November 10, 2021

278. Accumulating someone else‘s wealth

If capitalism is driving everyone to make a profit – and we all save a bit of that profit and therefore accumulate more wealth, does that mean everyone can be better off, if we all run profitable businesses? Does that mean Boris Johnson’s idea of levelling up is a good one? Or is there a constraint on how much wealth there is. Today on the Debunking Economics podcast Steve Keen explains to Phil Dobbie the difference between stocks and flows. Profits are flows, whereas accumulated wealth is a stock. He shows how everyone cold theoretically create a profit, but if you increase your wealth you are doing so at the expense of someone else. Once again, it’s easier to explain if you understand double entry bookkeeping.

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