Traveling through time at the usual rate of one second per second
I have been thinking about your two recent posts a lot. And I was thinking of the example of Henry Ford, who decided in 1913-14 to pay his workers $5 per day, twice the going rate. He knew the work was hard and diry, and he certainly didn't want to do it himself, nor could he possibly do it all himself. And he didn't want high labor turnovers because of the training factor, so he decided to double the going rate, knowing that would attract and keep good workers. This sounds very fair, and actually quite noble...but really, it was also self-serving. If he wanted to make a lot of money selling cars, and he did, he needed to have people who were in a position to buy one. $2.50 a day did not leave most people with any disposable income to invest in a car. So, by paying his workers more, he enabled them to be able to buy cars themselves, which meant more money for him. And...he paid himself 100 times what he paid his workers. So they made $5 a day, but he made $500 a day. ($500.00 in 1914 had the same buying power as $11,283.60 in 2012.http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm) Now, $500 a day was a ton of money. No one really NEEDS $11,000 a day, wouldn't you agree? So what if he had paid himself only $250 a day (which is still, in today's money $5500, which is still a very healthy salary--more than I make in a month) and used the other $250 a day to maybe start another business, one less profitable than automobiles, but that would employ 50 people at $5 per day, thereby increasing the number of people who could afford automobiles?The thing with wealthy people is that they often start to think they NEED that wealth, and they also think they are pretty awesome because of their ideas, but they forget that, without the people doing the grunt work, their own fabulous success would be impossible. At least Henry Ford realized that, and so paid better for the work than others of his time were doing.So, that is what I have been thinking about.
Thanks, Myrna. I love this example. A lot. What if he had paid himself $5 a day -- certainly enough to live on. Then, there would have been 99 more people who could afford to buy a car, and he would have been even more successful (though not wealthier). I totally agree that the world would be better if wealthy people lived on less and thus shared the wealth. The only thing that concerns me is how we get from here to there. I am opposed to us using the strong arm of government to force the wealthy to do the right thing. Forcing people to do the right thing is not a good program.I suppose that I am even more radical than that, for I oppose the government forcing us to do even so simple a thing as to wear a seat belt. Yes, society has a slightly higher cost for those who are injured without the means to pay their own medical/burial expenses. But, we have paid far far higher costs for freedom in other ways. And rightfully so.
I would like to see statistics about seat belt laws and accidents--sure seems to me that I hear about / see more accidents than I even knew about 40 years ago, when there were no seat belt laws...which is not quite on the topic, but in response to your comment...
I'm no expert on accidents, nor on their causes, nor on contributing factors. But I have experienced damage due to this unnecessary law. The damage is to family relationships. It is not easy to keep cool under the pressure of kids refusing to buckle up, combined with time pressures to get somewhere. If somewhere is two blocks away in a residential area and I don't expect to exceed 20 m.p.h. why do we have to go through all that? Of course, I am free to disobey the law. But, well, I believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. It's such a hard place to be stuck, and I would rather the law were struck down.
And we won't even talk about car seat laws! There was a young lady named HT about whom her mother said, "I defy them to design a car seat that will hold HT!" So, driving down the highway at 60 mph and you look in your rearview to see the formerly restrained child gamboling about in the back seat...and then I had young JL who was very like her cousin. Escape artists! Children that young can't be reasoned with to understand they must stay in the restraining device because it is the law. Very frustrating.
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