A pledge of prosperity

shanty town
shanty town

"American production has come to equal and even surpass, not our people's power to consume, but their power to purchase. . . ." (Time Magazine, Monday, Dec 02, 1929)

Such were the words of Henry Ford, as reported by Time Magazine. Those words were contained in a prepared statement he handed to newspaper reporters after the conclusion of what was perhaps the single largest and most important gathering of domestic business, industrial, and merchandising minds the world had known to date.

At that meeting were key representatives of such great names as: General Electric, AT&T, The American Railway Association, US Steel, General Motors, Sears, and Ford. Henry Ford's expressed solutions to the problems of the day included: "Putting additional value into goods or reducing the prices to the level of actual value," and: "Starting a movement to increase the general wage level."

That meeting followed the great stock market crash of 1929, and it was meant to help build a bulwark against possible negative impact of the recent market wreck against national business interests and the public at large. The leaders of business, industry, and merchandising pledged millions of dollars in expansion, and gave assurances that they would maintain business as usual. At that time the position of then president Herbert Hoover was that there had been no business recession, only the threat of one.