In 1914, Henry Ford made a "bet the company" decision. Conventional thinkers thought he was insane. Those without Ford's imagination were certain his decision would send Ford Motor (F, news, msgs) into bankruptcy.
What did this radical industrialist do?
He chopped the workday down to eight hours, and he doubled employees' daily wages. But he did not do this out of compassion. He had no desire to share the wealth. He made a hardheaded business decision.
Absenteeism plummeted. Worker turnover virtually disappeared. So did the number of accidents; ditto the number of manufacturing defects. Meanwhile, productivity soared. And the automotive age was born.
Today, the reverse is happening. The entire structure that promotes worker security, health and devoted service is being systematically dismantled. As investors, we benefit from this. But the largest beneficiaries are corporate executives. Every dime they squeeze out of payroll drops to the bottom line. The same money takes them a step closer to realizing gigantic stock-option gains. Millwright Ron