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People do not appreciate the service that is theirs because so many things are taken a$ a matter of course, remarks an American paper. When it is considered that Queen Elizabeth was the first woman to wear stockings and that William the Conqueror lived in shacks without window glass, almost anybody nowadays can congratulate himself upon living with comforts that former Kings and Queens never dreamed of.

In fact, millions of dollars in wealth are at the service of every man. He walks along pavements and highways costing hundreds of thousands of dol- j lars. The light in his home is furnished by a plant worth millions. He can ride for 5 cents., on a street car line worth other ''millions'.. The meat he eats is brought from a distance of a thousand miles over railroads worth hundreds of millions,, and the same- is true with his flour and other provisions. His clothing is gathered from ■different corners of the globe by ships and railroads "worth still other hundreds of millions.. Thus there are scores of articles and services which are his and which involve billions of dollars. If all of these things were furnished to him alone, the billions would have to be spent just the same, but it would be scarcely more true that he enjoys the services that billions, in wealth giv£. One may imagine a man of colossal wealth moving to a great island in the Pacific and there spending billions to build a plant with which to make him a single automobile; other millions to build a factory to manufacture him a few suits of clothes; other millions to build a plant for the making of plumbing fixtures, and other millions for plants to manufacture other articles commonly used by man. One can thus see how great and necessary is the wealth at the service of every individual. All of this service is possible because it is sold by the wholesaler and because there are large numbers to (injoy tho wealth thus sold at a trifling price. It is possible because industry and men lire so organised that they turn out articles on a huge scale and consequently at a small price for the individual article. One of the greatest differences between men and beasts is that the former co-operiite, some working a tone thing and others at another, after which they exchange products. In the beast world each is for himself and takes little regard for the other outside of a few instinctive respects, like the mother's protection of the young. So there is a whole lot more of co-operation-in the world than might ap-. pear at first thought, for much of it is unconscious. Upon every hand there is an intricate system worth hundreds of .millions at one's service, perhaps transportation at 3 cents, a mile, a magazine at 15 cents., a pair of shoes worth's dollars, etc., all for tho price because others want tins same thing. Butif one were to be alone to buy these things can he imagine how many millions it would cost to build the railroad, to. get out the magazne, and to put up tin* shoe factory ? In that light there is room for thankfulness in having lived in this age.

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Bibliographic details

A COMFORTABLE ERA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9597, 29 April 1919

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A COMFORTABLE ERA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9597, 29 April 1919