One Hundred Dollars of Virtue


| 3/7/2017 11:31:00 AM


Tags: Benjamin Franklin, Christopher James Marshall, Musings, Economy,

 Ben Franklin

 Why is Benjamin Franklin honored on the one hundred dollar bill?   Franklin wasn’t even a president, yet the “Benjamin” is the highest denomination of common money.  Franklin’s adage, “a penny saved is a penny earned,” distinguishes him among those honored with their likeness on our nation’s money. 

A founding father, Franklin led Americans two-hundred-forty years ago; his words on virtues still work today. He turned away from acquiring wealth and considered his productivity to be of service and benefit for fellow citizens.  In fact, he refused to take patents on his inventions, including the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, any of which would have generated great financial wealth.  The most valuable image on paper money is what Franklin stands for—virtue.

However, there is a vast difference between the value of money as currency for goods and services and the face value of wealth, above all, the size of corporate wealth schemes are open-ended—unchecked capitalism purely for money’s sake.  This version of wealth is dangled in our faces everyday by corporations promoting “consumerism” as a bond of greed.

It’s the nature of corporate law, lacking virtue, that creates the competitive game of lobbying for special interests and tax breaks to increase wealth, leaving behind a government that has no revenue to serve the civic good—completely in opposition to the goals of a government “by the people and for the people,” i.e. to serve civic interests and pay for it with taxes.  Today a government has emerged that accommodates corporate greed at the expense of the common good and future generations; this we notice as we awaken from the “American Dream.”

Hear ye, hear ye,  good citizen