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6 Reasons Why Henry Ford Kicks Elon Musk's Ass

Hero worship. It’s a dangerous game and one we play a lot in our celebrity-focused culture. The flavor of the month these days is Elon Musk and it’s getting downright disgusting. Sure, there’s a lot to be impressed with, that guy seems to have a hand in everything—electric cars, solar power, space exploration and now home battery units. It’s undoubtedly impressive. But I think we should be a little cautious because this cult of Elon stuff has gone just plain crazy. Yes, he’s done cool stuff. Yes, he’s pretty young for all of his accomplishments. And while it’s striking, it is not without precedence. Our country has had many a renaissance man, not the least of which is the guy that revolutionized the very industry that we enthusiasts embrace—that man is Henry Ford. And, for many reasons he, quite frankly, is more majestic than Mr. Musk. Consider the following: Edsel and Henry Ford 1927 Photo Credit: Collections Of The Henry Ford

1. Henry Ford Came Up The Hard Way

Unlike Musk whose parents were upper middle class and sent him to both college abroad and then on to graduate school, Ford left school at 15. Then at 16, Henry ran away from home. He went to Detroit where he worked for ten hours a day to make $2.50/week. At 18, Elon Musk was in college in Canada, buying a frat house with a friend that he later ran as a nightclub.

2. Henry Ford Could Burn Rubber

In 1904, Henry Ford set a land-speed record of 91.37 mph on the frozen surface of Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. And while that may not seem very fast these days, consider that Ford’s car the “999” had a wooden chassis and no body or hood. Ford 999 Photo credit: Collections Of The Henry Ford So while that may not be impressive when you’re driving an airbag on wheels, try that without a windshield on the Midwest Tundra and I think you’d wanna buy that guy a beer. Elon’s driving record, however, is less impressive. He bought himself a million-dollar McLaren F1 and then promptly crashed and wrecked it before it was even insured. McLarenF1 A McLaren F1 GT (though not Elon's)

3. Henry Ford Was Faithful...Kinda

Henry and Clara Ford 1932 Photo Credit: Collections Of The Henry Ford Ford stayed in the same marriage for almost 60 years to his wife Clara with whom he had one son with. Henry was notoriously dedicated to his family and creating a family friendly workplace at Ford. Unfortunately, he was also dedicated to a mistress for over a decade, but hey, at least he was consistent. Musk  divorced his “starter wife” after she squeezed out six of his kids. Musk did marry again, but then they got divorced, but then married the same woman once again, then they divorced again, then…well, who knows, he’s got some issues with the ladies.

4. Henry Ford Gave To His Country

Between the democratization of the automobile and creating the world’s largest factory on American soil, Henry Ford gave a lot to the U.S.A. He was also an outspoken pacifist. In fact, he got so upset over WWI that he chartered a boat dubbed the “Peace Ship” and sailed across the Atlantic in an effort to stop the war. After this proved wildly unsuccessful, Ford used his factory in Cherry Hill to create jobs targeted for and assigned to disabled vets. Musk has done his bit too, launching a veteran hiring initiative and creating veteran communities within Tesla itself. However, the roughly $4.9 billion in combined government subsidies that his companies have received is causing of firestorm of questions about his commitment to the U.S.

5. Ford Wasn’t Always Successful

Before starting the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford was fired from his first job and both of his two first companies flopped. As did his aviation ventures. So did his Fordlandia project in Brazil. But these flops only make him more endearing, as if he’s more like the rest of us. Elon however, seems to have the golden touch. After selling his first company at 12 for $500, Musk’s next project made him $22 million and there sure haven’t been many flops since.

6. Ford Was A Kick Ass Boss

RougeWorker Photo Credit: Collections Of The Henry Ford While people debate whether or not Elon berated an employee for missing work due to the birth of his child, Ford has gone down in history for doubling people’s salaries. Notorious for saying “As long as I live, I want to pay the highest wages in the automobile industry. If the men in our plants will give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay, there is no reason why we can’t always do it. Every man should make enough money to own a home, a piece of land and a car.” Ford also helped single mothers, the handicapped and blind people gain employment in his factories. He was credited with shifting the American workweek from 6 days/48 hours to the five-day/40 hour workweek. And while the Musk empire seems to recruit the best and brightest, the Internet is filled with ex-employee rants from both Tesla and SpaceX. FaultlessFord (Not exactly...) Now, Henry Ford was no angel. Both Musk and Ford are not gods but just as human as the rest of us. But they are men who have done incredible things. So in that spirit I give you:


... without calling him a hero. Harper Collins' new book out on Elon compares him to a "real-life Tony Stark." See? We're serious about this thing about people thinking he's a hero! But I'm sure the book backs up their claim, check it out for yourself if you'd like. Elon-Musk-Feature-List Photo Courtesy of Harper Collins

5. Nobody Claims He Hates Jews

Henry Ford’s darkest chapter involves him publishing & distributing anti-Semitic texts including “The International Jew”. Thus far, we know nothing of Elon’s anti-Semitic or racism leanings, hooray!

4. Musk’s Mom Is A Nude Model

A few years ago, Elon’s model mother posed nude for the cover of New York magazine. Not bad for a 63-year-old grandma.

3. Elon Parties With Homer & Marge

Musk made cameo appearances in both a The Simpsons episode and in the feature film “Thank You For Smoking” with Aaron Eckhart.

2. Tesla Isn’t Scared Of Car Dealerships

Knowing that it would start a firestorm with the annoying franchised car dealer system, Tesla went ahead and broke all the rules by selling direct to the public. And if you needed just one reason to love Elon Musk:

5. Musk Is Making A Car Submarine

After buying the famed Lotus Esprit from the James Bond classic “The Spy Who Loved Me”, Musk pledged to make the car submarine operational. Sounds great Elon, if anyone can do it, it’s you… and maybe Henry Ford!  
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