RE: Re: More on Wealth

From: bernuetz.oliver_at_...
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 18:01:25 -0400

Alex :

>Oh good grief, the last thing you want to do when defined a perfectly
>common or garden word or phrase is to ask a specialist for a "technical"
>definition. ;-) (Just ask Martin Laurie to define "war" sometime to
>see what I mean...) The OED defines the phrase as "a person's financial
>ability to make purchases" as its first sense (and one more akin to
>the one you quote as the second).

Well the OED is hardly a garden word quality of word source. I had to check five non-business dictionaries before I found any definition of the term and it did agree with the OED as far as the two separate definitions go.

The point is though that the definition of wealth given in HW is broader than just cows :

"The wealth rating represents not only the cash (or goods) on hand, but also the ability to borrow small sums of money, ease of getting credit, reputation for honest dealing, and other nontangible sources of wealth." HW pg 36

>> I'm afraid the definition of wealth from HW is much broader than a banker
>> would appreciate. (Though not an economist). I can just see someone
>> a banker how good their word is when they go for their mortgage renewal.
>> Just picture the banker getting a real good chuckle. (I can however see
>> important it can be in a less contract bound society though).

>Even modern bankers factor some moderately "fuzzy" factors into their
>calculations. Certainly collateral and income affect your credit,
>for example...

Yes but not your reputation outside your credit rating unless you have an unusual banker.

>> We need to equate more than just cows to wealth. How much is keeping my
>> word all the time worth? How much is always repaying my loans worth.
>> if I'm a generous guy does that make it more likely people will lend me
>> money? It might in some societies.

>Perhaps. But relating it to "cows" is a damn good start, since it's
>easier to judge how many cows someone's word, credit, etc, is worth,
>than it is to fudge ungrounded rating in those terms.


>If you want to directly _model_ these intangibles, then you might as
>will bin the wealth mechanic entirely, since its specific purpose
>is to abstract away from them. And I say that in criticism of
>neither approach -- de gustibus, horses for courses, etc.

But they're part of the definition from the rules. It's supposed to account for all these intangibles. It's fine to ignore them if you want but don't equate accounting for them the same as ditching the wealth mechanic. I don't think the wealth mechanic is meant to ignore that kind of stuff it's just meant to avoid bookkeeping. How can you play a crafty merchant whose word is his bond if you can't make money? Frankly at this point my head hurts from thinking about how to account for them IF you wanted to which seems pretty cool to me.


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