The lessons Ford taught us

November 4, 2013 

Industrialist Henry Ford believed his employees should be able to afford his automobiles. He believed his company should share its profits with its employees. He cut work days to eight hours and set a minimum wage of $5 a day in 1914. Ford understood it's the consumer and the middle class that drive our economy -- not the wealthy. Today's Republicans would call Henry Ford a liberal, pinko, communist.

Since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has led a relentless assault on the middle class and unions. Unions built this country and its middle class and gave Americans a standard of living that was once the envy of the world.

Germany and Japan are twice as unionized as we are. They both enjoy better health care, education, infrastructure and quality of life than we do. They respect working people. In Germany, union reps sit on corporate boards.

What would you call union members who suck up union benefits and then vote for union-busting Republicans?

Putting the screws to the middle-class working people and the poor has become a badge of honor to most Congressional Republicans while they continue to protect tax cuts and havens for the greedy and tax breaks for outsourcing jobs.

While Republicans demonize low-income workers who pay no income tax and receive refunds, they protect 78 tax-dodging corporations. Many, like G.E., Facebook and Exxon Mobil, pay no income tax and receive tax refunds.

Wake up, middle class.

Gene Robke

Carlyle

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