From a 1906 article purportedly written by “A Member of the Settlement for the Neglected Rich”. It is a kind of spoof, the point being that the billionaire is the ordinary person who participates in the rich resources that are available to the whole community.
“Do not quote me as saying anything against money or the men who have the capacity for getting it. When society is somewhat better constructed, we shall have more money, not less; and perhaps it will be better distributed. But the great advantage of my form of bookkeeping and of estimating values is that a man can be a billionaire on a very small amount of money.”
As I took up my hat to leave I cast a glance at a few shelves of books which the billionaire had in his counting-room. They were most of them devoted to political and social economy.
“I am not tied up,” he remarked, “to any particular school of political or social economy. A man who becomes a doctrinaire in this comparatively unexplored field is soon lost in a maze of crude technicalities, and may become a Philistine before he gets through. But I should be ungrateful not to acknowledge my indebtedness to this volume.”
He took down a little book, with a title neatly lettered in his own hand: “Josephsson’s Galilean Economics.”
“It is based on the gold standard, you see: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Some of its fundamental principles are: To him that hath shall be given. That is a recognition of the capacity of the individual to enrich his own personality. Every treasure which he has secured only makes it easier to secure something still higher and better.
“Other principles are: A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesseth.
“What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
“He that loseth his life shall find it.
“It is a book of parables and precepts. The principle of reciprocity on which its social economy is based is well enunciated by one of the followers of Josephsson: Let every man bear his own burden. That is a recognition of individual duty. And then there is the reciprocal principle:
“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
“A man who follows Josephsson,” said the billionaire, as he took my hand, “has laid up his treasures where moth doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.”
—“An Interview with a Billionaire”, Pennsylvania School Jrnl. (1906) July 10/1