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Henry Ford (Ragtime)

by Matthew Rousu

Henry Ford was one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time. His success was due in large part to the use of assembly line production, which significantly decreased the costs of production. In the song, he sings "even people who ain't too clever, can learn to tighten a nut forever". Now the costs of production in some fields, including automobile production, are decreasing because firms are replacing workers with machines. These lower skilled manufacturing jobs are being replaced by higher skilled workers supervising the production process. This is good for society, as costs decrease and people are freed up to perform other useful tasks for society. In the short term, however, some people are hurt when they lose their job. These types of changes can cause what economists call "structural unemployment".

Henry Ford

Henry Ford sings about his new production methods

from Ragtime (1996)
Creator: Terrence McNally, Lynn Ahrens, and Stephen Flaherty
Distributor: Ragtime the Musical Soundtrack
Posted by Matthew Rousu