The U.S. GDP is approximately 14 trillion dollars. U.S. net worth is approximately 60 trillion dollars. Were production to stop in the U.S., its accumulated wealth would only sustain its rate of consumption for 4 years. The point of this fanciful (and somewhat absurd) thought experiment is that the prosperity of the United States, or of any nation, or of any individual, is primarily related to what that nation or individual produces, and only secondarily related to what that nation or individual owns.

If you want to prosper, the only real way to do it is to enhance your productivity. The primary importance of wealth is that it enhances productivity, either your own, or, when loaned out, that of other people.

(In passing: “working hard” isn’t the same thing as “being productive”.)

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