Book Summary: Unlimited Wealth – Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy by Paul Zane Pilzer
The basics of economics are supply, demand and scarcity. Economics best describes how to divide these scarce resources up amongst a growing population. Paul Pilzer takes a very different approach to Economics. He believes in Unlimited Wealth and shows examples of why technology and human ingenuity are the keys that unlock that wealth.
Why is this important to me?
I am not doing this summary to waste your time. It is my vision to provide concise action steps that you can adopt right now to enhance your financial life. Paul Pilzer writes of unlimited wealth creation. His spin is Alchemy is the creation of wealth while Economics is simply the method for moving it around.
I am really intrigued by the concept of unlimited wealth creation. If you look at human progress in free societies, the real difference has been in creation. Commodities and resources are in fact finite but the way we use them is what is unlimited. The ideas are unlimited. An acre of land today produces far more food than an acre a generation ago.
Unlimited Wealth discusses several major topics. For the sake of time, I will review the salient points outlined by Paul.
1. Supply Side Alchemy – The Wealth Equation: W=PT^n – This equation means – W (Wealth) = P (Physical Resources) x T (Technology) to the nth power where n is the effects of the technological advances. The expansion of physical resources depends on the technological advances. Supply side Alchemy consists of three laws. The key to this equation is what Paul calls the third law of Alchemy – The rate at which a society’s technology advances is determined by the relative level of its ability to process information. Let’s look at how society has progressed based on the third law of Alchemy. Humans figured out how to write, then the printing press was created, then the computer was created and purchasable by the average consumer. Now we have the internet, social media, search engines and everything else to share knowledge. The speed of information exchange is exponential hence so is our level of wealth.
2. Demand Side Alchemy – The demand side alchemy consists of the fourth and fifth laws. The fourth law states – By providing us with new products and processes that change the way in which we live, technology determines what constitutes a need, and hence the nature of consumer demand. In a nutshell, demand can be created by creating and innovating new products. Apple is on its way to be the first company to hit a Trillion dollar valuation. All of their products were created first and then the demand came from it.
3. Sixth Law of Alchemy – The immediate economic potential for an individual, an industry or society can be explained by examining the technology gap, the best practices possible with current knowledge, and the practices in actual use. This is important today because China and India are way ahead of the U.S. in terms of science and math. Technology strives on science and math and societies that adapt it faster will create wealth faster. This is where the balance of power can shift over time.
Unlimited Wealth is definitely a controversial study based on regular Economics theory. Since I am in the technology field, I agree with Paul that Unlimited Wealth can be created through technology and innovation. Products are being created right now that no market exists. Some of these products will fall flat while others will explode. Take a look at Facebook. This company came from nowhere and is now valued at over $50 billion.
I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is scarcity is a negative mind set. I say this because if you believe in unlimited wealth creation then ideas will flourish.