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John Passant

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October 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Bosses are like slave owners: study

Bosses claim that scientific management practices are a product of “progress” and innovation. But a recent study by Caitlin Rosenthal from the Harvard Business School has found a connection between modern management techniques and the practices of slave owners, writes Kim Doyle in Red Flag.

While researching the history of business practices in the US, Rosenthal found that Southern slave owners often used more sophisticated methods to monitor the productivity of their workers than manufacturers in the North.

In the early 20th century, capitalists would often offer cash rewards to workers who met certain productivity levels. However, long before this “incentivisation”, slave owners were experimenting with ways to accelerate the pace of labour. Some held contests and gave small cash bonuses to the slave who could pick the most cotton. They then adopted this level of output as the new standard that all slaves were expected to reach.

To encourage workers to police one another, companies like Singer Sewing adopted collective penalties. Similarly, slave owners used collective punishments to induce slaves to give up their compatriots when they stole from their masters.

The railway era is often credited with creating new units of measurement for productivity, such as the “cost per ton mile”. However, according to Rosenthal, “bales per prime hand” predated this. One healthy adult slave might be considered one “hand”, while a child might be considered “half a hand”. This allowed slave owners to calculate and compare the productivity of their farms.

Slave owners could collect data on their workforce in ways that other businesses could not because they had complete control over the lives of their workers.

Scientific management is about squeezing more labour out of workers at less cost to the bosses by increasing the amount of control over our lives. Rosenthal has shown that slave owners were the true pioneers of modern management techniques.



Comment from paul walter
Time October 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m not always up to pace with this site, but that first sentence deserves the sort of cheer reserved for a premiership winning goal.

Comment from Chris Gaff
Time October 26, 2013 at 12:53 am

I always thought whomever was paying the wage controlled the production method. It seem you are complaing about the bosses right to be boss.
If you don’t like the bosses management style get another job, If you can.

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