Globalization: From Fordism to Flexibilty
• United States always enjoyed the luxury of a relatively self-contained and isolated economy
1. We had an extensive resource base, large dramatic market and the natural insulation provided by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
• After the 1960’s, increasing global integration caused a transition in the U.S., from a fixed developed model centered on mass production, mass consumption and social welfare, to a flexible, individualized and market based neoliberal one.
2. This change not only shift a reversal in the economic philosophy and stragedy, as well as cultural values and social norms, but society and lives of individuals.
• The fixed model of development created Fordism.
3. Fordism is a stragedy of production, technology and distribution.
4. Fordism originated in the early decades of the twentieth century.
5. Henry Ford used F.W. Taylor’s time and motion methods to increase the efficiency of technologically driven factory assembly lines.
6. Fordism dramatically increased the output of consumer goods.
7. The 12.5 hours needed to build a car had declined to 1.5 hours.
8. But now tht these goods were quick;u being made, the question being asked was who would by all of these new goods.
9. The increase in production would require and equal increase in consumers
• John Maynard Keynes would later argue in his book called, “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.
1. Keynes worried that fewer consumers not being able to buy good would result in lay offs.
2. He introduced the idea of the “daily wage”
3. This way employees could afford the good produced
4. The fordist model involved social welfare policies and high levels of state regulation.
5. Fordist mass production dominated the U.S., Britain and most of Western Europe.
6. The approach culminated in the 1950’s with social compact that institutionalized class conflict and stabilized the social system and created a secure world.