The modern economy is based on circulation of money. Except for the tiny group whose wealth is inherited, people become prosperous or wealthy only to the extent to which others have the money and will to buy the services or goods that can be offered. Any kind of discrimination, whether full slavery or simply denying full participation in the economy by some group, reduces the pool of people able to buy what you are selling - and hence reduces your potential to earn. Through most of history, wealth was based on land, or more particularly what land could produce. And production from the land but - Holland Henry Ford - you can sell cars if people cannot afford to buy them. Bill Gates put his wallet on that same concept in January 2001 when he announced the donation of $100 million for the education of the poor.

last update 14 December 2000

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