CORPORATIONS: The Industrial Radicals

From all over the world, engineers flock to Milwaukee's famed A. O. Smith Corp. to goggle at a machine that is nearly two blocks long. It is the first "pushbutton" factory and, though built 30 years ago, it is still a mechanical wonder. Only 75 men operate the machine as its automatic arms drag in flat sheets of steel, shape, hammer and rivet them, pop them out as automobile frames at the rate of 10,000 a day.

Even the super-efficient U.S. auto industry can hardly beat such efficiency; it orders 40% of all...

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