If your idea of wealth is a stack of the fiat debt instruments known as Federal Reserve Notes, you may want to reconsider that notion. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:
So by all means, focus on the inexorable rise of stocks, cryptos and housing as “proof” of America’s soaring “wealth” while the social order unravels beneath our feet.
It is a supremely tragic irony that while the corporate media ceaselessly touts America’s soaring financial “wealth,” the nation’s true wealth–its social order–is fast unraveling. While we’re encouraged to cheer billionaires blowing a tiny sliver of their wealth on space tourism and $500 million yachts as evidence of “prosperity,” our media and leadership (ahem) professes to being mystified by The Great Resignation, known here on Of Two Minds as The ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Recession, and other unmistakable signs of unraveling.
(This era’s anthem should be Johnny Paycheck’s timeless classic, Take This Job And Shove It 2:31).
In my analysis, the social order is comprised of all the intangible social elements which serve to bind a nation’s people beyond their legal rights. The social order includes (but is not limited to) social (upward) mobility–the ladder to advancing one’s agency (control of one’s life) and opportunities for improved security and well-being.
The social order also includes civic virtue, the willingness to share the sacrifices of one’s fellow citizens for the common good in proportion to one’s wealth and power, and equal treatment before the law, not just as an abstraction but in the real world of the judicial system.
The social order also includes the moral legitimacy of the governance system: does the state (government) serve the citizenry, or is it the other way around?
Lastly, the social order manifests social cohesion, which is the capacity for shared values and purpose and common ground, all of which generate a concern for the well-being of other citizens and a willingness to focus on shared interests.
America has lost all of these elements, as self-interest is the only value, purpose and goal that guides behavior, starting at the top: how do politicians acquire fortunes in excess of $100 million (cough, Pelosi, cough)? Through public service? (Don’t bust a gut laughing…) How do billionaires gain additional wealth so effortlessly (cough, Federal Reserve, cough)?