The truth of wealth creation in the gold rushes, is that it was the blokes who sold the shovels, beds, grog, and horses who got rich, not the individual miners, with the odd exception for the really lucky ones.

It is still the same.

As markets commoditise, it gets progressively more difficult to make a bob out of selling the commodity, even the least cost supplier has trouble in the long run doing better than returning the cost of capital. However, those who sell insurance, currency hedging, heavy equipment, and the like, are all doing OK, so moving up the value chain, from the front lines to the rear supply echelons, to continue the analogy in the headline, makes more sense as time passes.