How Henry Ford’s Invention Inadvertently Caused the Depression

In early 20th century America the vast majority of people living in rural areas eked out a living in agriculture. Farms were small, often sharecropped. The planting and harvesting was labor intensive and horses provided the only source of energy for mechanized tilling. The vagaries of weather and drought have always made farming difficult. Crops were mainly grown for consumption by the farmer’s family, with any extra produce bartered for needed goods.

We are all aware of the history of Henry Ford and his invention of the production line to mass-produce Model-T’s. Ford did not invent the automobile, he simply invented a method to produce cars in mass volumes and make them available for virtually anyone wishing to purchase a horse-less carriage. He also revolutionized the agriculture business with totally unforeseen consequences.

The Ford Motor Company was always seeking new avenues of distribution and business opportunities. Ford had grown up in then-rural Michigan and was immersed in the farm world of the age. In the 1920’s Ford introduced the first mass-produced farm tractor, the Fordson. The machine sold for under $400 and revolutionized farming. It quickly became cheaper and less costly to own and maintain a Fordson tractor than a horse.

Farmers quickly gravitated to the Fordson tractor. Crop yield per acre expanded exponentially. Farmers produced so much crop yield per acre that by the middle of the 1920’s we were growing far more food than the country could consume. Prices plummeted. The need for day laborers declined precipitously and rural unemployment exploded.

The collapse of crop prices, unemployment, and the Great Plains drought were significant contributors to the start of the Great Depression. The Fordson was an amazing improvement in the productivity and ability of farmers to lead more comfortable lifestyles. However, the “Law of Unintended Consequences” reared its ugly head in this instance. The creative disruption caused by this product was thrust on a market that could not adjust efficiently or quickly to its significance.

We have a seemingly similar situation occurring today. We constantly read headlines about the dying manufacturing sector in the United States. Politicians love to visit deserted factories and decry the decline of manufacturing in a wide range of formerly profitable industries. And yet, manufacturing in America is setting records for volumes produced, shipped and invoiced. How can this dichotomy exist?

As with the Fordson tractors 1920’s introduction to farmers, today’s manufacturing has evolved dramatically and created disruptive technologies. Robots, software, customized computer models, computer assisted design and modern communications mean that we produce ever more sophisticated products, in greater volumes, and at lower prices, while needing fewer workers per unit of production. The workers that are needed today require better education, and skills than the production line workers of yore.

When I was growing up in an industrial area of America in the 1960’s many of my contemporaries went to work with their fathers at the local mill or factory. These were overwhelmingly union jobs. Each of my buddies at that time thought they would be employed for life like their fathers had been. It has worked out that none are where they started, not one.

The displacement is as painful today as it was on the farm of the 1920’s. However, the benefits to society accruing from modern manufacturing technologies and systems, just like the advances in farming owing to mechanization, cannot be denied. Only the Luddites of the 19th century and there modern adherents believe life is not more comfortable today and more people have more access to more goods and services at lower prices that at any time in history.

Change is hard and often inconvenient. We live during an age of massive change unlike any time in history. The understanding of and acceptance of modern realities insure that most people will benefit from advances in technology. Those that do not want to change and accept the new order of things will be left behind.

Henry Ford did not sell the Fordson tractor to instigate the Great Depression. The product was a small, inadvertent contributing factor. The inability of markets of that day to allocate resources and find markets for the massive increases in crops harvested was a systemic failure. Today, we manufacture products that are consumed quickly and create the thirst for more inventions and technologically advances. We are all better off as a result.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Geoff Ficke

Energy Security: Managing Risk in a Dynamic Legal and Regulatory Environment

Energy Security: Managing Risk in a Dynamic Legal and Regulatory Environment

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Energy Security This volume examines energy security in a privatised, liberalized, and increasingly global energy market. Chapters offer a variety of international, regional, and national approaches to energy security, followed by analysis of the legal provisions relating to the main energy sectors. It also provides environmental and geopolitical perspectives. Full descriptionNew
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How Does The FCA and PRA Big Brother Thing Work? (Infographic)

How Does The FCA and PRA Big Brother Thing Work? (Infographic)

Of course there are many other ways that the regulator may hear about something detrimental, but we have shown the mainstream areas here.

