The trucker and the wagon-maker folk

What happens at a bazaar where many people gather to buy and sell covered wagons in a primitive country and to show their latest wagon parts and ideas for better wagon parts, and they hear of a potential rival?

A great new place to create industry and build living places has been found far and high in the mountains, but although the terrain to there is smooth, it is very far and arduous for the oxen that pull the covered wagons to and from there. There is much demand for oxen and new wagons to be provided, mostly worn out with just one use. Having heard disturbing rumors of a potential tough business rival, the people who have now gathered at bazaar once again, have said they are not an exclusive group and welcome new contributors.

Seeing the great change in the whole set of opportunities that would be made possible with his big semi truck and pair of trailers, a truck designer accepts their offer and arrives to show the dog-n-pony-show folk the diagrams of his big semi truck, and shows how much it can haul and how quickly. Millions of times the transportation capacity of the oxen-drawn covered wagon system. He believes it could really help all of them get the far place in the high country quickly into a booming industrious place, instead of the dismal lonely struggling outpost it now is as supplied by the covered wagons. He believes they will all drop what they have been doing, having seen how it will help them finally realize their dreams of bringing the far high country to life; and all eagerly pitch in on the new potentials his big truck offers. He rests awhile savoring anticipated relief from the great cost of attending here has taken from him, and he eagerly looks forward to the friendly companionship of all these highly competent people in the great fun as they all together build and use his trucking system and industries to build in the high country, at long last.

What really happens? The bazaar buy-n-sell wagon company folk for a moment of anguish see their companies, their lifetime luxurious livelihoods, all going down in ruin in an instant. But, before they are wagon maker company folk, they are shrewd haggler businessmen; so their next thought is to size the trucker up, and they see the kind of person that is quickly separated from his gold. Never give a sucker an even break, is what they were taught when they were knee high to a duck. Especially one that sits in on their game and has four aces in his hand. That their wagon making companies are on their way out, can be delayed indefinitely if they play the game well; and they can wait out the trucker's resources leaving him destitute, turning the tables on him. And then his truck system will be abandoned for them to seize and use if and when they see fit, and for their great power and wealth on into the future. Instead of losers, they will become the greatest winners of all.

So they rather boredly advise the trucker to put the diagrams and specs and potential uses for the supply of the distant high valley into their set of specs to be offered the customers. He provides them with all it takes to even acquire more such trucks to assure they will have an endless supply of them, and sits back to wait for them to welcome him into their group and get going on the thus expanded effort to bring the far place to life very profitably for all.

The trucker eventually discovers that his information is not among the data sheets being provided customers at the ensuing bazaar; and later discover the bazaar folk act as if they don't even know him. He barely gets out of there alive, and holes up to live out his days in destitution.

While the wagon-maker folk continue busily hawk their wares as always, year after year. And they hire some gang folk to keep an eye out on the holed-up trucker, spreading the word among those he is among, that he is a robber, a dangerous and despicable man, and make sure he has no woman ever.

Ah, the wagon-maker folk exclaim as they munch grapes in luxurious comfort with women, life is good. And it is going to be very very much better as soon as the trucker is put away, that robber.

That is the kind of thing that happened. It is the measure of the people involved.

Expect them to continue that way. Because they consider the wagon making business, and the far high country potentials, as mere farmland for them to squeeze the best living out of; and neither wagons nor high country industry have any intrinsic value to them otherwise. Theirs is a different kind of dream.


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