Wealth: Personal vs. National

If you were stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific with a couple of tons of gold bars, would you be wealthy? Would you feel wealthy? Having a shortwave (solar powered, of course) might make for a more affirmative answer to the question, but the ability to communicate would then be more fundamental to your wealth than the gold. I started doing thought experiments such as this while contemplating the question: “What is Wealth”? Gargantuan trade deficits claimed by economic pundits to be of little or no consequence to Americans, Bush II era fiscal folly, and the abandonment of U.S. manufacturing by multinational corporations led me on this esoteric pursuit in search of an answer. The short answer: The capacity to produce goods and provide services. The longer answer regarding a nation’s wealth includes natural resources, climate, infrastructure, a skilled workforce, et cetera. Or, as Wikipedia so graciously noted: The United Nations definition...(Read Full Post)