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This quote from Ezra Taft Benson suggests that having a good reputation is more valuable than wealth, especially wealth acquired through frivolous spending using easy credit terms. Some key points in interpreting his perspective:
- Benson implies that a virtuous character and the respect it brings are more important than money or material goods purchased irresponsibly through promotional financing.
- He portrays deferred payment plans that allow consumption without immediate cost as enabling superficial displays of affluence without substance and risking future financial difficulties.
- Benson’s perspective conveys the viewpoint that true worth comes from qualities like integrity, frugality and prudence rather than fleeting appearances of status fueled by unsustainable debt.
- However, reasonable people can disagree on where to draw the line between prudent and imprudent uses of credit depending on individual priorities and circumstances over the lifespan.
Overall, the quote reflects Benson’s belief that a good reputation surpasses superficial wealth attained through unsustainable means like frivolous credit use. But the best interpretation considers this perspective as one of many valid stances, as personal finance involves complex, lifelong discussions around balancing financial security, opportunity and responsibility according to philosophy, culture and changing needs.