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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 19 00:02:15 UTC 2014

Charles C Doyle wrote:
> The anecdote seems to be based on the purported saying of Henry
> Ford Sr. that he wanted to pay his workers enough so that they could
> buy the cars they made.

Thanks for your responses JL and Charlie. I think your insight is
excellent, Charlie. The response given by Reuther does implicitly
reference and confront the goal outlined by Henry Ford Sr.'s
statements, e.g., "I will build a car for the great multitude", and it
will be "so low in price that no man making a good salary will be
unable to own one."


>> 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: =93Walter, how are you going to get those robots to pay your
>> union dues?=94
>> Reuther is said to have replied: =93Henry, how are you going to get them
>> to buy your cars?=94
>> [End excerpt]
>> This anecdote was explored on the Quote Investigator website.
>> Additional citations welcome:
>> http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/11/16/robots-buy-cars/
>> [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 =93one of the management people=94 or =93a company officia=
> l=94.
>> The earliest evidence QI has located appeared in conjunction with a
>> conference about automation held by the UAW-CIO union in November
>> 1954.
>> [End excerpt]
>> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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