Understanding the Differences between Personal, National and Cosmopolitan Wealth

1. Personal Wealth:

Personal wealth consists of two categories of goods. They are:

(i) This refers to all material possessions of an individual which conform the four characteristics of wealth discussed above. This includes transferable material goods like land, building, furniture’s, ornaments and also bonds and shares of an individual. On the other hand, the loans made by an individual are treated as negative wealth.

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(ii) The non-material goods like the good-will of a businessman and his professional connections are external to him. Such are marketable through which he can acquire material goods and hence more income. So such non-material goods are also included in personal wealth.

2. National or Social wealth:

National wealth is also known as social wealth. The following elements are taken into account for the calculation of national wealth.

(i) Public property like roads, railways, dams, bridges, parks, canals, museums, ports, monuments etc. constitute national wealth.

(ii) Free gifts of nature like rivers, mountains, forests etc. are included and form a part of national wealth.

(iii) The sum total of all individuals’ wealth minus the internal and external debt and other payment obligations constitute the important part of national wealth.

(iv) Economists have laid emphasis on non-material elements of national wealth. Scientific knowledge, art of production, music literature etc. influence the national wealth of a country.

But Marshall considered these as the property of the whole world instead of national wealth. He treated them cosmopolitan (cosmopolitan wealth means wealth of the whole world) wealth rather than national wealth irrespective of their place of origin.

(v) National wealth includes state run enterprises like Rourkela Steel Plant, Bhillai Steel Plant and rest others which are totally state sponsored.

3. Cosmopolitan Wealth:

Cosmopolitan wealth is the sum total of wealth of all nations of the world minus all international debts and other payment obligations. Ocean has been considered as cosmopolitan wealth. Environment, U.N.O., IBRD, IMF, WTO are also treated as cosmopolitan wealth.

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