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Colorado Walmart employees and supporters join nationwide protests, in front of a Walmart store in Lakewood, Colo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) — In 1914, Henry Ford announced he was more than doubling the average wage of Ford Motor Co. factory workers to $5 a day, in part so they could afford a Model T. His act took the world by surprise, spurred auto sales and helped create an American middle class.

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