We had four million people here in 1790. We’re not more intelligent than people in China, which then had 290 million people, or Europe, which had 50 million. We didn’t work harder, we didn’t have a better climate, and we didn’t have better resources. But we definitely had a system that unleashes potential. This system works. Since then, we’ve been through at least 15 recessions, a civil war, a Great Depression. … All of these things happen. But this country has optimized human potential, and it’s not over yet. It’s like what’s written on the tomb of Sir Christopher Wren: If you seek his monument, look around you.
~Warren Buffett, investor, as quoted in the New York Times' DealBook, January 5th, 2011