Working Wisdom: quote about business and globalization

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Henry Ford (30 July 1863 – 7 April 1947) was an American captain of industry and business magnate. He is best known for founding the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and playing a key role in the development of assembly line-based mass production. By 1932, Ford was manufacturing one third of all the world’s automobiles. Henry Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace, and believed in the mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with decent wages for workers. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs and improving productivity resulted in many technical and business innovations. The concept of ‘Fordism’ is named after him; it was used in social, economic and management theory about production, working conditions, consumption and related factors, not only in the automotive industry but also with respect to any kind of manufacturing process.

This quote echoes what Henry Ford wrote in his 1922 book My Life and Work: “The people are naturally conservative. They are more conservative than the financiers. Those who believe that the people are so easily led that they would permit the printing presses to run off money like milk tickets do not understand them. It is the innate conservation of the people that has kept our money good in spite of the fantastic tricks which financiers play – and which they cover up with high technical terms. The people […] are so unalterably on the side of sound money that it is a serious question how they would regard the system under which they live, if they once knew what the initiate can do with it.” In this sense, he appears to give the people credit for understanding that the banking and financial system must not be given free rein to endlessly print more money until it becomes worthless.

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