The Revenge of the Gods of the Copybook Headings

All of our economic woes, more or less, have come from defiance of what Rudyard Kipling called the Gods of the Copybook Headings.  These are the nonpartisan, scientific, and implacable laws of economics and human behavior on which Henry Ford elaborated as follows: Most of the wisdom of the world was in the copy books. The lines we used to write over and over again, the homely old maxims on which we practiced to obtain legibility of our p's and q's, were the essence of human wisdom.  (Ford Ideals, 1922) The implacable laws in question include the basic economic concept that no system can deliver more value to its stakeholders than it produces.  Ford's mastery of these principles, along with what we now call lean manufacturing or the Toyota production system, built a multibillion-dollar enterprise and made the United States the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.  Ford prospered by acting in accordance with the Gods of the Copybook Headings, while Kipling...(Read Full Article)

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