$. **/ CI,I A7
October lA, 1927
WHO OWNS AMERICA?
by B. PAUL MOSSMAN
The answer to this question seems very simple - Americans own
America.' It'might have been otherwise had not America with the
Allies won their great victory in the World War. The heel of the
Prussian tyrant might even now &e upon the neck of America and the
wealth of this country paying vaat tribute to the coffers of militarism in Germany and Austria. That military heel would have been
relentless and cruel; Our present taxes of or the support of our
local and national governments would seem like a mere pittance to
what we might have been compelled to pay. But thanks to our brave
soldiers, to our unstinted patriotism and to an All-wise guiding
Providence we are still a free America. We are citizens of a free
country owning our own lands and industries and still endowed with
certain inalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness. We Americans are the owners of a vast amount of
wealth. We are acknowledged by the whole world to be the richest n
nation on the face of the gLobe. What is this wealth and how is it
distributed among our people?
Adam Smith, first of English economist to define wealth said it
consisted of gold, silver, lands houses and consumable good of all
kinds. John Stuart Mills later declared, "Kealth consists of all
material things produced by human effort. " Mongredien, another
English economist says, "Wealth consists of all those objects of
human desire produced by human exertion."
These definitions seem to be inadaquate because in the production
of wealth there is another vital element that enters in and that is
mental effort or in othere words, "Brains."
The great mass of manking for "thousands of years thought of property
only in physical terms. If a man raised a sheep or a cow they
thought of that sheep or cow as belonging to him, but if he thought
out a loom or a spinning wheel they appropriated his idea without
any recompense whatever.
It was not until only 150 years ago that mankind began to realize
the real value of ideas. The began the wonderful period of inventions. Brains, as well as physical labor, entered in and the past
150 years with this combination have been years of greater progress in
a physical and material way than all the thousands of years since the
creation of the Race up to that time. The total wealth of the world in
1730 was approximately one hundred billion dollar^, whereas today the
wealth of the world is approximately one thousand billions of dollars.
Let us say, therefore, wealth consists of all those objects of human
need, use or desire, devised by human genius and produced by human
effort, mental and physical. This is the definition cf wealth given by
Guy Morrison Walker, api American Economist.
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