Making Money At The Expense of Others – Life Lessons From Ducktales

ScroogeAdviceMr. Daps started doing some life lessons posts, and the first from Ducktales.  The first – Smarter Not Harder – is one that I’ve taken from Ducktales and think of at least every week if not every day.  Going back through some episodes of Ducktales I’ve realized how much the series influenced my life, and in positive ways.  It was always entertainment, but there were some valuable lessons to be had from Scrooge McDuck.

Duck To The Future

One of my favorite episodes is called “Duck To The Future.”  In it, Magica DeSpell tricks Scrooge into going to the future in order to steal his lucky dime.  Before this happens, Scrooge tries to give advice to the nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, about making profit.  When Scrooge gets to the future he finds out that they have taken his advice too far and exploit everyone in order to get a lot of money.

Without spoiling too much of the episode, Scrooge makes it back to the present and finds his nephews again.  They have their lemonade stand set up, but people are complaining about the product.  On top of that, Doofus – their friend – must pay the nephews for the privilege of working for them.  Scrooge is aghast at all that happens.  He points out to them that they didn’t really follow his advice, and teach them one more lesson….

Making Money At The Expense Of Others Is Never A Bargain

Though Scrooge wants the nephews to make a profit, he tells them that making money at the expense of others is not a bargain after all.  In other words, don’t make a terrible product, and don’t exploit people.  It seems like a no brainer, but I think what is implied is that it’s still ok to have profit.  Scrooge makes money, and thinks it’s ok for others to be making it as well.  But, if it burdens people, either by bad product or stealing money in a way, then it’s not really profit after all.

What has stuck with me is that it’s fine to do business, but do it fairly.  Sometimes we may think it’s not ok to make money at all.  But, that’s not what Scrooge is saying at all.  He thinks it’s bad to be a terrible boss or an exploiter.  That’s what is bad.  Thanks to Scrooge I can take with me that I can earn money, but not at the expense of others.  Thanks, Ducktales!