A Voice Cries Out: Why Japan Has Passed Detroit!
Prime Minister Sato, in 1970, warned me against an industrial war between our countries!
Japan automobile production now outstrips that of the United States!
Who would have believed, even 10 short years ago, that could ever happen? And not only Japan, but German, French, Swedish motorcar imports have seriously threatened the American automobile industry.
And that's not all! What is foreign competition in electronics, cameras, watches, many other imports doing to the United States economy, to say nothing of OPEC oil?
We cry out to Japan, "Please establish your plants in America and help our unemployment problem" — but of course they don't!
WHY? There had to be a CAUSE for U.S. unemployment, rapid inflation, the sobering FACT the U.S. high standard of living is starting the downward plunge!
For some little time after World War II we had the highest living standard ever enjoyed by any people since mankind inhabited this earth! The United States and Britain, up to and after the first World War, possessed more than two thirds — almost three fourths — of all the cultivated resources and wealth of the earth! All other nations, combined, less than a third! WHY?
Britain boasted that the sun never set on her empire. She was GREAT Britain! Not any more. Her empire is gone! Her sun has set! And now the United States is STARTING DOWN! There had, of necessity, to be a CAUSE!
In 1970, in Tokyo, Prime Minister Eisaku Sato said to me: "Thanks to the United States, the Japanese economy is rising sharply. Because you now protect us, we don't have to spend multiple billions for armed defense. But I have to warn you. I see approaching the danger of an economic and industrial war between our two countries! We must do everything possible to prevent that, for it might be more terrible than a military war!"
Mr. Sato didn't live to see such a catastrophe come to pass. But I had several conferences with him. Once, in his home after retiring from office, he said, "Japanese production and our economy have done very well, but the prosperity has not yet filtered down to our masses."
Today, however, the Japanese are beginning to lead the world as tourists and world travelers. Their prosperity has mushroomed. OURS IS NOW OVER THE HILL AND STARTING DOWN — fast!
On January 6, 1914, I was sent to Detroit by a national magazine, largest in the trade field, to interview Henry Ford on his new, then sensational $5-per-day wage boost. Ford had just started assembly-line mass production. It greatly speeded up production, and lowered production costs.
But soon not only other motorcar makers, but U.S. industry in general got onto the assembly-line mass machine production for the mass market America provided.
Labor wars ensued. Union scales escalated. This brought to the United States the highest per-capita income and highest living standard ever enjoyed by any people on earth!
In 1960 when I established another liberal arts college in Britain, the average English wage was one third of the United States and the Japanese only one fourth! By then the EEC (Common Market) had provided a mass market for European assembly-line production.
But something else had happened — World War II! Prior to World War II German production had become the most efficient in the world. Hitler has sold Germans on being the "Master Race." Wartime bombing pretty well destroyed European industrial plants and machinery. After the war they lived in shacks, tents — rebuilding their industry came first. Their people sacrificed "for country."
Europe and Japan emerged with new improved industrial equipment — AND LOW COST LABOR! In 1947 I saw German workmen swinging their lunchboxes walking to work at 5:30 a.m., yodeling or singing at the top of their lungs.
Postwar Japanese auto workers worked overtime without pay "for their country." That's why U.S. advertising agencies use the slogan for their Japanese auto client, "WE ARE DRIVEN!"
U.S. workers were working for SELF — more pay, shorter hours, more benefits. Meanwhile, U.S. industrial machinery was not being replaced with more modern models. Neither capital-management nor workers were willing to "sacrifice for country" — do away with old plants and equipment while rebuilding from the ground up with the new and improved.
Meanwhile, following FDR's "New Deal," the United States government went on lavish "public welfare" programming. American people wanted to "GET" votes. Government was spending much more than it took in. How? By printing more and more money. This escalated INFLATION! The U.S. dollar was taking a beating in foreign countries. Foreign trade deficits rose sharply.
Today this country is in dire trouble — far more serious than we realize. Marriage and family life — the foundation of a stable and enduring society, is breaking down. Morals in the cesspool. Crime escalating. We're in a world of troubles its governments can't solve, recurring wars, governments overthrown almost one a month — weapons of mass destruction that can erase human life from the earth.
WHY? Our troubles are spiritual in nature, governed by a basic spiritual LAW. It is the way of life I simplify by the word "GIVE" — outflowing LOVE — the WAY OF LIFE of cooperation, serving, helping, sharing. We don't believe it, but it's as inexorable — as relentless as the law of gravity! It's the WAY to peace, happiness, contentment, joy, universal well-being.
Break it, and it breaks YOU! We break it by our "GET" way of life — the way of vanity, coveting, envy and jealousy, competition and strife with violence and wars, resentment of authority.
It's no maudlin, sentimental or impractical religious idealism, but the cold hard FACT that stares us all in the face now — with life-and-death consequences! Our problems are spiritual in nature, and we've lost all sense of the TRUE VALUES!
We need desperately to CHANGE — but we have gone past the law of diminishing returns — past human ability to solve our life-and-death evils.
This voice cries out emphatically that now, that unseen "Strong Hand from Someplace" is about to intervene dynamically, before MAN annihilates mankind from the earth, and save a misguided humanity from itself! Your believing that makes no difference — it's as CERTAIN as the rising and setting of tomorrow's sun!
Even our so-called human nature is going to be changed! The world is going to be changed from the "GET" principle of life to the "GIVE". And the GOOD NEWS is, a new world of PEACE, contentment, happiness, universal well-being and salvation for all is just around the corner — AFTER a misguided mankind first brings itself to the final grand-smash climax of world trouble and to the very brink of total destruction!