Wealth without Cost. Volume 1

White Alchemy in Economics

Barry Bracewell-Milnes

Not everything of value is the product of costly inputs; this book is about the creation of value from inputs that are both scarce and costless.
Date Published :
March 2014
Publisher :
University of Buckingham Press
No associated books available.


Economics was originally about Agriculture. Manufacturing was added in the eighteenth century, services in the nineteenth. To these three branches of economics, 'Wealth without Cost' adds the costless creation of wealth, the creation of economic value without the use of costly inputs. The costless inputs that create costless wealth are scarce but cannot be purchased; examples are loyalty, saving in perpetuity, giving, proprietary appropriation, stewardship, altruism, freedom. But they can be identified, nurtured and used to good purpose. Costless wealth creation is a neglected topic; possibly because economics is about scarcity and the assumption that whatever is scarce is costly and whatever is costless is not scarce. Wealth without Cost challenges this assumption and the thesis has important implications for policy makers and the increasing statism of the west. There is economic, political and moral value in people taking their own decisions up against the enormous cost of state control. This important book argues that costless wealth may overtake services in importance, as services have overtaken manufacturing.


This, the first volume of a two-volume work, is a study of the economics of costless goods, which are defined as goods that create value but do not require costly inputs (such as traffic engineering, which increases the efficiency of existing assets with negligible cost). Costless inputs are scarce, create value, cannot be purchased, and, the author argues, must be nurtured by free institutions relying on the voluntary principle and eschewing coercion. The volume, which touches upon a range of issues including Christianity and the internalization of virtue as costless goods, voluntary loyalty as a creator of value, the wealth destruction of taxation, the value of stewardship, the "perverse" contradictions of egalitarianism, and the dangers to wealth creation posed by the European Union, evolves into an argument against "big government" and support for economic "freedom." The second volume brings the discussion more explicitly into relation with religion and art. Previously unavailable in the US.

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