More Than Money
Issue #36

Money and Work

Table of Contents

“Make Sense or Make Money?”

Thoughts from Buckminster Fuller

The late R. Buckminster Fuller (1895- 1983) was an inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, and cosmologist. Mr. Fuller was awarded 25 U.S. patents;

"Buckminster Fuller's philosophy was that we should all be doing what we are in a unique position to do and what needs to be done. We shouldn't be doing things just to make money. There are principles in the universe that support us in doing what we are uniquely talented and inspired to do. That's part of the design of the universe. Buckminster Fuller gave up trying to make money in order to make sense."

-Deborah Grace, communications coordinator at the Buckminster Fuller Institute
authored 28 books; and received 47 honorary doctorates in the arts, science, engineering, and the humanities, as well as dozens of major architectural and design awards, including the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects and the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He circled the globe 57 times, reaching millions through his public lectures and interviews.

Henry Ford, Sr., was inspired to mass-produce no-frills, reliable motor vehicles for the lowest possible prices, primarily to help the farmer get to market. That his activity involved large amounts of money was only incidental. It was obvious to Ford that a prudent amount of earnings must be set aside to buy ever-improving equipment. Also, he determined that a safety-factor surplus be set aside against poor economic days. Ford's enterprise was never to make money. At enormous expense, he bought back all the shares in his Ford Motor Company from his original backers, whom he found were primarily interested in making money. Henry, Sr., fought J. P. Morgan for many years as to which it should be, 'make sense or make money,' which are mutually exclusive.

Ford's son and grandson failed to understand old Henry's inspirational philosophy of real-wealth producing and learned to play only the game of moneymaking with the money they inherited.

-Excerpted and adapted from "Everything I Know," by R. Buckminster Fuller, Buckminster Fuller Institute, 1997.
Full text available online at the Buckminster Fuller Institute website. ŠThe Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller.

For further information, visit the Buckminster Fuller Institute website at www.bfi.org .


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