the point of a patent -a guaranteed monopoly granted for a limited time- was not primarily to ensure that the inventor made money; after all, they could do that more easily by keeping the invention a trade secret. Instead, it was to encourage the inventor to share that invention publicly so that others could learn from it.
Today, inventors increasingly share their innovations publicly without any patent protection at all. That is what open source, Creative Commons, and all other alternatives to traditional intellectual property protection do. Why do they so? Because the creators believe they get back more in return than they give away: free help in developing their inventions.