“Advantages of Being in Debt”

Samuel Foote outlined several advantages of not paying our debts. However, for this to work, he said that one should be a man of fortune:

It is the art of living without money. It saves the trouble and expense of keeping accounts; and makes other people work, in order to give ourselves repose. It prevents the cares and embarrassments of riches. It checks avarice, and encourages generosity; as people are commonly more liberal of others’ goods than of their own: while it possesses that genuine spark of primitive Christianity, which would live in a constant communion of all property. In short, it draws the inquiries and attention of the world on us while we live, and makes us sincerely regretted when we die.

“Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound,” Samuel Johnson once remarked. “Great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but of little danger.”

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