Quote in the News: How are you going to get those robots to pay your union dues?

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 18 10:25:48 UTC 2014

Newspaper: Washington Post
Article title: Free money might be the best way to end poverty
Author: Rutger Bregman,
Date: December 29 2013

[Begin excerpt]
Legend has it that while Henry Ford II was giving a tour around a new,
highly automated factory to union leader Walter Reuther in the 1960s,
Ford joked: “Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your
union dues?”

Reuther is said to have replied: “Henry, how are you going to get them
to buy your cars?”
[End excerpt]

This anecdote was explored on the Quote Investigator website.
Additional citations welcome:

[Begin excerpt]
Walter Reuther did claim that a comparable dialog actually occurred in
the early 1950s. However, he did not claim he was speaking with Henry
Ford II. Instead, his conversation partner was described using a
phrase such as “one of the management people” or “a company official”.

The earliest evidence QI has located appeared in conjunction with a
conference about automation held by the UAW-CIO union in November
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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