There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify - so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.
John Keats (1795 - 1821)
Source: Letter to George and Georgiana Keats (May 1819)
This country has achieved its commercial and financial supremacy under a regime of private ownership. It conquered the wilderness, built our railroads, our factories, our public utilities, gave us the telegraph, the telephone, the electric light, the automobile, the airplane, the radio and a higher standard of living for all the people than obtains anywhere else in the world. No great invention ever came from a government-owned industry.
Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879, when he invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again. This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught...the last year any new electricity was generated in the United States was 1937; the electric companies have been merely re-selling it ever since, which is why they have so much free time to apply for rate increases.