There are countries, for example, whose rulers are firmly convinced that the prosperity of nations is measured, not by the number of wants that are satisfied, but by the amount of effort that is expended, no matter what the results. The division of labor encourages this illusion. Since it is observed that every profession is directed against some obstacle, it is imagined that the obstacle is the source of wealth.
DBx: Economically ignorant people such as Trump think that we Americans as a whole are economically worse off today than we were in the past when there were more high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector. People such as Trump see the decline in the number of a particular kind of high-paying job and conclude, solely from the fact of this decline, that some economic misfortune has occurred. But why do people such as Trump look back a mere half-century? Why not look back several centuries? Many centuries ago, the pay earned by those who supplied spices was princely because the prices of the likes pepper, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger were very high. Therefore, if Trump and his trade triumvirate truly wish to make America great again, why stop with trying to bring back jobs in the manufacturing sector? Go long! Pursue any and all policies that will also bring back those long-ago-lost high-paying jobs in the spice trade! Think how rich and splendorous we Americans will be with highly paid spice traders in our ranks!