In the realm of economics the only distinction that matters is between that which is used and that which is not used. What is used is wealth. What is not used is negative wealth, what John Ruskin called illth.
If we find ourselves in a world in crisis it is because the unused portion of the stuff of the world far outweighs what is actually used.
Today negative wealth far outweighs wealth itself and creates an ever increasing burden on life.
None of the traditional distinctions between necessities and luxuries, capital and consumption goods, small and big matter. All that matters is that everything we have we must use.
Gandhiji said, "If you use it you should keep it." And it follows from that that if you don't use it you should give it away. All the negative wealth of the world can turn into wealth simply by people keeping what they use and giving everything else away.
When that happens we will have true freedom. This is what good economics is all about.
Posted by Abhay Burjor Ghiara at 3/31/2015