Wealth is the admirable civilizing result of two admirable agents that are even more civilizing than it is: work and trade.
Part 1 of 4
In this pamphlet, Frédéric Bastiat attempts to show why it is wrong to think that money constitutes wealth.
Today’s quote is a definition of wealth illustrated by several examples, like “bread for the hungry” or “education”, or as he said somewhere else, it is “the abundance of things”. In any case, it is not money itself and thinking it is leads to unfortunate conclusions, one of them being to think that the economy is a zero-sum game, as a few illustrious thinkers of the past may have thought.
I note that money was made of precious metals at the time, which presents the advantage of limiting some government abuse (not all though), but it does not make such a difference that this theme would have become obsolete in the 21st century and our fiduciary money. It is still valid and we still see people all around who continue to believe that wealth is made of money or stocks owned by the rich.