Karl Marx’s Das Kapital is flying off the book shelves in Europe, but a less respected economist theorist is who Americans should look at, to explain the current economic crisis. Ford famously raised wages for his workers from $2.34 per day to $5 per day, his logic being that a simple formula of adequate wages plus happier consumers would create a vibrant economy. Since NAFTA and even before that America seems to having been pursuing anti-Fordism or even a reverse of Fordism. Pay every worker as little as one can to maximize profit, and don’t worry about the health of the marketplace, workers, and consumers.

We don’t make anything in America anymore except for wars and Hollywood movies. What is it that is generating the wealth of this country? The heart has been ripped out of the economy (manufacturing) and the jobs that have replaced good paying manufacturing jobs are inadequate to get by with. So to keep China’s GDP going through the roof they buy up our national debt, while consumers bankrupt themselves to try and keep up with the Joneses. Not only this, but since workers didn’t have the revenue stream to buy them, houses were sold to a great many Americans with very little money up front to folks that didn’t have the incomes to the pay the mortgages to fruition. And Alan ‘Ayn Rand’ Greenspan was surprised when this all came crashing down?

What would Henry Ford say, if he could travel through time to observe our present day condition? He’d say how are Americans supposed to pay, when all the bills come due for all of their tremendous levels of debt and consumption? He’d say make things again and pay workers’ living wages. Old Karl would tell us something about the natural laws of capitalism, which might make for an interesting anecdote or a nice fireside discussion, but it just wouldn’t do, as a method to get out of our current economic situation.

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