How to Make Money under Capitalism

A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money.

The old guy fingered his very expensive wool vest and said, «Well, son, it was 1932. The depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel.

«I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents.

«The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5:00 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I’d accumulated a fortune of $1.37.»

«And that’s how you built an empire?» the boy asked.

«Heavens, no!» the man replied. «Then my wife’s father died and left us two million dollars.» 2

«My boy decided to go into business on a shoestring,» said George. «He’s tripled his investments, but he’s still not satisfied, can you believe it?»

«Why not?» asked his friend.

«He can’t think of anything to do with three shoestrings.» 3

A businessman was leaving his office building and saw a little boy sitting on the curb with a dog. The boy yelled at the businessman, «Hey, how would you like to buy a dog?»

The man was intrigued by this sales approach and asked the boy, «How much do you want for your dog?»

The boy told him, «Fifty thousand dollars.»

«Fifty thousand dollars!» the man repeated in astonishment. «What special tricks does this dog do that he can earn enough money to be worth fifty thousand dollars?» the man asked the boy.

The boy replied, «Mister, this dog never made a nickel in his life. Matter of fact, count what he eats I guess you could say you lose money on him every year.»

The businessman felt this was a good time to explain economics to the young man and expounded on how an item had to produce more income than it consumed to equal a purchase price. And he ended saying that the boy might get five dollars from someone who just wanted a companion. Feeling he had imparted a very valuable lesson to the young man, the businessman went on his way.

A few weeks later, the businessman came out of his office building and the small boy was again sitting on the curb minus the dog. The man said to him, «I see you took my advise and sold the dog for five dollars.»

The boy said, «No, I got fifty thousand dollars for him.»

The businessman was completely flabbergasted. «How did you ever get fifty thousand dollars for that dog?» he asked.

«It was easy,» said the boy. «I traded him for two twenty five thousand dollar cats.»

Слова и выражения (Vocabulary) :

accumulate собирать, накапливать
astonishment удивление
be worth стоить, равняться в цене
count считать
curb кромка тротуара
depth глубина, нижняя точка
empire империя
entire полный, целый
equal равный, эквивалентный; уравнивать
expound разъяснять, изъяснять
finger палец; трогать, перебирать пальцами
flabbergast поражать, изумлять, смущать
fortune состояние
guy парень
impart делиться (с кем
intrigue интриговать, заинтересовывать
item единица продукции
mister разг. господин
nickel никель, никелевая монета в 5 центов
polish полировать
purchase покупка
reply ответ; отвечать
shoestring шнурок для ботинок
trade торговля; торговать, продавать
triple утраивать
vest жилет
wool шерсть; шерстяной
yell орать, вопить
the Great Depression Великая депрессия
down to the last nickel промотаться до последней монеты
Heavens! Господи!
on a shoestring сленг «на медные деньги», задешево, без особых затрат
sales approach подход к торговле
matter of fact (от as a matter of fact) фактически, по сути

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