This article was first posted on 7th January 2010.
We've looked at the first method by which real wealth is created - agriculture - in Part 1. The second method of wealth creation is mining.
Nearly everything we see when we look around us has ultimately come out of the ground. Apart from wood and its related products, this material has had to be extracted, usually by mining it.
Metals such as copper, iron ore, gold and silver, and fuels such as oil and gas weren't just lying around on the ground. They had to be located and then moved from where they were to ground level, where they could be worked on, transported to where needed, and so on.
Just having the resources there beneath the ground doesn't make a country rich. It's knowing they're there and having the means and ability to mine them that leads to wealth.
Once they are above the ground they can be processed or sold, creating real wealth for the country they're situated in. Except it's not usually the ordinary inhabitants of the country that benefit. Because mining is capital intensive, huge multinational corporations have arisen to enable the investment to be made that covers the cost of equipment and labour. Ownership of these corporations can invariably be traced back to the same shady families who own the world's banking houses.
But the point of this post is that the extraction of natural resources, and this includes water, which is becoming increasingly scarse in its drinkable form, is one of the three ways in which real wealth is created.
Miners have traditionally been looked upon by those who earn their money through non-productive activities as being beneath them. The truth is that, especially in view of the advanced technology that is now required to extract most mineral wealth, including oil and coal, many miners have to know how use this technology, and no longer simply swing a pick-axe.
Their value to society is incomparably more than that of super-rich banksters.