Credits for Everybody
By Alfred Lawson
Wealth Is Created by Everybody
Wealth is anything and everything made valuable by human effort.
The total wealth of the United States (1931) is generally estimated at about $400,000,000,000. Which means that there is eighty times more wealth in this country than there is money in circulation.
This wealth principally consists of inventions; factories; machinery; manufactured products; crops; live stock; mines; quarries; raw materials; railroad, steamship, bus, truck, airplane and other means of transportation and distribution; good highways; bridges; telephones; telegraphs; radios; entertainment outfits; literature; paintings; city and country real estate including farms and all kinds of public and private buildings.
All of which was made valuable by everybody.
There is no part of wealth that any one person has made completely. Every one has helped everybody to give value to everything.
The inventor, who leads the way to greater industrial developments with labor-saving devices, originates his inventions from experience gained from everybody. He merely adds to what has already been done.
Even after the inventor's plans are complete, he is still dependent upon everybody for the value that will come to them.
The materials that are used to make an invention workable must first be furnished by everybody. Then everybody's labor must be added to the materials to give it form, and finally everybody must use it to give it value.
So before a great invention can be made useful, millions of different individuals, either directly or indirectly, now or during the past, have helped to create it. Then more millions help to give it value through distribution, operation and utilization. It does not become wealth until it is useful.
The head of a great manufacturing plant would be useless were it not for everybody.
In the first place there would have been no plant at all if it had not been for everybody.
The construction of the plant, the making of the machinery for it, the taking from the earth raw materials for it, the operation of railroads and other means of transportation for hauling materials to it, the previous construction of railroads and other means of transportation used for hauling the materials to it, the operation of the plant itself, the distribution of the products of the plant, and the users of the products are all necessary to give value to the product and a job to the head of the concern.
It is everybody that gives value to real estate. Any piece of land, or that which surrounds it, must be improved to become valuable. An acre of ground in a desert far from everybody has no value while a small lot in the center of a thickly populated city has great value, given to it by the presence of everybody.
The farms of the world are made valuable by everybody, both through direct labor applied to them and through the inventions and labor put into farm machinery, as well as by the presence of everybody nearby, or, transportation facilities to aid in marketing the crops.
The mines and quarries likewise require the labor and machinery of everybody before they will give up their raw materials, and then transportation facilities are needed to carry them to everybody.
Railroads and highways cannot be built nor operated except with everybody's labor and machinery.
Buildings would have no value if everybody did not erect them and use them.
Through everybody's inventions and labor, telephones, telegraphs, radios and motion pictures were made possible, and by and through everybody's usage they were given value.
Of what value would the writer be without everybody?
To begin with the writer must use language made by quadrillions of human beings that lived through all of the ages. In fact, the very sounds that make words used by everybody to formulate language originally came from serpents, beasts and fowls in the shape of hisses, grunts and screeches.
Then there is the modern printing press that was built up to its present standard through the efforts of millions of inventors and billions of laborers. The printing press would be useless without paper and ink, which had to be invented and manufactured before books, magazines or newspapers could be printed. Then book stores, news stands and libraries became necessary for their distribution. All of which was accomplished by everybody.
Even the ideas of the writer are built upon the previous ideas of everybody.
So the value of the work of an individual, be he writer or otherwise, when compared to everybody's work during all time, is like a drop of water thrown into the five oceans of the earth.
Therefore, the wealth of the world in every form, be it invention, industry, literature or art, was created and made valuable by everybody and so everybody is entitled to share honestly in all of its benefits.
Any one thing, done by any one person, is not of sufficient importance for any one to get puffed up about.
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