Welfare Capitalism?

Contributed by Dave Ketchum

When I read nasty words about capitalism, I think of the way capitalism has been done near here – and wonder if it could be more successful for all concerned if done more like what I write of below:

Welfare Capitalism? Whatever you call it, what I write of here benefited many who were involved in and around Johnson City (near Binghamton, NY).

Why was I able to ride a carousel for free? Because George F, when he could afford such, and remembering such rides being an unaffordable luxury for him when he was young, donated some with the free riding being specified.

What did he do to become half-owner of the company with Henry Endicott? Being visible as a foreman and apparently a good prospect for the company doing well if he was in charge – seems Henry used good judgment in making him a partner.

Why is this village called “Johnson City”? Reflexion of residents’ appreciation of George F. Why are there arches at entrances to the village? E-J workers paid for and erected these stone arches embossed with Home of the Square Deal.

NOT a place where unions could expect to get employees a better deal.

How big a company? It GREW: The company was responsible for nearly all of the shoe and footwear for the United States Army duringWorld War I and World War II.

After George F died E-J shrunk – not clear if he could have continued what he started.

Source for most of what I write here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endicott_Johnson_Corporation

Carousel Capital of the World: George F. Johnson donated six carousels to the Triple Cities.

But E-J’s most long lasting and important economic contribution may be its influence on its neighbor in Endicott, New York. IBM, due at least in part to the influence of E-J’s example, became one of the earliest and most important providers of employee benefits.