For hundreds of years, people measured a country’s wealth in terms of its economic output. The generally accepted phrase is (or was) Gross Domestic Product, in reference to the aggregate value of goods and services produced each year.
Although there is technically nothing wrong with this definition of wealth, which has after all served us well through the years, only conservatives wish to hark back to the past. Since we know from the accredited media that conservatives are essentially Trump-supporting, evil lizard-men, why on Earth would anyone want to retain arcane traditions?
As progressives we continuously seek new, better and more Accredited ways of doing things. This takes courage. We are not afraid to jettison concepts that have stood the test of time, in order to experiment with novel and untested ideas which may or may not see their first birthday, or possibly bring about economic depression. To paraphrase Joseph Schumpeter, we are the epitome of creative destruction. To paraphrase both The Who AND Maynard-Keynes, I hope I die before I get old because in the long run we are all dead.
It is therefore in this spirit of mental masturbation that we have decided it is time to redefine the understanding of a country’s wealth. In the first place, any accountant worth xer salt would notice that Gross Domestic Product is purely a narrow measure of economic output; in other words, GDP focuses only on the country’s income statement and not its balance sheet. GDP takes into account only revenues from and the value of economic activity but disregards entirely the assets that provide the country with financial stability.
Our modest proposal therefore is that the definition of wealth needs to reference a country’s asset base. We propose that wealth is henceforth measured using a weighted average of the values of inter alia the following assets:
- The value of the country’s housing stock – As BLM’s article on investing in condos showed, the value of this nation’s housing stock is growing exponentially and is certain to keep rising infinitely. Only an economically illiterate fool would bother renting a home these days; the smart money takes out 20 times income to get the biggest bang they can for their cash. Rising house prices reflects increased confidence in our economy and is therefore a genuine measure of wealth.
- Cultural enrichment – Visit the website of almost any major corporation and read their ‘diversity statement’. Without exception, they are at pains to explain how diversity is “essential to their success” and that they would go totally bankrupt without diversity. It is like a game of corporate Jenga whereby removing a non-binary polytranspecies curious employee from the workforce could mean the total collapse of the company! Indeed, it is a wonder that these same corporations somehow made it through the barren years before Current Year when diversity simply didn’t exist. Anyway, the same principle applies to countries. Just a few years ago, places like Sweden, Germany and the UK were drab, grey, mono-cultural graveyards. Thanks to the influx of refugees and other economic migrants, these countries are all enjoying a sharp upturn in economic growth, property prices as well as a broader range of cuisines. This is true wealth.
- Personal debt – As any accredited economist will tell you, debt is wealth. Literally. The more access to debt that a household has, the more that they can consume important stuff like iPhones, iPads, fast cars etc. It is consumption and the accumulation of debt (aka wealth) which makes a country truly prosperous. Whilst many people wrongly believe France to be a rich country, in fact its people are tremendously poor. This is because credit cards and overdrafts simply do not exist in this barbaric country. Instead, French people do something quaintly referred to as “living within their means”. We trust that President Macron will bring his people finally into Current Century.
There are of course many other ingredients that are baked into the wealth pie. These, however, are the most important. We shall be lobbying the IMF, World Bank, BIS, Fed etc. to ensure that wealth is redefined according to Current Year criteria.