Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Wealth of the Yuan Dynasty

The Great Khan and his Mongol Horde managed a fantastic wealth-extraction system that Marco Polo reliably reported:
The Mongol state, on the other hand, is repeatedly engaged in the extraction of wealth at the point of a sword. Polo often notes in passing how the wealth produced by various populations serves to fill the coffers of Kublai Khan, the reigning Mongol emperor who regularly sent the Venetian abroad on government business.[4] One finds, for example, “a country thronged with towns and villages and rich in merchandise, yielding a great revenue to the Great Khan” (195), “a city…of great riches and splendour, where…the revenue accruing to the Great Khan…is so stupendous that, unless it were seen, it could scarcely be credited” (205), and “a city of innumerable ships, carrying quantities of goods and merchandise and consequently a great source of revenue to the Great Khan” (208–9). Polo reports a duty of 3 1/3 percent on spices and other merchandise imported by land, and a 10 percent duty on merchandise imported by sea, the products of agriculture and animal husbandry, and silk (228–29).
But what is not noted is Khan Dynasty, known as the Yuan, lasted less than 100 years (we have restaurants in UA that last longer, it came into being because leading Chinese defected to the Mongols since Chinese politics were so bad, and inevitably the Ming overthrew the Yuan because the Mongols took too much.  In turn the Ming went corrupt over about 350 years and the Manchus took over.

Solomon also gained fantastic riches in his wisdom, and stupidly showed it off to Persian ambassadors, and they came and took it, and wiped out Israel.

When we define wealth as accumulation, disasters ahead.

Feel free to forward this by email to three of your friends.