The virtue of self-reliance is also greatly strengthened and underpinned by the free market. To trade your labor, ideas, goods and services creates an environment of virtuous commerce and abundance. The promotion of virtue through the free market of exchange is the essence of prosperity and character. As Enlightenment philosopher Charles Montesquieu writes:
True is it that when a democracy is founded on commerce, private people may acquire vast riches without corruption of morals. This is because the spirit of commerce is naturally attended with that of frugality, economy, moderation, labor, prudence, tranquility, order, and rule. So long as this spirit subsists, the riches it produces have no bad effect. The mischief is, when excessive wealth destroys the spirit of commerce, then it is that the inconveniences of inequality begin to be felt.
Montesquieu’s comment parallels much of Biblical reference to wealth. It is not wealth that is, in and of itself, evil, but how the heart of the individuals deals and behaves with their lawfully acquired wealth; in a word, virtue.
 Alexis de Tocqueville, 2007 (originally published in 1835 and 1840), Democracy in America, Volumes 1 and 2, Unabridged, (Stilwell, KS: Digireads.com Publishing), p. 142.
 W. Cleon Skousen, 2006 (originally published in 1981), The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World, (United States of America: National Center for Constitutional Studies), p. 254. Referring Jonathan Elliot, ed., 1901, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol. 3, (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company), pp. 536-537.
 Charles de Montesquieu, 2010 (originally published in 1748), The Spirit of the Laws, “Book V: That the Laws given by the Legislator ought to be in Relation to the Principle of Government,” (Digireads.com Book), p. 60.