“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”
– Henry Ford

Much has been written about what kind of a complicated guy Henry Ford really was. No doubt, the man was an anti-Semite and displayed some violent tendencies toward worker unions (which should never be forgotten) and there’s probably some paranoia folded into the mix, too, but his contributions to the industrialization of this great land outlived him.

And in a piece by the Business Insider, the case is made for one of Hank’s earlier and most well-known innovations – beyond the Model T and the perfection of the assembly line: the $5 Day.

Yep, the man more than doubled the daily wage of his assembly line grunts in a lagging economy that couldn’t get out from under itself. Holy shit, right? One of the largest American companies of the day was gonna up and pay the lowest-paid, barely-educated humps more than twice what they were worth? Had the man gone soft? Daft? Commie? LIBERAL?


The man possessed a shrewd noggin for business and knew that in order to be successful, the lives of his employees had to be worth living. And, as we all know, your job is where you spend the majority of your waking hours. Sure, the ‘$5 Day’ allowed Ford employees the luxury of buying one of the cars they helped build, but it also allowed them to afford their jobs at Ford, get it?

Apparently, we can’t seem to learn from history, so we’re doomed to repeat it: the McDonald’s and Walmarts and Papa John’s of the world – the businesses that employ those on the bottom rungs of the American Dream ladder, just keep telling their employees to 1) get a second job, 2) apply for welfare on your break, 3) you’re not worth taking care of, so thanks for making us raise our prices and lose money, you assholes, or 4) all of the above.

A real car guy knows how to cut through the bullshit and fix stuff. We think that management at some of these American brands should rethink their next corporate retreats in Cabo and spend a week in Henry Ford’s management garage. Telling broke employees to pray the pay away and then turning up the Kenny Chesney to drown out the screaming does not a strategy to restore American Greatness make. Christ, don’t these people read any books besides Art Of War and Decision Points?


  1. Robert M. says:

    Their reading list should include the biographies of Ford, Chrysler and the Dodge Bros. (The Ford bio is free up on Google books). These guys knew the feeling of tools in their hands. In the case of Chrysler, he actually made his own tools. They certainly qualify as “car guys” and were the driving force(s) behind the operation of their companies.

    Sadly, there are no such individuals today. The current crew are ivy league educated sons of privilege, who likely could not successfully change a flat tire on their own. Their hands know the feeling of a computer keyboard and a cell phone (if that). Their measure of success is the bottom line on this quarter’s income statement.


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