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Ask Anytime Service for SMEs

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Standard Tests for Carpet Tiles

Specifying floor covering for a commercial application requires at least a passing understanding of how it will perform in the workplace.Unfortunately, markings like “contract quality” or “heavy domestic” are open to interpretation, making it difficult for the specifier to make an informed decision.

Simon Lawrence of UK carpet tile specialist, Bürofloor, offers some insight into the standard tests that can be applied to carpet that has to perform – and last – in the punishing commercial environment.

Commercial premises place heavy performance requirements on any sort of floor covering. When coffee gets spilt at home there’s an immediate flurry of mopping and spraying with stain remover. In the workplace it’s more likely to be ignored and then walked on by unwiped outdoor shoes. Your sofa at home gets moved when you need to remove dust or dinky toys from underneath it. The castor chairs in your office travel miles, boring holes in the carpet tiles as they do so.

This means that we need a benchmark by which we can judge the suitability of carpet or carpet tiles for commercial contract use. Fortunately there are standardised tests to provide Euronorm (EN) and International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification. Genuine heavy contract products should carry the standards described here.

ISO 8543 – Effective Pile Weight

Carpet tiles need dense, closely-grouped pile to provide the required wear resistance. To provide a standard for this, ISO 8543 specifies a method of shaving the carpet down to its backing. It simply measures the mass of the pile removed in grams per square metre. In general, the greater the pile mass, the harder-wearing will be the carpet tile.

ISO 1765 – Total thickness

This is another relatively simple test. In this case the carpet tile is compressed by a standard weight, and then its thickness is measured to the nearest 0.1mm.

EN 1963 – Lisson Treadwheel Test

This test measures the carpet’s resistance to scuffing, in particular highlighting how strongly the pile tufts are secured. The treadwheel is positioned above the carpet to be tested and rolled to and fro across the sample 400 times. The wheel turns slightly faster than it moves across the carpet creating a severe scuffing effect. The tested carpet sample is compared to the master samples and is rated accordingly. This is a particularly aggressive test, literally ripping some types of carpet tile to shreds. A pass under EN1963 is a strong indicator of good wear resistance.

ISO 10361 – Accelerated Wear Testing

This standard is particularly relevant for carpet tiles that will be used in an office. It’s composed of two tests, the Vetterman drum test and the castor chair test.

Vetterman Drum Test

The Vetterman Drum Test is intended to simulate heavy, focused footfall. Foot traffic tends to be concentrated around doorways or narrow passages between desks, and these areas can quickly become threadbare.

The carpet for testing is fixed inside a revolving metal drum. A heavy (7.5Kg) ball, covered in hard rubber protrusions, is placed inside the drum and is allowed to bounce around freely. The carpet is subjected to two test programmes, one of 5,000 rotations of the drum and one of 22,000 rotations.

The carpet is then visually judged against master wear samples and is given a rating for how well it has withstood the effects of the test.

The visual inspections of the carpet give results from 1 to 5 for both 5,000 and 22,000 rotations and the final result is a combination of the two results according to the formula below;

Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 rotations + 0.25 x result after 22,000 rotations

A result of 2 or more is a pass

A result of 2.4 or more is a pass for intensive use

Castor Chair Test

Castor chairs are particularly damaging, and the ragged holes they wear in floor coverings can represent a tripping hazard. The results of this test should be an essential part of the office carpet specification.

The test rig rolls a three-castored chair, carrying a weight of 90kg, across the carpet. Two samples are used, one run for 5,000 and one for 25,000 cycles.

The tested samples are visually assessed against standard samples and are rated on a scale of 1-5. The final result for the test is given according to the formula below;

Total Result = 0.75 x Result after 5,000 rotations + 0.25 x result after 25,000 rotations

ISO/DIS 10965 – Electrical Resistance

This test is particularly important for contract carpet that could well find itself in computer rooms where a build up of static electricity could damage valuable equipment.

The carpet sample to be tested must be acclimatized for at least 7 days before the test at a temperature of 23+/-1°C and 25+/-2% relative humidity. This is because humidity impacts so greatly on conductivity of textiles and must be controlled rigorously to get a meaningful test.

