wealth


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wealth

1. a large amount of money and valuable material possessions
2. the state of being rich
3. Economics all goods and services with monetary, exchangeable, or productive value

wealth

the value of the resources possessed by an individual or a society (compare CAPITAL).

An important issue in any society is the distribution of wealth within it. Usually, in all but the simplest of societies, the ownership of wealth is unequal, and the degree to which this is so is an important differentiating feature of types of society. In the modern world advanced industrial societies generally manifest less inequality of income than less developed societies, but inequalities in the distribution of wealth remain great, although these are often difficult to quantify, given the tendency of wealth to go often unreported – e.g. at the time of death -because it is subject to taxation.

The massive inequality in wealth which exists between societies – especially between FIRST and THIRD WORLD societies – is, of course, also a major feature distinguishing between nation states in the modern WORLD SYSTEM, and a major aspect of the potential economic and political instability of this system.

Wealth

See also Luxury, Treasure.
Weaving (See SEWING and WEAVING.)
Abu Dhabi
Persian Gulf sheikdom overflowing with petrodollars. [Mid-East Hist.: NCE, 9]
Big Daddy
wealthy Mississippi landowner of humble origins. [Am. Lit.: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof]
black and gold
symbol of financial prosperity. [Heraldry: Jobes, 222]
buttercup
traditional symbol of wealth. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 167]
Cave of Mammon
abode of god of riches. [Br. Lit.: Faerie Queene]
Corinth
ancient Greek city; one of wealthiest and most powerful. [Gk. Hist. and Myth.: Zimmerman, 69]
Croesus
Lydian king; name became synonymous with riches. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 69]
Dives
rich man who ignored poor man’s plight; sent to Hell. [N.T.: Luke 16:19–31]
Erichthonius
world’s richest man in classical times. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 91]
Fortunatus’ purse
luckless man receives gift of inexhaustible purse. [Ital. Fairy Tale: LLEI, I: 286]
Fuggers
16th-century German financiers. [Ger. Hist.: NCE, 1023–1024]
Hughes, Howard
(1905–1976) eccentric millionaire; lived as recluse. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1284]
Midas
Phrygian king; whatever he touched became gold. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Wheeler, 24]
Plutus
god of wealth: blind (indiscriminate); lame (slow to accumulate); and winged (quick to disappear). [Gk. Lit.: Plutus]
Rockefeller, John D(avison)
(1839–1937) oil magnate; name has become synonymous with “rich.” [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 431]
Solomon
fabulous riches garnered from gifts and tolls. [O.T.: I Kings 10:14–25]
Timon
rich Athenian; ruined by his prodigal generosity to friends. [Br. Lit.: Timon of Athens]
turquoise
seeing turquoise after a new moon brings wealth. [Gem Symbolism: Kunz, 345]
Warbucks, Daddy
adventurous soldier of fortune and richest man in world. [Comics: “Little Orphan Annie” in Horn, 459]
wheat stalk
traditional symbol of wealth. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]
References in classic literature ?
Its share of the wealth of the country consists of clothes and household furniture, with here and there, in very rare cases, an unencumbered home.
"Even your present wealth is not a true measure of your power.
"But after all, wealth in itself is not the real power; it is the means to power, and power is governmental.
Major Effingham, in declining the liberal offers of the British ministry, had subjected himself to the suspicion of having attained his dotage, by all those who throng the avenues to court patronage, even in the remotest corners of that vast empire; but, when he thus voluntarily stripped himself of his great personal wealth, the remainder of the community seemed instinctively to adopt the conclusion also that he had reached a second childhood.
One of the first acts of the young man, on corning into possession of his wealth, was to seek his early friend, with a view to offer any assistance that it was now in his power to bestow.
But either his success, or the frequency of the transgression in others, soon wiped off this slight stain from his character; and, although there were a few who, dissatisfied with their own fortunes, or conscious of their own demerits, would make dark hints concerning the sudden prosperity of the unportioned Quaker, yet his services, and possibly his wealth, soon drove the recollection of these vague conjectures from men’s minds.
376-380) There should be an only son, to feed his father's house, for so wealth will increase in the home; but if you leave a second son you should die old.
381-382) If your heart within you desires wealth, do these things and work with work upon work.
To bring that about, their fellow slaves all over the world must unite in a vast international association of men pledged to share the world's work justly; to share the produce of the work justly; to yield not a farthing--charity apart--to any full-grown and able-bodied idler or malingerer, and to treat as vermin in the commonwealth persons attempting to get more than their share of wealth or give less than their share of work.
You will understand, of course, that the wealth incidentally acquired through my model farms has only been a means and not an end."
"The man who would fain civilize the lowliest spot on earth needs something besides wealth for the task.
They are the good Samaritans that find us robbed of all our dreams by the roadside of life, bleeding and weeping and desolate; and such is their skill and wealth and goodness of heart, that they not only heal up our wounds, but restore to us the lost property of our dreams, on one condition,--that we never travel with them again in the daylight.