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THE DISAPPEARING ACT OF WEALTH

Far too many believe wealth is permanent. It's not.

The entirety of commercial life, or what most call trade or commerce, ties up with two words — property and profit. Without profit from effort, anyone would lack buying power to buy anything else. Without property, no one can trade.

Though most think of property as things possessed, property always has meant the right of ownership and never the thing owned. Only when property gets created, can trade arise between two persons.

The name for property that can be sold to satisfy debts is asset. The name for property pledged against a debt is collateral.

And the name for property put to purchase and sale for cash and credit is wealth. Wealth is any property created and traded. By the quality of having tradability in a purchase and sale, property is wealth.

Wealth is only that which has tradability. So if Trek makes a new mountain bike, that bike can become wealth at the moment when Trek (or its agents) buy from me cash and sell to me that mountain bike.

Yet, if later I decide I no longer want to bike, that same mountain bike might become wealth again if I am able to gain something else for it in trade. The likelihood is lower that the same bike, now used, has the same buying power it did for Trek (or its agents) when they bought my cash from me. If that bike has bent rims, flat tires, rusted frames, broken sprockets, it might cease to make wealth as no one shall exchange anything for it.

In short, where there is no trade, there is no wealth. That is not to say there aren't more materialized artifacts than in the past, for surely there must be.

Wealth happens only in a moment. Never is wealth permanent. It's a quality that arises from two things. Property in stuff isn't wealth. Yet, property in stuff can become wealth under the exactly necessary circumstance — trade.

The kind of wealth most fret over is cash. All too often, the same ones who fret over cash fail to see credit as wealth.

Chattel, labor and credit — all are wealth. Socrates said so. Aristotle said so. Demosthenes said so. The Romans said so. The Byzantine Romans said so. A long list of revered men have identified one or more of those as wealth.

Any property that can be exchanged is wealth. Wealth includes cash, bank credits, rights of action for future payment, such as promissory notes and so on. Every product under creation that trades in a purchase and sale is wealth.

As anyone has property in cash. Cash traded in a purchase and sale becomes wealth at the moment of trade. Should cash no longer command the power of purchasing, that is, should cash lose its exchangeability, cash would cease to be wealth.

Most think of cash as money, but cash isn't money. Today, no one has money. Money does not exist.

Money means coined metal by weight and fineness. Money is coined metal by weight and fineness. The Romans said so. It's their word.

Money can exist independently of banking. Cash requires banking as cash is denominated bank notes that give evidence of past deposits. Cash is centralized bank notes circulating in perpetuity.

Merely doing the work of money doesn't make something money. Personal checks do the work of money, but no one of sound reasoning would say personal checks are money. ATM cards do the work of money, but no one of sound reasoning would claim ATM cards are money.

It should be quite clear that if money existed, money in exchange would be wealth.  No one of sound reasoning would claim gold necklaces sold by jewelers isn't wealth. Yet, there is no difference between gold in necklaces and gold in rounds of the same fineness.

Anything that has the power of purchasing in purchases and sales is wealth. Merely because an increase in cash in circulation can lead to a weakened wealth, a loss of buying power relative to other wealth doesn't mean cash isn't wealth.

To claim that property in cash nor bank credit traded away in purchases and sales for property in other stuff isn't wealth is to declare to the world that one does not understand trade and commerce at all.