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Wealth

The state of having strong financial resources. There is no strict definition of how much one needs to have in order to be "wealthy," but, in general, it refers to one with significantly more assets than liabilities. However, socially, a person with too much debt may be considered to be wealthy because others are not aware of his/her true financial state. Excess wealth (and wealthy persons) drives economic growth. Some believe this ought to be encouraged, as it eventually makes the remainder of society wealthier. Others, however, believe growth is strongest when the needs of multiple classes, and not just the wealthy, are balanced. A few others believe most wealth ought to be confiscated and redistributed, but this is a minority opinion.

wealth

the total stock of ASSETS owned by the population of a country. Wealth represents past income flows which have been used to buy such assets as houses, land, stocks and shares etc. One commonly used measure of wealth in the UK is that of ‘marketable wealth’, consisting of those assets which are readily saleable. Wealth in the UK, like income, (see DISTRIBUTION OF INCOME), is unevenly distributed (see Fig. 89). See WEALTH TAX.
Wealthclick for a larger image
Fig. 197 Wealth. The distribution of marketable wealth in the UK, 2002. The total includes land and dwellings (net of mortgage debt), stocks and shares, bank and building society deposits and other financial assets but excludes life assurance and pensions. Source: Social Trends, 2004.

wealth

the stock of net ASSETS owned by individuals or households. In aggregate terms, one widely used measure of the nation's total stock of wealth is that of ‘marketable wealth’, that is, physical and financial assets that are in the main relatively liquid. In 2002, marketable wealth in the UK totalled around £3,400 billion (this excludes life assurance and pension entitlements, which account for some one-third of all wealth assets but which are not readily liquid). Marketable wealth is not equally distributed in the UK, as Fig. 197 shows. In 2002, the richest 5% of the population owned 43% of marketable wealth.
References in classic literature ?
"You cannot but grant that the ownership of wealth constitutes essential power in the United States to-day.
There is a greater strength than wealth, and it is greater because it cannot be taken away.
There was not only great wealth but high court interest among the connections of Edward Effingham.
Now to this peace of mind the possession of wealth greatly contributes; and therefore I say, that, setting one thing against another, of the many advantages which wealth has to give, to a man of sense this is in my opinion the greatest.
"We are all unanimous in that wish, I suppose," said Elinor, "in spite of the insufficiency of wealth."
It was dangerous even to look at such a vast amount of wealth. A sea- captain, who had assisted Phips in the enterprise, utterly lost his reason at the sight of it.
320-341) Wealth should not be seized: god-given wealth is much better; for it a man take great wealth violently and perforce, or if he steal it through his tongue, as often happens when gain deceives men's sense and dishonour tramples down honour, the gods soon blot him out and make that man's house low, and wealth attends him only for a little time.
"And what more can man desire than wealth with descent from a county family!
Wealth would bring him, uneducated though he was, happiness enough and to spare.
So long as the quality and the low prices can be maintained, here are two inexhaustible sources of wealth for the canton, which suggested to my mind the idea of establishing three fairs in the year.
I have no doubt that it was largely nervousness that kept the mysterious playwright so long fumbling behind the scenes, for it was obvious that it would be no ordinary sort of play, no every-day domestic drama, that would satisfy this young lady, to whom life had given, by way of prologue, the inestimable blessing of wealth, and the privilege, as a matter of course, of choosing as she would among the grooms (that is, the bride-grooms) of the romantic British aristocracy.
The more the plundering by the French continued, the more both the wealth of Moscow and the strength of its plunderers was destroyed.