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Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, Second Edition by Daniel Lapin

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Chapter 1. The First Commandment: Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business

Making money is much harder if, deep down, you suspect it to be a morally reprehensible activity.

If there is one Jewish attribute more directly responsible for Jewish success in business than any other, it is this one: Jewish tradition views a person's quest for profit and wealth to be inherently moral. How could it be otherwise? As I explained in the Introduction, who I am and how I earn my living are inextricably bound together. If your chosen means of contributing to the world, and incidentally providing for your needs and desires, is immoral, then you must stop doing it because it will inevitably taint your entire existence. If your life is bifurcated into the work arena and the social arena with the two never meeting, not even in your own mind, then that is one of the first repair jobs you should undertake. Step one in the process of increasing your income is to begin wrapping yourself around these two related notions: (1) you are in business, and (2) the occupation of business is moral, noble, and worthy.

As you will see, that view of business is not universally shared. Generally speaking, media, entertainment, and public education in the United States all subtly denigrate business. What is more, government is often complicit in this slander of business. Almost without fail, in many countries, when government policies fail to deliver on their promises, politicians denounce the greed of Wall Street. ...

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