Who cares if a great invention is made if it doesn’t become assessable to everyone? What’s making life better is that the price of technology is falling, not that big flat screens were invented in the first place. Same way with computers, phones and digital media.
“Cheapeners deserve as much credit as inventors,” writes Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal. He points out that John D. Rockefeller cut oil prices, Andrew Carnegie cut steel prices and Cornelius Vanderbilt cut the price of rail freight but were reviled for being robber barons.
And while the face of corporate evil for many is Wal-Mart, Sam Walton created the only game in town for the low income and down and out shopper.
“Yet it’s the cheapening that raises the world’s living standards. And cheapening is often mighty hard work.”