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Post Fordism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lazarus
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Reading Response 1: Making it in America
Richa Parikh

The transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism in the United States marked a significant change in the organization of businesses. Standard Motor Products(SMP) was initiated in the early 1900s as an after-market automobile parts manufacturer headquartered in Long Island City, Queens. United States was in the midst of an industrial revolution, and concepts of Taylorism and Fordism had barely diffused. Businesses had more control over deciding which products to produce and they primarily marketed to a particular societal class. This allowed room for mass production of standardized products which would lead to mass consumption. SMP thrived through their division of labour and economies of scale that this model of consumption advocated.
Then came the burst of globalization, which facilitated access to new markets in order increase profits and shareholder value. Powerful multinationals which exploited these markets from its onset grew considerably in size. As SMP was small in comparison to this competition, it could not influence discount policies from its suppliers and thus, it had to cut costs elsewhere to keep its business profitable. Cutting down costs by expanding into regions with a cheaper labour pool was the only option they had to ensure their survival. Based on the capitalist premise that underlines the economy of the United States, it is through competition that the businesses improve and evolve. For this reason, Standard Motor expanded many of its manufacturing plants in the sun belt region. This included the southern states of the country such as South Carolina. The movement to South Carolina was favourable more many reasons; lower labour costs, no labour unionization, lower land and energy costs, lower local taxation, and greater local government boosterism. The main impact of this...

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