On wealth

Wealth is sometimes presented as the accumulation of riches. When we ask, “Whom do we consider a wealthy man?”, one often thinks of a man with a lot of money and property. This implies that riches equal wealth; or, that if one acquires riches he will be wealthy.

But even those who have money do not want just bigger numbers in their bank accounts, but the things money can do for them. They want the freedom that comes from wealth. So perhaps a more correct statement of wealth would be: Wealth is when all of our needs and desires are met. This phrasing implies two factors: The range of our needs and desires, and the means needed to fulfill them.

Since there are these two parts, it is not true that riches equate to wealth, but that wealth is the balance struck between our desires and the means to achieve them. Therefore, wealth could be increased both by increasing our means, or by decreasing the scope of our desires.