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The Subjective Nature of Wealth

According to the subjective theory of value, all measures of wealth or utility spawn from the extent of the assessor's or competing assessors' personal valuations corroborated by their respective capacities to match their resources with their expected returns across their anticipated time horizons. 

For me, wealth takes many forms: spiritual, existential, personal, interpersonal, tangible, and aesthetic. I generate my wealth by cultivating purchasing power to enable a standard of living which momentarily maximizes the product of my time by granting me the power to consume the foods which I enjoy and which sustain my life but also allow me to pursue my hobbies. My current balance sheets are a modest quantifiable presentation of wealth, but the expenses are channeled to a further time horizon wherein resides an expectation of greater return and therefore an anticipatory sense of wealth. 

Wealth in modern society is a paradigm into which I can only aspire to endeavor. Societies are the sum manifestation of individual proclivities and preferences, only diluted by some social extrapolation. Fiat currency is largely the most ubiquitous and conspicuous measure by which trends and demands can be most precisely, acutely tracked. However, axiomatic assumptions in this style of analysis can no doubt risk the totality of value-based criteria upon which calculated transactions have been based at the individual level. Ultimately, one's recognition of wealth carries little significance in a world of vastly diverse definitions of this term. 


An individual living at the expense of 40 hours per week of labor, $1400 per month, may seemingly satisfy himself to an extent far greater or less than his counterpart who commits an equivalent amount of hours per week to a means of production which grants him multiples of the former's monetary compensation. There is seldom any metric which can with any degree of specificity capture the joy of one's life toils, and for this reason one cannot unequivocally declare one's standard of living superior to that of another. Any such assessment would operate from the inherent bias of perception and specific values engineered by individuals who are incapable of determining the ends of life and the significant values thereof. In the end, wealth in the Sahara might take the form of solitude, water, food, literature, or even the mere pursuit thereof. 

Wealth is constantly the subject of redefinition. The thresholds will forever progress as long as persons at large are exposed to the conveniences of ever-optimized economies of scale. However, any universal definition of wealth fails to capture the full scope of its meaning and undermines the value of the individual. It takes only one instance of human behavior to demonstrate an expression of wealth somewhere. Much of this human action, largely identifiable as erratic, trivial, or idiosyncratic, will go unrecognized, but it is significant nonetheless. 

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