Sunday, May 24, 2009

Real Wealth

While reading the comments to today's Automatic Earth post, I ran across this gem, written by D. Benton Smith. It reminds me of what I've been doing for the past 39 years with my homesteading and beekeeping. It's rare to encounter a comment so lucid anywhere on the Internet:

There are only a few kinds of REAL wealth storage, and Money is none of them.

Money is merely a generally shared and broadly agreed upon PROMISE of real wealth, to be paid on demand at some point in the future. It symbolically represents real wealth, but in the absence of that non-symbolic reality is just a bunch of silly documents, coins or wampum.

Real Wealth can be tangible desirable goods (which can be stored and traded later), or intangible skills and knowledge that others will give us things for when need for that knowledge or skill arises.

One way to store wealth is to learn a trade, develop a skill, build a knowledge base, or (through good works and honest dealing) become popularly indispensable to a wide circle of friends. Brainy people frequently favor this approach.

Obviously one can stockpile goods, store seeds, warehouse steel, or drill an oil well. These very tangible things are all ways to literally store wealth... but the 'sweat factor' of creating this 'stuff' in the first place makes the approach more appealing to brawny people who don't mind a little physical labor.

The middle way is to combine the two (tangible and intangible) into some sort of working infrastructure (for example a transportation system or well equipped farm).

The trouble always seems to arise from those of us who are gifted neither with genius nor brawn... but fall somewhere in between.

It's hard for us to acquire and store anything in the first place, especially against superior competition, and so we yearn for ways to cheat.

Now THAT is something we have raised to high art, and low down dirty ways... such as we are now witnessing in the financial world.

Stop yearning for easy. Start storing real wealth and dump that symbolic crap while its still worth anything at all. Something for nothing has always been the province of criminals. Stop working for those bastards (on their hollow promise of getting something for nothing or more for less) and you will be well on your way to the finest form of wealth storage possible:


May 24, 2009 1:57 PM


Anonymous j said...

I like that. I like it a lot. Makes sense to me.


7:52 PM  
Anonymous Jacques Conejo said...

But then, really, wisdom is not in high demand in our culture today.

We seem to have some appreciation for "know how", but wisdom seems to be more of a "know why".

Perhaps as things progress, wisdom will be of greater value. Today it seems like trying to share wisdom is like trying to share a mouthful of red-hot thumbtacks with a germaphobic stranger on a bus.


8:03 PM  

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