Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Wealth of People

While the Americans were plotting a revolution with England in 1776, a Brit, Adam Smith was publishing his book The Wealth of Nations. That book is a first of sorts and the basis of all economics since. It dealt with forces of free enterprise, supply, demand and production.

Little has changed in economics since then except that the forces of a market can be manipulated by the juggernaut of computers and their undue influence on markets by a handful of market hedge fund speculators. Only numbers matter and not people.

The point of this is to point out that fact and to remark that Mr. Smith did not seem to value humanity in his equations because the book should have been called The Wealth of People – taking into account the true value of human life within nations.

People are not commodities. But …

People produce wealth. People have talent. People have experience. People work creating wealth. That is, when they are allowed to work. The formula these days is for big banks to make big loans to big companies and for big paper profits reported on big electronic spreadsheets. And the big media reports the big economic news. Smoke and mirrors.

More than the value of wealth produced by labor is the wealth of the individual soul that will live passed this grubby economic state of affairs called life.

There seems to be a great dividing line in the media these days between perceived PowerPoint reality and the everyday reality of us the people – and our economic and spiritual well being.

Valuing people is Christian. Not valuing people is anti-people, anti-Christian or at least as some post modern definitions of Christianity go.