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Affluent Christian Investor | August 19, 2019

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The Managers Who Rebuilt After WWII Understood Why Government Is A Growth Drag

United States Capitol building in Washington D.C.

The Training Within Industries (TWI) program (see Roots of Lean: TWI) developed and deployed during WWII developed and released a training manual on economics to train our workforce in the factories during its tenure on what constituted good economics.   It was titled “Job Economics Training” or JET.  A key point discussed by the JET manual is the fact that government cannot create wealth, it onlyconsumes wealth.  “The government is primarily a “service” organization – not a “producer of goods.”[1]  Also, these government workers are workers removed from productive industry and business and are, therefore, not contributing to creating wealth combined with the consumption of wealth. This creates a doubly negative hit on the economy.

In like manner, the people who are employed in government activity are not producing goods for exchange.  Hence this number is taken out of the labor market which is engaged in producing goods and services in our economic cycle.   By just that number of people the productive effort is reduced.  Again these statements are not made in a spirit of criticism but as matters of fact, and then only because they do have a bearing on the successful operation of our economic system.[2]

America would do well to reintroduce and deploythe JET manual back into industry and business; and for that matter, introduce economic education into all grades from kindergarten through 12th grade.  Re-invigorate American Exceptionalism by significantly enhancing the knowledge of the individual.  “An understandingby the people of these basic factors is the key to future prosperity for all.”[3]  A message that must continue to resonate today, “What creates prosperity is the hard work, creativity and ingenuity of individuals and businesses.  Your prosperity does not come from government financial transactions.”[4]  As Calvin Coolidge wisely wrote, “Wealth comes from industry and from hard experience of human toil.  To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.”[5]

In fact, in his autobiography, Coolidge tells the famous story of his son working in a tobacco field and the conversation between him and another laborer.  Coolidge explains, “The day I become President he (his son, Calvin, Jr.) had just started to work in a tobacco field.  When one of his fellow laborers said to him, ‘If my father was President I would not work in a tobacco field,’ Calvin, Jr. replied, ‘If my father were your father, you would.’”[6]

[1] Training Within Industry Foundation, 1952, Job Economics Training Session Outline, Second Edition, (Summit, New Jersey), p. 64.

[2] Training Within Industry Foundation, 1952, Job Economics Training Session Outline, Second Edition, (Summit, New Jersey), p. 65.

[3] Michael J. Kane, circa 1952 (exact date unknown), “Training the Supervisor to Sell the AMERICAN COMPETITIVE SYSTEM,” Book of Proceedings, 4th Annual Conference, (Summit, NJ: TWI Foundation).  Original in all capitalization.

[4] John Mauldin, February 13, 2012, “Face the Music: Kate Welling Interviews Dr. Lacy Hunt,” JohnMauldin.com: Outside the Box, [http://www.johnmauldin.com/images/uploads/pdf/mwo021312.pdf]. p. 24.  Referenced from Mike Shedlock, February 17, 2012, “Face the music: The Case Against Fractional Reserve Lending,” Townhall.com, [http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/02/17/face_the_music_the_case_against_fractional_reserve_lending/page/full/].

[5] Calvin Coolidge, 2004 (originally published in 1929), The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge,” (Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific), p. 182.

[6] Calvin Coolidge, 2004 (originally published in 1929), The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge,” (Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific), pp. 189-190.

 

 

Originally published on Townhall Finance.

 

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