Most people would readily identify a heap of gold ingots as wealth. But a moment’s reflection is enough to conclude that what can be considered wealth depends on the context.
Imagine Robinson Crusoe alone on his otherwise uninhabited island coming across a pile of gold nuggets in a stream. What’s more valuable to him: the gold or the fresh water in the stream? Gold is pretty useless to him because he cannot use it for anything. Gold is a heavy, soft metal. A piece of iron would be more valuable for making a knife or a pickax. Gold is of little value to him.
Continue reading “The Wealth of Nations — Part 4: What’s Wealth?”