100 Years Ago this month Henry Ford begin paying


It was 100 years ago this month that Henry Ford begin paying the workers in his ford plant $5 a day for an 8 hour day, which would amount to about $116 a day today or nearly $15 per hour in today’s wages. Here is what Henry Ford had to say about the minimum wage:

“The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”

The only reason that corporate CEO’s want to keep wages low is for their own greedy best interests. Ford understood what paying a living wage meant. Today’s’ corporations don’t care about America. They care about their ‘Golden Parachutes’ and the bottom line which doesn’t include paying their workers a living wage, benefits or a retirement. Today’s corporations (although there are still a few around that aren’t that way) don’t care about their employees and they game the system with million dollar ad campaigns that convince not only their workers but the public in general that is all their lazy shiftless greedy workers’ faults that prices are high and that they are lazy and greedy and therefore don’t deserve a living wage. When the opposite is true.

The productivity of the American worker is at an all time high, despite that fact wages have been pretty much stagnant for nearly 30 years in terms of what a dollar will buy and how long it takes to earn that dollar. But we have greedy and yes heartless CEO’s saying things like “people don’t have a right to water unless they pay for it.” Well we do pay for water, but the point is he would raise the price for water as a way of limiting its use and therefore effectively starving whole segments of the population into submission to his will.

Not only are CEO’s like him greedy they are not even good Americans. They don’t believe in promoting the general welfare they believe in promoting their greedy heartless bottom line and not paying their fair share of taxes. And if you believe the corporate world pays their fair share of taxes then you are more than delusional you border on the insane. In 1964 corporations paid approximately 64% of all taxes in this nation while individuals paid the other 36%. Today that is more than reversed. Corporations pay approximately 26% of all taxes collected in this country. I will leave it to you to guess who pays the other 74%.

It is amazing how many people who should know better buy into the scenario that corporations are the abused rather than the abusers. But they don’t teach the same history now in schools that they did when I went to school. They once taught students about the struggle workers had to go through to get decent pay, benefits, leave and shorter work days and weeks. And once most corporations believed like Henry Ford that their workers were their best customers and deserved a living wage and decent benefits that included a decent retirement.

If an individual took his or her pay check and spent it in another country we would label them unpatriotic Americans, yet giant corporations wave the American flag and proclaim they support the troops and claim they love America all the while they are systematically raping American workers and taking their profits off shore so they don’t have to pay taxes to the nation that they bleed for, or so they say.

There is nothing patriotic about gaming the system so they don’t have to pay their fair share of taxes. And why shouldn’t they pay their fair share? After all the 5 Supremes have declared that corporations are people my friend to quote from the stupidity that was Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign.

If they are now people shouldn’t our newly anointed citizens be required to pay taxes in the same manner as the rest of us people? We are constantly told if we dis this country, if we don’t pay our taxes then we aren’t God-fearing upstanding red-blooded Americans. Since corporations are now people why aren’t we challenging them to be God-fearing upstanding red-blooded Americans? It’s only fair we are told for every citizen of this nation to pay their fair share of taxes.

Should that not apply to every single one of our people equally? If corporations are people then let them pay their fair share. Let them pay their employees a fair wage for the work that they do. It is time we stop letting corporations off the hook and stop letting them blame we workers for their sins!

Raise the minimum wage. It’s fair! It’s What Jesus Would Do! It’s what every fair-minded person would do and since corporations are now people why shouldn’t they be included in that endeavor? It time!

Bob Bearden

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