These are no-nonsense words for all of us to reflect on. The unavoidable certainty of death is not only true, but its exact time of arrival is also unknown, making this unique event of life all the more perplexing. Yet regardless of what the future may bring in the interim, we cannot withdraw from the necessities of the moment.
If you want to do business in Venezuela, you will have to let the government do your bookkeeping to make sure you aren’t making too much. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s decree, called the “Organic Law of Fair Prices,” sets a maximum “fair” profit at 30 percent of costs. Besides the practical problems of implementing such a measure, the ceiling rests on a basic misconception: the idea that there is such a thing as “fair” or “excessive” profits misunderstands the function of profit — and loss — in a market economy.