of Galilee. When Saladin’s soldiers enter the City of Jerusalem, they were not allowed to kill civilians, rob people, or damage the city.

In many ways, the Muslims come out looking better than the Christians in Kingdom of Heaven, and historically, they were.

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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.)