The Little People’s Triumph

Because of the railroad towns sprung up, with their new stores, houses, and schools; because of the railroad new and bigger farms came into being, new factories and new suppliers of these; because of the railroad men and women and whole families traveled to see new things, moved to new places; because of the railroad all these people profited in new and better lives, profited in having access to more different kinds of goods, profited over and over again in new experiences, new adventures, new opportunities, new thrills, new ecstatic emotions. Because of the railroad everyone was made a king, a queen, a knight, or at the very least a commoner of profit.

Then the commoners—men whose lives had been dramatically improved by the railroad—turned around and pointed at the owners of the railroad and yelled, “You damn profit-seekers, you,! All you care about is money! All you’re concerned with is profit! Why don’t you give back something to the community, something to the common man! It’s not right that you should have everything while we have nothing! We’re the innocent poor little people! It’s not right that you should exploit us in order to grab your millions! Without us you’d be nothing!”

“Okay,” said the railroad. Then the railroad shut down; the trains stopped running; all the engines, all the cars, were destroyed after one last car rolled into each town and dropped gold bars and bags of money at each depot. At last the little people were rich, they had all the profits. And they lived happily ever…..well, they lived for two or three weeks, anyway.

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