It's like you --- and Paul --- think the purpose of the economy is to imbue value into little green pieces of paper. You'd be an idiot to trade places with your time-traveling peer from 1913. It's not that Paul's claim is "off"; it's that it's nonsensical.
"Deal!" says the time-traveler after you offer to impoverish yourself for the sake of a religious argument about how wealth is denominated. You can look up the purchasing power disparity between the average 1913er and yourself; the difference is stark before you consider that any American homeless person in 2012 has better medical care than did Woodrow Wilson.
Time travelers tip: avoid Europe for a couple years, and boil your water.
I'll take it. Who says health is the end-all and be-all of human existence?
I'll come back for my claim chowder when the US economy collapses Greek-style, thanks to a fiat currency controlled by a private entity like the Fed, crony corporate welfarism (I'm repeating myself), and the fact that people have now figured out that they can vote themselves goodies. The Republic is over, as the founders warned us when the latter would happen.