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Sunday, July 23, 2017

I had no idea!

I’m almost finished reading Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927. Thanks to Bill, I now know that, though Henry Ford had moments of brilliance, he was definitely mentally unbalanced in some pretty damned horrible ways.
He did not like bankers, doctors, liquor, tobacco, idleness of any sort, pasteurized milk, Wall Street, overweight people, war, books or reading, J. P. Morgan and Co., capital punishment, tall buildings, college graduates, Roman Catholics, or Jews. Especially he didn’t like Jews. (source)
His newspaper, The Dearborn Independent was a testament to his crazy hate.

Ford was even, actually one of Hitler’s heroes!!!! In fact, he’s mentioned in Mein Kampf. Hitler said this of Ford:
“You can tell Herr Ford that I am a great admirer of his. I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany. ... I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.” (source)
Ford was perhaps the first public figure to blow this heinous dog whistle: ”the real United States lies outside cities.”

To be clear, Ford had good points (as long as you were a white, Christian male). He was a pacifist, introduced a 40 hour work week (but was dead-set opposed to labor unions), offered profit sharing for employees of six months and, while he didn’t invent the automobile, he helped engineer a car that was affordable for most folks. Mind you, the Model T, amongst other probs, lacked both gas and oil gauges, there was no speedometer and the starter crank could kick back and break your arm. Details, details!

Hitler's hero at 25
While he, theoretically, paid more than other auto producers, there were some steep stipulations.
The $5-a-day rate was about half pay and half bonus. The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees' homes to ensure that they were doing things the "American way." They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become "Americanized." Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home. (source)
The Socialization Organization – Ford’s thought and action police. Another catch to Ford employment; as soon as you’d worked there long enough to build up the buckos, you HAD to use that money to buy a car – a Model T, of course.

By the by, while Ford would hire women it was only for office work. In fact women weren’t allowed on the factory floor at all – too much of a distraction for the worker boys, don’cha know. He also wouldn’t hire married ladies because they could get all spermatized and then, the HORROR, want pregnancy leave. The single women that he would hire had to sign a contract saying that they wouldn’t date or marry while they worked for Ford.

Yup, dude was a real fucking evil prince. He'd fit in just dandy with the current Foggy Bottom crop.

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