"But before this war, all of this gold was out here, in the sunlight, In the world. Yet look what happened." Goto Dengo shudders. "Wealth that is stored up in gold is dead. It rots and stinks. True wealth is made every day by men getting up out of bed and going to work. By schoolchildren doing their lessons, improving their minds. Tell those men that if they want wealth, they should come to Nippon with me after the war. We will start businesses and build buildings."
"Spoken like a true Nipponese," Enoch says bitterly. "You never change."
"Please make me understand what you are saying."
"What of the man who cannot get out of bed and work because he has no legs? What of the widow who has no husband to work, no children to support her? What of children who cannot improve their minds because they lack books and schoolhouses?"
"You can shower gold on them," Goto Dengo says. "Soon enough, it will all be gone."
"Yes. But some of it will be gone into books and bandages."
— Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (page 1070 in ISBN 978-0-06-051280-4)