In this test regime the horizontal resistance and vertical resistance of the carpet is measured (in Ohms).

Horizontal resistance: An isolating underlay is placed under the carpet tile sample which should be pile upward. 2 electrodes are connected to the tile 200 mm apart and the resistance in Ohms is measured between them.

Vertical resistance: Here the electrodes are above and below the carpet tile and the resistance in Ohms is measured between them.

Measurements of less than 1010 Ohms are necessary for computer rooms.

ISO 3415 – Static Loading (Compression test)

This test is designed to see how much the carpet is compressed by a weight placed on it. It replicates the effect of furniture on the carpet.

The thickness is measured before compression

A pressure of 220 kPa is applied for 15, 30 and 60 minutes.

The result is simply given in the loss of thickness in mm after

a recovery period of 1 hour.

ISO 140-8 Acoustic Properties

The test equipment for this standard consists of two spaces, one above the other and 5 hammers, each of 500 gr. The first test is to measure impact absorption – i.e. how much impact noise is absorbed by the carpet sample.

First of all the hammers are allowed to free fall onto the floor of the upper space from a height of 4 cm, each striking the floor 10 times / second. The noise in decibels is recorded in the space below.

The test is then repeated with the addition of the sample carpet to the floor of the higher space.

The difference in decibels is the amount of impact noise that has been absorbed by the carpet sample. This test is interesting in that it shows how well carpet performs to stop noise transmission compared to other floorcoverings like wood or vinyl.

For ISO 354 the absorption of ambient noise is measured. Noise of different frequencies; (125 – 250 – 500 – 1000 – 2000) are broadcast down into a room of 200m³ and the amount of noise bounced back from the floor is measured. This is then compared with the noise reflected by the floor when covered with sample material. A result of 0.5 in this test shows that 50% of the noise that would have been reflected was absorbed by the test sample and that the remaining 50% was reflected by it.

ISO 2551 – Dimensional Stability and EN 986 for tiles

Carpet tiles must maintain their dimensions ±0.02% after the following treatments:

Heating to a temperature of 60°C for 2 hours

Bathing in water at a temperature of 20°C for 2 hours

Further heating to a temperature of 60°C for 24 hours

Conditioning in normal atmospheric conditions for 48 hours

These treatments demonstrate that the tiles will retain their integrity in the toughest conditions like hot water cleaning and extreme temperatures.

Cost of Ownership

All floor coverings carry a hidden expense in the form of replacement costs. In commercial premises this cost is raised further by the business disruption of installing new carpet tiles. Buying unwisely will inevitably lead to higher expense. A reputable supplier should respond positively to a request for test data. Hopefully the information in this article will help make sense of the test specifications and support a properly informed choice.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Simon Lawrence

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits

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£66.50

A concise overview of the legal needs of nonprofit organizations

Good Counsel is a compact and personable overview of the legal needs of nonprofits, crafted by one of America’s most astute nonprofit general counsels. The book distills the legal needs of the 1.8 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States.Written in a clear and accessible style, with plenty of humor and storytelling as well as illustrative case studies, Good Counsel explains the basics of nonprofit corporate law, governance, and the tax exemption. It then takes a department-by-department look at legal topics relevant to program, fundraising, finance, communications, human resources, operations, contracts, government relations, and more. Good Counsel is designed help organizations fulfill their missions to do the public good.

Designed to impart confidence and demystify the issues, Good Counsel is a must-read for nonprofit professionals and board members as well as lawyers and law students. Using Good Counsel as their playbook, lawyers, executives, and trustees can get an overview of the most common legal, governance, and compliance issues facing their organization and together ramp up a top-notch legal function.

  • Contains practice pointers, checklists, and assessment tools
  • Features sample contracts, licenses, and other form documents
  • Filled with case studies and end-of-chapter focus questions, as well as available lesson plans for easy classroom use by educators in business, management, public policy, and law schools

Good Counsel is the first-of-its-kind guidebook written by the sitting General Counsel of a major nonprofit. Written by influential author, speaker, and Bar leader Lesley Rosenthal, the General Counsel of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Good Counsel shares the insights of a Harvard Law School graduate with years of in-house and business law experience as well as board service.