Was Henry Ford a lunatic? Why today’s labor management would say ‘yes’

If you have a weak heart or a large corner office, brace yourself, because this may come as a shock: Henry Ford paid his workers a decent wage and still made good money. In 1914, he doubled their wages to $5 a day. He wanted to decrease turnover and make it so that every employee could afford to buy one of the cars they built. Two years later, Ford had doubled its yearly profits – from $30 million per year to $60 million. Not bad for an hourly investment of $2.50 per employee.

“It’s ironic that I have to use an example from the past to illustrate perhaps a bridge to the future,” Jennifer Granholm says. “If 21st-century industrialists want a middle class that is capable of buying their products, they should pay the wages that allow the workers to do so. Not how little they can get away with, but how much they can afford, rather than hoarding profits as the middle class shrivels.”

Watch the full breakdown here, and catch Jennifer Granholm hosting ‘The War Room’ Mon-Thurs at 10E/7P and Fridays at 6E/3P.



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