“Millionaires and Billionaires”


The committee calls Thomas Edison to testify. Please swear him in.

Mr. Edison, describe for the committee the nature of your “light bulb” invention.

Distinguished representatives and guests, while the idea of electric lighting is not a new one, neither had it been a practical matter until we produced our new incandescent light bulb.

It uses a lower current of electricity and is both safe and economical.

So this electric light bulb that your firm invented: do you agree that demand for affordable lighting will skyrocket and that more and more electricity will need to be produced? Have you considered the impact on carbon emissions into the atmosphere — the inevitable result of lighting all of these “bulbs”?

No, sir. We were simply trying to create a useful product for consumers, one that enhances safety and society as a whole.

Have you considered alternative lighting mechanisms that would consume less electricity? How many “green collar” scientists are working in your laboratories? Have you considered the impact of your invention on climate change?

No, sir — I’ll admit we were simply trying to create a functional light bulb.

And this phonograph you’ve invented, Mr. Edison, have you evaluated how its production could skyrocket due to high demand for musical recordings? Have you produced an assessment for the EPA and state regulators as to its impact on the environment? Production of tin, vinyl and other substances could explode!

Ah, never mind.

The committee calls Henry Ford.

Here.

Please explain this “invention” of yours: this “mass-produced” automobile.

Ladies and gentlemen, one day it struck me. We could produce cheaper goods, without compromising quality, by standardizing designs and assembly processes. We created an “assembly line” that helps us mass-produce vehicles…

These “cars” of yours are reproducing like locusts! Virtually everyone is driving them! And where do you think you’ll get the fuel, the gas for these —

Distinguished Representative, America’s natural resources are plentiful and there is no shortage of oil. Furthermore, our new processes are a significant improvement because automobiles can be produced more efficiently and consistently.

Mr. Ford. Mr. Edison. The conclusions of this committee are clear. The U.S. government cannot tolerate out-of-control corporate entities run by super-wealthy individuals such as yourselves. We must confiscate your factories and laboratories until they can be unionized; vetted by federal, state and local regulators; and certified as “green”.

In short, we must call a halt to your outrageous activities. You and Mr. Edison are dismissed.
 
 

Cross-posted at: Doug Ross @ Journal.

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