Subject Areas


Debt and Taxes

You have wealth: potect it or lose it

What Is Wealth?

We Americans know the wealthy when we see them: They are the financial giants, the technology wizards, the sports and movie stars, and a smaller number who just inherit wealth. However, we seem to be less clear about the largest group of the “wealthy”: and it is us. OK, now don’t stop reading ‘cause I will explain what wealth really is. Wealth is everything you possess that allows you to live beyond the bare essentials of existence. I know that this definition is hard to accept, but it provides the only guide to understanding what is happening in our country today. If you are reading this article, you are at least some extent wealthy.

Wealth does not occur, it is created. Before wealth can be shared, someone must put forth the effort to produce it. In most of the world, individuals can’t personally grow or manufacture everything they need, so we use money to swap for our needs. The industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution and the technical revolution have all increased the total amount of wealth in the world, and that wealth has generally been spread among most countries, making individuals and families wealthier. Partially through our own efforts, and partially due to historical reasons, the United States has become especially wealthy.

But times change, and our national wealth is seriously threatened. The wealth of nations has never been spread evenly across populations: attempts to force economic equality have all failed. Now President Obama—and his advisors—advocate, and are implementing, a drastic reformation of society. The prime element of this reformation is redistribution of the nation’s wealth. Before we can fully grasp what these changes mean to citizens, we need to understand just whose wealth will be redistributed.

We may envy the very wealthy, but they are actually very valuable to our society because their wealth helps to create jobs that make possible the livelihood and “wealth accumulation” of ordinary citizens. In addition, many of the very wealthy got that way by creating things that benefit the society and added to the wealth of the nation.

But the very wealthy do have a lot of money, why not just take it to redistribute? First, after all the personal and business fortunes being confiscated, who would rush out to create new wealth, building tools or ideas? Second, even if their large fortunes were lumped together, they would be insignificant compared to vast amount of money the government spends every day. We are left with the truth that anyone who is “more wealthy” than others will be forced to give up some of what is ours so that others can have more wealth.

Those truly unable to contribute to creation of wealth need to be cared for as part of a common decency that cements our society together. In addition, all Americans are entitled to share equally in the essential protections provided by the government. These protections include: personal safety, protection from invasion, and assistance in natural and man-made disasters. But forcing families who create wealth by their own efforts to give up their earning s for those who do not work to create wealth is a crime.

In short, you have not helped to create the wealth, you have no claim for a share of it. Genuine sharing is where all who can produce wealth, do produce wealth. Sharing is not a one-way activity, it means that everyone gives as well as receives. Sharing is voluntary. Sharing is for all to help carry the load, it is a contribution to the common good and implies that all are working toward a common goal.

We all ceate wealth, or we all lower our living standards