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Date: 2018-09-20 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-SS-WEALTH

STREAMS / STRANDS / STRINGS
WEALTH
Material wealth is hopelessly unsustainable



THE LUXURY SECTOR GO TOP

WHERE DOES WEALTH COME FROM GO TOP
WHERE DOES WEALTH COME FROM
In the main, financial wealth has come from the conversion of human capital (labor and ideas) and natural capital (depletion of resources and degradation of the environment) into physical capital with financial value
For the 200 years or so since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the United States has had a very large amount of natural capital, and few limits on how it could be exploited. Some talk about 'American exceptonalism' but it is more than likely that much of the American accomplishment has been a result of the vast amount of available and accessible natural capital, not to mention the massive flow of immigrants into the land from a wide variety of different places and diverse backgrounds.


THE WORLD'S RICHEST PEOPLE GO TOP

COMPANIES' IMPACT ON WEALTH GO TOP
COMPANIES' IMPACT ON WEALTH
In the 'Golden Age' of the late 1800s, a fabulous amount of economic wealth had been created, with more and more of this wealth getting concentrated in a few hands as a result of larger and large companies with more and more monopolistic power. There was push back to this in the form of anti-trust legislation in the United States which is still in place today as well as various forms of anti-monopoly legislation in other parts of the world.
Since the 1980s there has been an even bigger surge in global economic wealth, also with a great amount of concentration. This wealth generation has come not so much from industrial companies, but from tech companies where the economics are very different. For tech companies, marginal costs are very low compared to the investment in development and initial deployment. Investors and entrepreneur owners have seen fit to price their products and reward themselves in an extraordinary manner, while allowing relatively little of the true benefit arising to flow into the economy at large.
Technology has enabled scale in many different sectors, and in each case the productivity arising from scale has been used to benefit profit but much less to benefit workers. Almost all of the benefit arising from improved productivity has gone to profits and owners and almost none has gone to workers.



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