Retro Quote – Edward Filene

“Why shouldn’t the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them.”

Edward Filene, Boston department store magnate who helped establish the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 1912

9 Comments

Filed under History

9 responses to “Retro Quote – Edward Filene

    • Yes – if only such ethical behavior existed now among the corporate elite.

      • Wouldn’t it be encouraging if we saw some initiative in this area?

      • Yes, it would. And, here in the U.S., we see some. Billionaire entrepreneur Warren Buffet, for example, has dedicated millions to various human-interest causes and has even championed the working class. Billionaire George Soros has done much of the same, which is why both men are not among the favorites of their fellow affluent citizens.

        Occasionally, I hear of local news stories where some small business, a school, or something like that needs money to recover from some unfortunate incident or to reach a goal, and an anonymous benefactor comes forward unexpectedly. I know a number of these “anonymous benefactors” are wealthy citizens who feel the need to help, but don’t want the publicity. If their names were revealed, then every fool with a past due cell phone or credit card bill would probably be harassing them.

      • So glad to hear about generous and altruistic benefactors. It sounds like it is best for them to remain anonymous. If I ever won a lottery, (not that I ever buy tickets), I would not announce it, as I think it would change the quality of my friendships. There would be so many more expectations from family members, expectations that did not exist before.

      • A few years ago I watched a program on professional athletes and the problems they encounter when they become instant millionaires. One former pro said that, while a great deal of focus is often given to the big money individuals, many people don’t realize that there several “thousand-aires” on the playing field. Another former pro athlete said that filing for bankruptcy turned out to be the best thing for him personally because “that’s when the phone calls stopped.”

      • I had to look up thousand-aires, as that is not a term in use here, at least not one that I have heard. I do understand the gist of it, though. These days a million dollars doesn’t go as far as it did decades ago when it would mean you were financially set for life.

      • P.S. It would be awful to be constantly cold called for handouts or money for charity. After the umpteenth phone call asking for a donation to a worthy cause, I would have to say no, and then what a predicament to be in, as it sounds so uncharitable.

  1. Right. Especially these guys making a killing off government contracts.

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