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by
Bryan Preston

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January 29, 2014 - 8:22 am
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During the State of the Union address last night, President Obama declared that “It’s time to give America a raise.” From there he segued into a riff on how Henry Ford decided to give his workers a raise so they could buy cars from the Ford Motor Company.

Obama’s call last night was to raise the minimum wage. He is evidently under the mistaken impression that most of us work for minimum wage — how else could raising the minimum wage constitute “giving America a raise”?

Does Barack Obama think that we’re all out here working minimum wage jobs, just waiting on him to give us all a few more bucks? Is that how he thinks the economy works?

The fact is, only about 4.7% of American workers work for minimum wage. Most of them are high school and college students working their first jobs. The minimum wage should be a temporary condition for the vast majority of them — all of them, if they obtain their education, build their job skills and stay away from drugs and other things that hurt them and their career prospects. If they perform well on those jobs, and avoid making career-limiting decisions, they will soon get raises from the companies they work for, without any intervention from Barack Obama or Congress at all.

Henry Ford was probably not the best example for Obama to use in his illustration, either. Henry Ford was an extremely shrewd businessman. He was a member of the vilified one percent. Ford’s decision to raise wages for his workers was his own to make, and even in Obama’s telling, Ford raised wages out of self-interest. He wanted to reduce turnover to keep his trained, skilled workers around longer. He wanted to sell more cars. Raising wages of his own workers so they could buy Ford cars was one way to sell more cars and keep his best workers. Those cars Ford sold to his employees also became rolling advertisements for Ford’s products.

In Obama’s telling, maybe Lear should raise all its workers wages so that they can all buy Bombardiers*…No? Why or why not? Show your work.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Every line uttered by this incompetent fool was an assault on my senses - which is why I do not listen nor watch this fool when I can avoid it. I hear he gave a speech last night.

So what?

All I want to hear from him is "Bye" after handing the keys to the government to Ted Cruz.


42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think you get it, Bryan.

When Obama said “It’s time to give America a raise.”, what he was actually saying to all those young people who really do work for minimum wage, is, "The government is giving you a raise." That reinforces his socialist message that "all good things flow from the government."

And it is aimed at the younger people who will make up the majority of the elecrorate in the coming decades.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The most offensive line uttered by Obama last night was

"My fellow Americans..."

Any man who spouts constant class warfare, race baiting, gender divisiveness, assault religious beliefs and tenets, shreds the Constitution, spies on principled dissenters, arrests and selectively prosecutes film producers who disagree with him, has the EPA give away a million acres of land and install anti-capitalism programs, and invites voter fraud and border crashing...is not in fellowship with any America that we recognize.

He is a Constitutional Atheist, he is not a believer and works to demean, denigrate, debase and destroy that document.

"My fellow Americans" does not apply to the Tea Party. To Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox Jews or Evangelicals. It does not apply to conservatives in New York who believe in the sanctity of life or in 2nd amendment rights.

It does not apply to Fox News reporters. It does not apply to those in Wisconsin who don't want to be forced to join the Workers Party.

It does not apply to Hollywood conservatives who wish to exercise their right to assemble.

It does not apply because it is not intended to apply. You are not invited to participate, you are ordered to pay. You, the Unbidden American.

You are not "My fellow Americans" when uttered by the protege of Frank Marshall Davis, Don Warden, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and the Midwest Academy.

You...are the enemy.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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Ford wasn't just shrewd; he was a genius. And his $5/day wage was intended to do something else that is usually missed by people who don't read his books on business theory. He wanted a highly automated production because he thought (knew) it would revolutionize his business. The $5 wage was, among other things, intended to deliberately make human labor expensive for his managers relative to innovation and automation. That would force his managers and industrial engineers to design efficient processes and invent labor-saving technologies because they could no longer take the lazy solution of just throwing more warm bodies at whatever problem they had. Forcing managers to be creative instead of taking the easy (for them, not for Ford) route was a repudiation of the Chinese Army method of business that the bulk of unimaginative businessmen then and NOW prefer. One of the benefits that I think would accrue to America if we rejected cheap illegal foreign workers is a burst of innovation as the easy solution of getting more Juans and Julios dries up. Tomatoes wouldn't become unaffordable; farmers would turn to tomato picking machines maintained by fewer, better paid Americans (to use an example).
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama's speech writers are using a cliche and cultural myth (as they understand it) about Henry Ford. There is much more to that story than Obama will erver know or acknowledge. They probably watched a PBS series at one time. Obama's speeches are chock full of such popular narrative to make his point. They are fundamentally ignorant and immature.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why are people so keen to make living on the very bottom tolerable?

Why do they want people to stay down there?

If you are dissatisfied with making minimum wage, find out about local GED programs. Go talk to the Financial Aid Office at a local college. You might be able to go free or low cost. You won't know until you ask.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. If you're unhappy with your wage, cancel the cable, live off rice and beans and noodles and tuna while you save up for a press. Washer or knives and sharpener. teach yourself to use them. On the weekends visit RV storage yards or restaurants to advertise your new business. If you vote Dem, please resist the urge to not report your cash income and take welfare.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The unintended (or intended?) consequences is that most UAW/Teamster's contracts are directly tied to the minimum wage. This won't just affect those who make less that $10/hr, it will affect most manufacturing. I doubt that Ford would be able to afford $8800 profit sharing checks in the future if Obama's initiative is acted upon.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
That Ford had expectations of his workers buying cars seems unlikely. $5 per day comes out to about $1300 year. In 1929, a Model A cost $385, and so would cost 30% of the annual income (about the maximum percentage suggested today for anyone to pay for housing). As noted, the higher pay was only paid to single income households.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one — and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces.
-Henry Ford.

Ford sold nearly 15 million Model T's. Clearly a lot of average folk were buying them, if not new, then used. When one considers that radios of that era cost about $150, Ford's achievement in low cost production is phenomenal.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
so giving a raise, means forcing a person who started a business to do with less.

that is disgusting to think that the president really wants to harm those that created the businesses that hire others, as he lives in his bubble word, and has no clue as to how the real world works, with his million dollar holidays, parties, and hobnobbing with those that are so rich they are far better off then the evil 1%.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like your comment. (this is to cfbleachers, it didn't show up at the right spot)

Unfortunately, FULLY HALF of the Americans think and agree(d) with their fellow comrade Obama. Why he needs constantly stir up the class warfare and divide Two America. The conflict is coming to a head soon.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I call it stupid rather than offensive.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, yes, I am sure the President would love to manage our lives as much as possible. As the government grows, you are spending more of your life working through them, via taxes. And we all know how Democrats will tax anything for any reason or no reason at all.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every line uttered by this incompetent fool was an assault on my senses - which is why I do not listen nor watch this fool when I can avoid it. I hear he gave a speech last night.

So what?

All I want to hear from him is "Bye" after handing the keys to the government to Ted Cruz.


42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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