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Newspaper Page Text
IS HENRY FORD RIGHT?
The Economics of Detroit Millionaire's Plan to Share
His Profits With His Workers Brilliantly Dis
; : . - : dissect by WorldrFamotts Authority.
'iCo-paxtnereilR kridfprofitisharing,''' a subject so dry that it has always
been left djoks wjiiciishobody reads, has suddenly been infused with the
rushing WSjOdsfethafito Henry Ford's plan to distribute $10,000,000
of his prpfftpimong his employes each year. And this week Henry Holt
& Co. ha;re.B.slfed a brilliant discussion of this whole plan as a contribution
to worldcojaomics. The book, entitled ' Co-Par tnership and Profit-Sharing,"
isth&work of Aneuriri:Willlams, M. X, chairman of Executive of the
International Co-operative Alliance and a world-famed authority.
DoesfWilliams approve of'such plans as Ford's? Does he .think profit-,
sharing "tillable economics"''?
First, simply to show that co-partnership with workers is successful
from the purely financial standpoint, Williams cites the largest gasworks
in the world in England "managed," he writes, "not by" workmen, enthusiastic-for
their own Tdass, but by hard-headed business men', who are
satisfied that the shareholders do NOT lose because the workers share in
the concern's profits in proportion to the economy of production and to
the amount 'of each oners wages.
"From the controversies of our time," He says, "there emerge three
MAIN ideas as to the best way in which industry can be organized, and
these three seem to be rivals.
"Industry may be organized, as it4 is for the most part in the modern
world, on a basis of pure individualism, EACH-individual seeking his OWN
benefit and that of his family; his economic relations to all others being
regulated hy competition. As a result, the control of industry is in the
hands Of those who provide the-capital, while the status of the manual and
brain worker is that of wage-service.
"Secondly, weiave industry on basis of voluntary association, in which
the whole of the parties concerned agree to act together, and to divide
among themselves the wealth produced; to divide it not by competition, but
by: principles of justice agreed to beforehand.
"Lastly, there is state and municipal socialism, also forms of associa
tion, but this is compulsory and not Voluntary.
"The prat form, capitalism, giveg wonderful achievements, but is des
perately wasteful of human life. The state (which would sponsor social
ism) has great resources, but is slow and unenterprising. Voluntary as
sociation co-partnership gives equity and a wider diffusion of well-being
to all who take part; it avoids many Qf the evils of capitalism and many of
the drawbacks of state action, but it loses something of the energy of the
f ormer and has not the power of the latter.
"So I suggest that where there fare great monopolies present, either '
natural or created, there you, have .a presumption in favor of state and
municipal ownership. In those forms of .industry where individuality.' is
everything; where there are new inventions to make or to. put on the mar
ket, there is the natural sphere of individual .enterprise, pure and simple.
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