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Refuting the Liberal History Rewrite of the Henry Ford $5-a-day Wage

Author: Vale

Henry-FordWith the populist rhetoric being plastered all over the airwaves lately, the populists have been trying to hijack and rewrite history for their agenda about Henry Ford's pay package of the 20th century teens. They are trying to create the argument that Henry Ford started paying all employees twice as much as the average wage at the time so that more people could afford to buy his expensive product.

Felon Business Writer Henry Blodget states*:

Blodget

First off, right at the forefront, doesn't that argument seem a bit circular to anyone? You increase the cost of producing the car by paying employees more so they can afford to buy them? Okay, so there is less profit accruing to the business owners. So why not just decrease the price of the product so that more than just the firm's employees can afford to buy them? Sales would be higher than the limit of the number of workers that you have building the cars. Secondly, would that make sense for yacht manufacturers to increase the wages of workers so that they could afford to buy those too? That doesn't sound like a winning business model to me.

Ford's actual priority was to fix the incredible turnover problem that was costing the company a lot of money and disrupting the production line.
"In 1913, Ford hired more than 52,000 men to keep a workforce of only 14,000. New workers required a costly break-in period, making matters worse for the company. Also, some men simply walked away from the line to quit and look for a job elsewhere. Then the line stopped and production of cars halted."
That is a lot of searching, training and breaks to an assembly line.

And if there were any doubt, you can read it on Ford's own website,
"While Henry's primary objective was to reduce worker attrition—labor turnover from monotonous assembly line work was high—newspapers from all over the world reported the story as an extraordinary gesture of goodwill."

And it was not every employee in the company that got the large wage (actually only about 21% of the workforce, which also included a lot of limitations) and by accepting that wage, the worker had to agree to be subjected to a gestapo style character enforcement which prevented workers from engaging in sin activities such as drinking and gambling.

Can we stick to just presenting the facts and not try to re-write history for political purposes, Blodget?

 

 

* Yahoo links are not stable, so this link will expire at some point.


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