Business: America the Inefficient

WHATEVER else it may stand for, the U.S. has long been the Land of Efficiency. Here, if nowhere else, things worked: the trains, the plumbing, the vending—well, no, not the vending machines. But surely the telephones and, until the 1965 Northeastern blackout, the lights. Here mass production was born, the assembly line for good or ill became the modern cornucopia, and Henry Ford once reigned as the leading culture hero. Around the world American efficiency became a byword; at home it came close to being a religion, and wasted time was considered a sin. Only in America could it have occurred...

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