Which statement is true: Wealth is booming worldwide today or wealth is corroding?
Gauging by popular indicators, wealth is surging. Stock market indices have been rising, hitting new all-time highs in some countries. And, spectacularly, real estate values have been soaring to previously unimaginable levels around the world from Sweden to Canada to Australia. Surely, wealth must be booming.
Indeed, some people are becoming very rich; the already-wealthy are becoming incredibly wealthy. The share of wealth of the “one percent” (the wealthiest 1% of people) is definitely rising. But, seen from the vantage point of historical wealth theory as well as Biblical values, we take a completely opposite perspective. We conclude that worldwide wealth is corroding.
People like rising wealth. In fact, they like the “appearance” that wealth is rising. No distinction is made between these two developments. More is better, whether false or real. As such, in our modern financial world, few understand the true essence of wealth.
At its core, wealth is nothing more than the totality of the physical creation and the collective productive capacity of mankind’s labor — both present and future. We can define these types of wealth as either created or of human origin. Both forms of wealth are finite at any given point in time.
There are three important truths about human wealth. First, it is inextricably tied to human labor. Ultimately the value of all wealth rests on the foundation of income — someone’s labors somewhere on earth. Second, wealth can only be accumulated when we consume less than our labor produces. Third, if we exchange our savings for a promise of payment in the future, the underlying support for that liability ultimately depends on the labors of another human sometime in the future.
The inviolable fact of God’s creation is this: There can be no human wealth without human labor, whether present, past or future — either accumulated as savings in the past or an exchange for the promise of savings in the future.
With that conclusion, we can emphatically state that human wealth in the world is corroding today. Why? Because the pool of human labor is on the verge of declining. There are a number of causes but we will focus on just two.
Anti-Familialism. Increasingly, people are choosing not to have children and not to form families. It is becoming prevalent not to marry today. The result (due to this and other reasons)? Fewer children. This has now become a worldwide trend, from the Third World to Europe.
The result? The world’s population is aging. The most significant impact of this development is that future retirees will be relying on the support and economic output of a following generation that will be much smaller. The impact of this aging phenomenon cannot be escaped. The retiree to worker ratio, as a result, is expanding rapidly. Unavoidably, what that means is that the foundation of world wealth is on the path to corrosion. Policymakers also realize this. Their response? Pump up (inflate) the value of assets (house, stocks and bonds) in price, so to make it look like wealth is increasing. It is an attempt to cover up the problem … to kick the can down the road for someone else to worry about.
Shocking Decline in Creation of Life
The second “labor” (wealth) corroding development we mention is a shocking one. Men’s sperm counts are collapsing … around the world!
Researchers led by Dr. Hagai Levine of Hebrew University of Jerusalem examined thousands of studies and conducted reviews of 185 other studies. These included 42,935 male participants who provided semen samples between 1973 and 2011. The chosen studies were well distributed over the nearly 40 years of the study period and among 50 different countries.
What did the researchers determine? They discovered that men’s sperm counts in the Western world have fallen by 59% over the past 40 years. Ponder on this incredible statistic. If the count decline were to continue at the same pace in the future, men’s sperm counts would be at zero in only 4 decades! It is not just a Western problem. There are indications that declines in sperm counts are occurring globally. (Please see graph on pg. 5).
The impact of this development is shattering in many ways. The rate of child conception will be lower, if it is not already. And, should counts continue to deteriorate, world populations would begin to decline and age at a much more rapid rate. As we have pointed out: World wealth is tied to labor. Declining population growth will therefore further undermine the foundations of world wealth.
Financial wealth is booming during our generation. How can this be when real wealth is creeping along at a fraction of that rate? Here again we see that the main driver behind this apparently huge rise in wealth has been nothing more than a boom in the perception of value.
If apparent wealth (perceived financial wealth and otherwise) is rising much faster than underlying income growth and savings, then something potentially very dangerous is occurring. It gives rise to a deceitful environment, one in which claims on true wealth — the ownership of human labor; past, present and future — are being misrepresented. It allows the world to fall for an enormous bondage to fictitious financial wealth even as true wealth is being hoarded by a select few as never before. (Please note that a full-length perspective on these wealth phenomena will be published in the December edition of Midnight Call Magazine.)
About the Author: Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further into the future.