--- aliases: [wealth] --- #wealth #business #rationality # [[Epistemic status]] #shower-thought # Wealth <iframe style="border-radius:12px" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/episode/6kNz6T3zHWTfaEyuvtpbVu?utm_source=generator" width="100%" height="352" frameBorder="0" allowfullscreen="" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; fullscreen; picture-in-picture"></iframe> >Wealth is the fundamental thing. Wealth is stuff we want: food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, travel to interesting places, and so on. You can have wealth without having money. If you had a magic machine that could on command make you a car or cook you dinner or do your laundry, or do anything else you wanted, you wouldn’t need money. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had. >~ [[Paul Graham]] - **Wealth** is money that earn while you sleep >You need rich people in your society not so much because in spending their money they create jobs, but because of what they have to do to get rich. I’m not talking about the trickle-down effect here. I’m not saying that **if you let Henry Ford get rich, he’ll hire you as a waiter at his next party. I’m saying that he’ll make you a tractor to replace your horse.** >~ [[Paul Graham]] >To put it another way: if **wealth** is giving you fewer options instead of more (and more varied) options, you’re doing it wrong. ~[[Nassim Taleb]] >A Man may, if he knows not how to save as he gets, keep his Nose all his Life to the Grindstone, and die not worth a Groat at last. ~ [[Benjamin Franklin]] But most people increase their spending proportionally to their income? >Rather go to bed supperless, than in debt. ~ [[Benjamin Franklin]] Live below your means. >If you wish to have leisure for your [[Mind|mind]], either be a poor man, or resemble a poor man. ~ [[Seneca]] You do not need to run the treadmill of money-making if you live as a poor man even though you have decent amount of money. >Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family. ~ [[George Clason]] >But **wealth** had another advantage, too. Not only could it buy wives directly, it could also buy "power." It is noteworthy that it is hard to distinguish between wealth and power before the time of the Renaissance. Until then there was no such thing as an power economic sector independent of the power structure. A man's livelihood and his allegiance were owed to the same social superior. Power is, roughly speaking, the ability to call do your bidding, and that depended strictly on wealth (with a little help from violence). >~ [[Biology/Matt Ridley|Ridley]] ## Do not go into [[Entrepreneurship]] for **wealth** [[Entrepreneurship]] is not the best way to get wealth, or at least you will need a lot of patience. If you can wait a dozen of years, yes. Because wealth is about being able to do nothing for months while still earning [[Money]]. There is many other reasons to go into [[Entrepreneurship]] though. ## [[Philosophy/Epistemology/Knowledge|knowledge]] beget **wealth** >The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner >~ [[Naval Ravikant]] ## Why wealth is seen as "bad" >But since for most of the world’s history the main route to wealth was to steal it, we tend to be suspicious of rich people. >~ [[Paul Graham]] ## Wealth is not a [[Zero Sum Game]] >Babylon became the wealthiest city of the ancient world because its citizens were the richest people of their time. They appreciated the value of money. They practiced sound financial principles in acquiring money, keeping money and making their money earn more money. They provided for themselves what we all desire . incomes for the future. >~ [[George Clason]] Everyone can be rich >What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. Money is not wealth. It’s just something we use to move wealth around. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history. >~ [[Paul Graham]] ## Origin >In that original state of things which precedes both the appropriation of land and the accumulation of stock, the whole produce of labour belongs to the labourer. He has neither landlord nor master to share with him. > ~ [[Adam Smith]] >Money is a side effect of specialization. In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can’t make for yourself. If you want a potato or a pencil or a place to live, you have to get it from someone else. >~ [[Paul Graham]] ### Comparative advantage ![[Comparative Advantage]] ## Wealth used to be evil >Making wealth is not the only way to get rich. For most of human history it has not even been the most common. Until a few centuries ago, the main sources of wealth were mines, slaves and serfs, land, and cattle, and the only ways to acquire these rapidly were by inheritance, marriage, conquest, or confiscation. Naturally wealth had a bad reputation. >~ [[Paul Graham]] ## Scientists and open sourcers are heroes donating wealth to society >Wealth can be created without being sold. Scientists, till recently at least, effectively donated the wealth they created. We are all richer for knowing about penicillin, because we’re less likely to die from infections. Wealth is whatever people want, and not dying is certainly something we want. Hackers often donate their work by writing open source software that anyone can use for free. I am much the richer for the operating system FreeBSD, which I’m running on the computer I’m using now, and so is Yahoo, which runs it on all their servers. >~ [[Paul Graham]]