Friday, July 29, 2011

Heard of James F. Lincoln?

Guest post by Ben Carmack

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm a dunce and very, very behind the curve. So many of the things I know I have come about by accident or happenstance when I should have learned about them years earlier.

Some of this is due to an intentional media blackout, which shields us from our history. Those Who Control Our Media do not want us to know certain things.

This is the case for the story of James F. Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln founded one of the most profitable (if not most profitable) electrical welding equipment manufacturing companies of all time. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, his methods became the standard of the industry. 

I only heard of Lincoln because I work with an older gentleman mechanical engineer. In 1966 the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation published Design of Welded Structures, which for years has been a manufacturing industry standard. 

He also wrote a book, four years before his death, in which he put to paper his principles for running a successful business. He titled it A New Approach to Industrial Economics

Lincoln paid his employees roughly double what the "prevailing wage" was in manufacturing at that time. He was open to ideas from each of his employees and gave them generous benefits. Though he operated his business into the Depression, he laid off no one. 

In his book (of which I have glanced at a few pages) he says that he ran his business according to the Sermon on the Mount. He wrote that industrial economics, as it existed in his time and still does today, was seriously flawed because it encouraged workers to work as little as possible. In order to keep his job, an industrial worker must have work to do; therefore, it is in his best interest to take as much time as possible to put out product, because he knows that if he works too fast or if work disappears, he will be laid off.

Lincoln proposed a different paradigm: make workers owners and managers. Destroy the distinction between management and labor. Make everyone part of the team. Reward people for their productivity. Give them incentives to come to work and do the best, most efficient job they can, without fear of being laid off. 

He promoted a sustained and controlled level of production that paid as much attention to high quality and detail as possible. He proposed this in order to control production and to avoid laying workers off if work was slow. Above all, Lincoln's philosophy was to avoid laying anyone off if at all possible. He was concerned for company morale, and he knew layoffs would kill morale.

His humane, Christ-centered approach of course flies in the face of all of contemporary economics. Many great economists of the last century, such as John Kenneth Galbraith, have argued that it is actually in the economy's best interest to keep a certain percentage of the population unemployed. To provide for them, he proposed government-funded assistance. His crude, inhumane prescriptions contain nothing of Christ nor the Gospel.

Why have I never heard of James F. Lincoln or Lincoln Electric? Probably because the Usual Suspects, those who run our great corporations and banks, those who have our government in their back pockets, those who control our media, do not want anybody to have heard of such a fine Christian businessman. His ideas might actually persuade workers to stand up for themselves; if his ideas are adopted, people might be (gasp!) free to provide for themselves and their families, with as little institutional supervision as possible.

During the New Deal, the U.S. government sued Lincoln Electric on the grounds that it was avoiding taxes by paying its workers so much. At the time, personal income taxes were very low, while corporate income taxes were very high. FDR and the New Deal Democrats, noble leaders for "the little guy" and "economic fairness" as they were, couldn't stand the thought of someone paying his employees so much that he cut back on his profits, thereby paying less money to Uncle Sam in taxes. 

Bastards. Socialist, Communist sympathizing, warmongering, statist bastards. I can think of a few other adjectives to describe FDR and his fellows but I'll hold on it.

Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.  

Which only goes to show what many people are figuring out now: neither the Left nor the Right has any idea what it is doing. They are unhelpful political factions dedicated to disagreeing with each other and getting nothing useful accomplished. Those who can get something done (like James Lincoln) do so. Those who can't blather on television, talk radio or on the Internet for an obscene salary, telling the masses what their Masters want them to hear.

*       *       *

Comments always welcome.


  1. dang ben.

    great read! keep it up!

    -tom bionic

  2. So I’ve been trying to think of how this idea would be interpreted by a non Christian because it intrigues me. As a protestant myself even if I agree with you about the fact that things confessed should be allowed to be kept a secret, I have to wonder how this would look to a non believer. It would seem that the law is made for everyone, we are all subject to it and although the church may be open to everyone the fact that you don’t follow it’s teachings can’t get you put in jail or numerous other things that can happen if you disobey they law unless it so happens that those doctrines align with the law. So then if I understand this right then we are talking about 2 things the Church law and then the Government law. If the Government law is to say that this Church law has no authority, (that is to say that no matter if a church law says that the priest should never tell something from a confession or not) not telling is still punishable by law with whatever penalties that includes. So as a good priest that abides by church law you perhaps should be willing to be put in jail or even die to abide by this church law. This might lead one (and I can’t tell if this is what you’re saying or not) to think that the Government shouldn’t pass a law that would force the Priest to go against Church law. This is where I feel it gets tricky. To say that any particular religion or religious law is above the government law is scary. This makes me think of all the possibilities of terrible things people could do and say “well that’s my religion and we have a religious law that permits it and you made an exception in your governmental law for them how come you won’t do it for my religious views”? So you can follow that thought on through to the distrust in law and so on. So It leaves me curious how much thought governmental law should be giving to religious teachings and things that laws they are making may contradict. Thoughts welcome.