Why the IO

Political Essays List

A Theory of Wealth

Schock Visits Elmwood

Mr Schock I had a Question

Age of Dudgeon

Rails to Prosperity

The American Dream

Modern Dilemma

Tarps Over Elmwood

Palace Wednesdays

This Week that Was

Act like an Adult

A. Lincoln Trips


Nauvoo IL an easy drive from Elmwood

Illinois' Native America Past

Fall Color Trip

Spring Mill Indiana

Burnside Bridge

Lincoln Douglas

early 20th Century Bridge



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Mr. Schock -- a Theory of Wealth

The required interconnected-ness will make everyone be more honest about their privacy. We scream about government infringement of privacy, while caring nothing about privacy. Why not a national ID required of all citizens issued by selective service at age eighteen. A photo ID allowing the citizen to vote in any Federal election at any precinct. It should help medical personnel access a national database of medical records. There are many sensible ways it could help navigate modern life, prevent scams and threats to security. Also ID's issued to immigrants identifying them as non-citizens to help monitor workplace rules. Still some would scream about black helicopters, FEMA camps, Obama the socialist, fascist, czar, we all know how it goes. These same conspiracy theorists would give away their privacy for a Walmart coupon on Facebook. Anyone can see their home on Google Earth. In the modern world to pretend privacy, and not participate in government is simply foolish. Once people actually have effect on government, attitudes will change. Our culture will be one where citizens feel ownership, become more involved in making government work.

Google Earth Observatory

Is there privacy in the modern world?

Everyone understands what wealth is, maybe?

Wealth is not understood by any political party, they understand pandering to an individual they believe is wealthy. If you add the value of all you own and subtract all you owe, the result is net worth. Net worth is a standard measure of wealth. Assets can become become worth less as markets crash, so wealth is really a perception. Yet a house worth less is still your home, unless you're evicted. Wealth is your well being. Wealth actually includes intangibles. Wealth includes aspects not usually incorporated in aggregate measures, security is an aspect of wealth. I may have ownership of an asset, but if it is a perishable asset, my wealth may flucuate. If I am in possesion of a great deal of gold, but peasants have just scaled the castle walls, my well being may be at low ebb. What is wealth to you?

Wealth as an economics concept requires thinking and discussions with a view to the long term future. Mathematics require things that can be measured. If econometric models are unable to quantify an aspect of wealth that doesn't make it less real. Wealth does not lend itself to large aggregations of data, and may be beyond what current economic activity data can reflect. Few economists prattling around in our politics consider value. Total economic activity does not capture value. The market may price two objects equally, but purchase of one may help me create future wealth and one simply be consumed. Also anyone taught the lessons of my childhood in making a purchase, know value includes the future. If two small businesses have equal gross sales and equal expenses, therefore of equal profit are the two equally contributing to wealth? If one company makes plastic pink flamingos and the other makes a tool used by creative people to increase their productivity, are the two companies equal in wealth creation to the society as a whole?

An individual may perceive wealth differently than others perceive the individual as wealthy or not. I may contend I am not wealthy. My family certainly does not have the net worth of Gates, Buffet, or Koch (1%). My family is not even close in net worth to some of my neighbors in Forgottonia, but by comparison to the vast majority of Americans, especially the world, we are wealthy.

More importantly I realize as poor as I am, my well being is high. Many of the stresses of life I no longer have, while many couples with parents and children have financial demands outside their own immediate needs, Nancy and I do not. Our parents are OK, and because they lead their modest, children of the depression era lives, will always support themselves. My sons are both college graduates without debt burdens and both working rewarding if underpaid education jobs.

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