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This is even more poignant when you consider it was written over 70 years ago…

“It is a common saying at the present time, that the rich are growing richer and the poor poorer; but when all man’s possessions are taken into account there are good reasons for doubting this assertion. It is true that the rich are growing richer. It is also true that the condition of the laborer is constantly improving. The common laborer has conveniences and comforts which princes could not command a century ago. He is better clothed, has a greater variety and abundance of food, lives in a more comfortable dwelling, and has many more conveniences for the conduct of domestic affairs and the prosecution of labor than money could purchase but a few years ago. An emperor could not travel with the ease, the comfort, and the swiftness that the common laborer can today. He may think that he stands alone, with no one to help. But, in truth, he has an immense retinue of servants constantly waiting upon him, ready and anxious to do his bidding. It requires a vast army of men and an immense outlay of capital to provide a common dinner, such as every man and woman, with few exceptions, has enjoyed today.

“Think of the vast combinations of means and men and forces necessary to provide even a frugal meal. The China man raises your tea, the Brazilian your coffee, the East Indian your spices, the Cuban your sugar, the farmer upon the western prairies your bread and possibly your beef, the gardener your vegetables, the dairyman your butter and milk; the miner has dug from the hills the coal with which your food was cooked and your house was warmed, the cabinet maker has provided you with chairs and tables, the cutler with knives and forks, the potter with dishes, the Irishman has made your tablecloth, the butcher has dressed your meat, the miller your flour.

“But these various articles of food, and the means of preparing and serving them, were produced at immense distances from you and from one another. Oceans had to be traversed, hills leveled, valleys filled, and mountains tunneled, ships must be built, railways constructed, and a vast army of men instructed and employed in every mechanical art before the materials for your dinner could be prepared and served. There must also be men to collect these materials, to buy and sell and distribute them. Everyone stands in his own place and does his own work, and receives his wages. But he is none the less working for you and serving you as truly and effectively as he would be if he were in your special employment and received his wages from your hand. In light of these facts, which everyone must acknowledge, we may be able to see more clearly the truth, that every man and woman who does useful work is a public benefactor, and the thought of it and the purpose of it will ennoble the labor and the laborer. We are all bound together by common ties. The rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the strong and the weak, are woven together in one social and civic web. Harm to one is harm to all; help to one is help to all.” –The Law of Success

This is only a few paragraphs of an essay that encompasses several pages, and yes it is applicable to the developed nations of which you are part of…but that is the point. We are fortunate to be living in these times…


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