Wealth doesn’t grow or shrink, it just moves around and changes shape. Wealth isn’t cultivated, it’s gained and lost. Every dollar I gain comes from someone else’s loss, even if the loss of the dollar is the gain of something else. Sometimes I pay more than the value of the things I get, sometimes I pay less. To gain wealth, I must consistently pay less than the value of the things I get. I must also get more money than I give away. But, while I am doing this, someone else must be doing the opposite or I don’t come out ahead.
I only gain wealth as others loose it. I only rise up as others fall. My success is someone else’s failure, my comfort is someone else’s suffering. However, suffering is a relative term. If I loose $10, I do not starve. If I lose $10k, I am ruined. Take the last dollar out of a homeless man’s pocket, though, and you may have committed murder. So, the real question is, can the losses I cause be borne by the people I take from? And, can I take losses so that others may gain?