Is wealth more perception than reality?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

When Richard Branson was begging governments to bail out his various airlines, he pointed out that although he is, on paper, a billionaire, he doesn’t actually have a lot of accessible cash. His “wealth” is based on valuations of the worth of his various businesses at a given moment in time.

What is wealth anyway? We collectively treat Richard Branson as being wealthy. He has all the manifestations of being wealthy. But he isn’t. Not at the moment.

This is akin to someone driving around in a flash car that is a rental. We buy into the perception of their wealth. We treat them as if the perception is reality.

This is how grifters work. The perception they create is the perception the world buys into. This is also how politicians and marketing works.

I think too much of our world runs on perceptions and illusions. And not enough on actual reality. This is a problem when we make decisions that can affect our wellbeing and lives.

In a way, money is not real. Much of the economy is not real - when millions of dollars can be created and lost at the whims of the stock market. The stock market is a market that sells nothing but promises and likelihoods. It buoys and sinks on gossip and hearsay. Leaders get away with grave incompetence and negligence because they are good at running and effective smokescreen. We argue not on facts but on opinions, based on perceptions.

The pandemic has shown us that reality is frighteningly real. No amount of spin and perception management can change that.