I have earned my money through my own toil. I put it in the bank and they pay me a small amount of money for the privilege. That is very kind of them yet I wonder where this money comes from. Of course they lend it out to other people to buy a car, or a washing machine, or a house. It is from the sweat of these borrower’s brows that I earn interest, of course after the bank has taken a small fee.
I have done nothing to earn this extra money. I have only been its custodian. If I had stuck it under a mattress it would not have grown and so I am left wondering what I have done to deserve such good fortune.
I console myself with the knowledge that I am helping others to realise their ambition and that they have entered into an arrangement with the bank with a full understanding of the terms.
Some of my money is in shares. I own a little bit of some companies. Every so often they pay me a dividend. That is very kind of them yet I wonder where this money comes from. Of course they use the money to provide liquidity to their company and give me a return from its earnings.
I have done nothing to earn this extra money yet I console myself with the knowledge that I am helping to keep the wheels of industry going and that without finance businesses could not operate.
Some of my money I have speculated. I have bought things that, for no apparent reason, have gone up in price. I wonder where this money comes from. I have paid a lower value for something that someone else is prepared to pay more for and this I struggle to come to console myself with. The only way that I could gain this money is for someone else to lose. As Ayn Rand wrote: A trade by which one gains and another losses is a fraud.
I cannot change the system, can I? This is the essence of capitalism. I am lucky, have money and so I gain money.