Republicans in Maine and across the nation have forgotten the lesson of Henry Ford a century ago.

Ford paid his assemblyline workers wages that were much higher than the then-going wages for blue collar laborers, because he wanted to make sure his workers could buy the cars that they made.

Ford understood that the ongoing success of his company required that there was a mass market ready and able to buy his inventory, and that required a healthy middle class.

Ford’s great idea is just as valid today. If Republicans ignore Ford’s lesson and apply union-busting tactics to remake American workers into the image of poorly paid foreign labor, then this nation will lose the vibrant middle class, as we know it.

If that happens, the mass market that pays for our manufactured goods and fuels our economy will continue to suffer.

Peter Konieczko