In Charles Dickens's novel about capitalism run amok, a teacher asks: “Now, this schoolroom is a Nation. And in this nation, there are fifty millions of money. Isn't this a prosperous nation? Girl number twenty, isn't this a prosperous nation, and an't you in a thriving state?” “Girl number twenty” (the teacher doesn't dignify the pupils with names) later confides to a friend how she got it all wrong: “I said I didn't know. I thought I couldn't know whether it was a prosperous nation or not, and whether I was in a thriving state or not, unless I knew who had got the money, and whether any of it was mine. But that had nothing to do with it. It was not in the figures at all” (Hard Times  1997, 64).