The Gospel Of Wealth

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Bolton Hall

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HANDS up!" shouted the Road Agent. As he was going through the pockets of the passengers one of them remonstrated.

"This is hard," said he, " to give up "

"Nonsense," shouted the Road Magnate, " if it were not for us leisure classes there would be no demand for your watches."

"But you give us nothing for them," urged the Discontented Passenger.

"I have organized the production of valuables," replied the Captain of Industry; "consider what a waste it would be to pick all your pockets separately."

"But we don't want our pockets picked," said the Agitator.

"I am charging only what the traffic will bear," returned the Capitalist. "I leave your clothes and enough food to last you till the end of your journey; besides, I leave you free to earn more valuables."

"This is simple theft—benevolent assimilation, I mean," said the Undesirable Citizen.

"I give you permission to use the road. What more do you want, you Demagogues?"

"We want to control our own highway."

"If you controlled the road yourselves the dear public would be robbed. Much better to leave the highways to professional highwaymen."

"We——"

"You forget the immense sums I have given to the public by handing back purses and bags when I took the valuables; that, as Comrade Rockefeller says, 'is paying wages, which is the best sort of giving.' "

"But——"

"I'm only taking what you have now, whereas the Trusts take mortgages on all you may ever have."

"But you have no right at all to anything we produce."

"I am holding it only as a Trustee," said the Leading Citizen, "and I have founded a library with my gains."


  • Bolton Hall, “The Gospel Of Wealth,” Life 38, no. 978 (August 1, 1901): 85.
  • Bolton Hall, “The Gospel Of Wealth,” The Independent 53, no. 2749 (August 8, 1901): 1869.
  • Bolton Hall, “The Gospel Of Wealth,” The Public 4, no. 185 (October 19, 1901): 442-443.