Money and Wealth
John J. Devoe
[Reprinted from The Gargoyle, October, 1956]
Money, the term, brings to mind minted coins and printed bills. Bank
checks are not always thought of as money, altho 90 percent or more of
all purchases are made with checks. The chief purpose of money is to
facilitate the exchange of goods and services and because so much of
this is done with checkbook money, "purchasing media" is
often used as an inclusive term.
Wealth is a tangible, something having exchange value. It usually
does, but need not have use or intrinsic value. A rare cancelled,
postage stamp may have a high exchange value and no other value
whatever. Material things that satisfy desires; these, without number,
The figures on national income are derived from the sum total of
production, sales and services. In actuality the national income is
limited to the total wealth produced. Services satisfy desires but
produce no material thing. A loaf of bread can be bitten into. Not so
with a hair cut.
To separate wealth from money, imagine all coins, bills and checkbook
money to have disappeared over night. Wealth, the million and one
tangible things, would still remain, intact, and as good as ever tho
difficult to come by until another means of effecting exchanges had
; We hear of a recluse whose death reveals that he had thousands of
dollars cached away. In life, he lived in poverty. He lacked, almost
to completeness, the material things we associate with wealth. The
antidote for poverty is wealth; not money. If this were not so our
ever so paternalistic government could end poverty in one fell swoop
by printing and issuing scads of folding money. The banks could create
unlimited demand deposits merely by writing figures in a book. This in
both instances, with some restrictions has been and is now being done
and we never had it so good.
-. We could have it even better; so good in fact that it would take
-- a million tokens, of such purchasing media, to buy a loaf of bread.