AMERICAN efficiency is almost a fetish with us. We strive to achieve it in our Soviet Union. Fine machines are a triumph of Science -- untiring iron servants of men. I heard so much about the automobile factories, even before I came to America, that I looked forward to the opportunity to visit one. Therefore, when Mr. Keen told me he had made all the necessary arrangements to visit a plant, I was delighted.
We drove all night. It was a joy to watch the motor car eat up the patch of light, ever before it. We had just enough time for breakfast. And then to the factory!. There I saw the famous "Belt", whereby an automobile is nothing at one end and complete at the other.
The Belt! Men danced to its rhythm. With precision, with economy of motion. But a swift dance indeed!
"How often do they rest?" I asked the foreman.
"They're not here to rest -- they come here to work."
"How much vacation do they get?"
"That depends on how long we shut down."
"Do they get their full pay?
He merely looked at me. He seemed to think there was something wrong with me.
"I notice all the workers are young men," I remarked.
"Sure, why shouldn't they be? This is not an old man's home. This is a factory!"
"What happens to the older men? Are they pensioned off?"
"Pensioned?" He was indignant. "What do you think this is, a charity institution?"
Greed drives the Belt and directs the movement of thousands of humans. They strain nerve and muscle to create wealth for one man. The faster they work, the sooner they work themselves out of jobs. If they don't work fast enough, the Boss fires them. This is considered an incentive.