Wealth

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Wealth

An abundance of valuable possessions or money. When two people have the same income and spend the same amount. In every case the one that buys income producing assets, will be wealthier than the one who buys things, which are consumed immediately.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ~ Adam Smith 1776

Book II, Chapter III Of the Accumulation of Capital, or of Productive and Unproductive Labour

II.3.38 The revenue of an individual may be spent either in things which are consumed immediately, and in which one day's expense can neither alleviate nor support that of another, or it may be spent in things more durable, which can therefore be accumulated, and in which every day's expense may, as he chooses, either alleviate or support and heighten the effect of that of the following day.

A man of fortune, for example, may either spend his revenue in a profuse and sumptuous table, and in maintaining a great number of menial servants, and a multitude of dogs and horses;

Or contenting himself with a frugal table and few attendants, he may lay out the greater part of it in adorning his house or his country villa, in useful or ornamental buildings, in useful or ornamental furniture, in collecting books, statues, pictures; or in things more frivolous, jewels, baubles, ingenious trinkets of different kinds; or, what is most trifling of all, in amassing a great wardrobe of fine clothes, like the favorite and minister of a great prince who died a few years ago.

Were two men of equal fortune to spend their revenue, the one chiefly in the one way, the other in the other, the magnificence of the person whose expense had been chiefly in durable commodities, would be continually increasing, every day's expense contributing something to support and heighten the effect of that of the following day: that of the other, on the contrary, would be no greater at the end of the period than at the beginning.

The former, too, would, at the end of the period, be the richer (wealthier) man of the two. He would have a stock of goods of some kind or other, which, though it might not be worth all that it cost, would always be worth something. No trace or vestige of the expense of the latter would remain, and the effects of ten or twenty year’s profusion would be as completely annihilated as if they had never existed. [1]

Wealth, 13c, happiness, also prosperity in abundance of possessions or riches, from wele well-being, analogy of health. [2]

Riches, valued possessions, money, property, modified from richesse wealth, opulence. [3]

Weal, well-being, wela wealth, also welfare, well-being, wel- to wish, will. [4]

Will, to wish, desire, want, according to one's wish, wela well-being, riches. [5]

References

  1. http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN8.html
  2. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=wealth
  3. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=riches
  4. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=weal
  5. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=will
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