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Oral History Interview with Caesar Cone, January 7, 1983. Interview C-0003. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    After getting an education at Harvard Business School and experience in business around the country, Caesar Cone found success in the textile industry in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century. In this interview he looks back on his career, describing the textile industry in North Carolina and attacking the increasing entanglement of government and business. Cone is a passionate believer in minimizing government involvement in the marketplace. "Hell, you can't go to the bathroom, hardly, today without running into . . . breaking the law, " he complains. The burden of regulation doesn't just limit individual freedoms, he thinks, but in conjunction with the demands of unions, has hurt the textile industry in the United States and snuffed out employers' impulses to treat their employees well. Cone seems in many ways a typical small-government conservative businessman, but he declares himself a social liberal. That Cone, a Jew, faced a good deal of discrimination throughout his early career may have informed that part of his belief system. This is a spirited interview that will interest, among others, scholars of entrepreneurship and the textile industry in the South.
    Excerpts
  • Nepotism is not a good business plan
  • Ill effects of industry consolidation
  • Slow technological progress hinders the textile industry
  • Paper poses a grave threat to the textile industry
  • Pernicious effects of cars on communities
  • Decline of mill towns and corporate paternalism
  • Unions try to gain a foothold in the southern textile industry.
  • Anger at unions and government regulation
  • Quality of government has declined
  • Lashing out at so-called big government
  • Treating employees well was good business, until the government interfered
  • Religious discrimination fails to bother Cone
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Textile industry--North Carolina--Management
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.