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The Econosphere: We Are All Born with a Loaf of Bread

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Craig Thomas explains what the econosphere is -- our social environment where we work, live, raise our families, and govern ourselves -- and how it works.
This chapter is from the book

How the World Prospers

My grandmother, the late Althea Thomas of Kunkle, Pennsylvania, had a saying, "Every baby is born with a loaf of bread." She would say this to comfort someone expecting a new addition to the family who was perhaps worrying about family finances. I suppose the phrase would be the antidote to the less comforting, "One more mouth to feed." I think it's a nice saying; it's soothing and optimistic. Oddly, it has stuck in my head from the first day that I heard it repeated, and I have long wondered why that is. In fact, there is much more to that old adage than just kind, matriarchal reassurance.

It is a wonderful saying because it is absolutely true. And if everyone could just understand that one fact, I think the world would be such a happier, more serene and certainly better managed place for all of us to live. The saying actually goes to the heart of how it is that our economic world can support its billions of inhabitants as well as it does. It can because new inhabitants bring with them the basic raw materials to support themselves and those they care about throughout an entire lifetime—and in some cases, even produce far more than they ultimately need, which brings us to...

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