J. Paul Getty: Money Like Manure

Posted by admin on Friday, August 6, 2021

J. Paul Getty Money Quote saying in short that money stinks unless it is dispersed. J. Paul Getty said:
Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells Quote

“Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells” — J. Paul Getty


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In this quote, J. Paul Getty seems to be using manure as a metaphor to convey his views on wealth and philanthropy. Specifically:

  • Getty likens money to manure, in that if it is just accumulated in one large pile/location, it will stagnate and develop an unpleasant odor.
  • However, he notes that if manure (or money) is spread around – in other words, distributed and used productively in various areas – then it serves as a useful fertilizer rather than a nuisance.
  • Getty appears to be suggesting that great fortunes accumulated by individuals should be invested back into society through charitable causes, business investments and job creation, otherwise they risk becoming a “smell” or source of resentment if hoarded excessively.

The best interpretation is that Getty believed the wealthy have a responsibility to put their money to work in ways that create broader benefits, such as donations to causes or funding job-generating enterprises, rather than just amassing it for its own sake. His metaphor communicates a perspective that wealth distribution can avert social “odors” like resentment, while enabling positive impacts through productive deployment and circulation of resources.

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