Knudsen had stepped off the SS Norge in early 1900 with only $30 in this pocket. At his first job, in the Brooklyn shipyards, he earned 17 cents a day, but a year later he was repairing locomotives for the Erie Railroad; and a year after that he was working for Keim Mills building bicycles. It was Knudsen who convinced Henry Ford to allow his employer to build the steel axle housings for Ford’s vehicles; and just a few years later, in 1911, Ford bought Keim Mills outright.
It turned out that Knudsen was a genius at organizing production. In fact, it was mostly Knudsen who drove Ford’s moving assembly line up to its maximum efficiency. Then it was Knudsen who was tasked with building Ford’s factories across America and then in Europe. But he quit that $50,000-a-year job with 1921, because Ford constantly overrode his decisions with the workforce.
Alfred Sloan at GM realized that Knudsen was his best shot for bringing GM into modern production manufacturing and profitability. Fifteen years later, when Sloan became GM’s chairman, Big Bill Knudsen became its president. The Danish immigrant, who had spoken little English when he arrived on our shores 37 years earlier, now ran the world’s largest corporation.
Until the day that FDR called. Knudsen met with the president two days later and agreed to take on the challenge of preparing American industry for war, and he did so for zero pay. This wasn’t unusual, however, in the past; people became rich in corporations, then did government service out of a sense of duty.
Under today’s rules you work for government, then use the connections you made there in private enterprise to get rich.
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/12/6283145/the-crisis-part-2.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy