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Rich Living
written by "Cathal, Michael"
...his opinion of Walter Pellinger. "To return to my point," Pellinger continued, "that man won a sweepstake. He's here not because he's intelligent, but because he's lucky, the something-for-nothing principle. A fat lot of use that is to the Universe. Why, his descendants will be as stupid as himself and there's no room for the manual laborer in this Age. It's an intolerable waste." "If I thought you believed any of that," said Delman, "I should be the first to respect your feelings. But we've been 'cooped up' together, to use your expression, for seven months and I know you better than your shareholders do. Oh, yes, you can put it across at a Board Meeting, this lofty idea of self-sacrifice and the sum of human good; but it isn't true and you know it. You're here for the same reason I'm here—because you're afraid to die. And that goes for all of us." He looked at each of them in turn, as if daring them to contradict him. "Yes, we've got ability, all right, and self-confidence. But what do we do with these fancied qualities? We use them to make money with which to buy back our youth." Delman got to his feet and hobbled over toward the vidar screen. He stood with his back to the screen, looking down on them. "And what do we do with our youth?" he asked. "We use that to make money for our old age. We have no choice. Not only is the price of rejuvenation extortionate in itself, but also, by a whim of the legislature, we are declared dead and the burden of 'death duty' falls on our estates. When we return, we return poor. And so the cycle continues—the endless quest for money, the means of perpetual preservation. "We are careers, not men and women!" the lawyer went on vehemently. "We don't enjoy life. We have neither the time nor the courage to enjoy it. Our children are few and we ignore them, for should they inherit this terrible urge, they would be our competitors. No, Mr. Pellinger, there is only one real man a...

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