Wealth  

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Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
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Pyramid of Capitalist System, anonymous American cartoon (1911)
This page Wealth is part of the politics series.Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.
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This page Wealth is part of the politics series.
Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Wealth from the old English word "weal", which means "well-being" or "welfare". The term was originally an adjective to describe the possession of such qualities.

"Wealth" has come to mean an abundance of items of economic value, or the state of controlling or possessing such items, and encompasses money, real estate and personal property. In many countries wealth is also measured by reference to access to essential services such as health care, or the possession of crops and livestock. An individual who is wealthy, affluent, or rich is someone who has accumulated substantial wealth relative to others in their society or reference group. In economics, wealth refers to the value of assets owned minus the value of liabilities owed at a point in time.

'Wealth' refers to some accumulation of resources, whether abundant or not. 'Richness' refers to an abundance of such resources. A wealthy (or rich) individual, community, or nation thus has more resources than a poor one. Richness can also refer at least basic needs being met with abundance widely shared. The opposite of wealth is destitution. The opposite of richness is poverty.

The term implies a social contract on establishing and maintaining ownership in relation to such items which can be invoked with little or no effort and expense on the part of the owner (see means of protection).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Wealth" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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