Rant. Muse. Eat. Sleep. Recycle.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I am taking business courses at the local technical college and alternative business models are not mentioned in any class. Not one, and I think it is a shame. It is quite clear that in the minds of these teachers, there is no alternative to market capitalism. I am trying to discuss this issue with anyone that will listen.
This doesn't really deal with market capitalism, but I think it is worth telling anyway. Today I did an exercise that, I assume, was supposed to strengthen my management skills. It involved a company that noticed it was losing a significant amount of money each month. Anyway, the text went on to explain that many companies try and "fix the problem" without really defining what the problem is. It explained in great detail a 7 step process to fix problems. The fake business in the problem was having issues with the production managers blaming the accountants for losing the money and vice versa. They decided that the managers had to work together to fix the problem. To make a long story short, they did and the problem got fixed. But one thing that seemed ridiculous to me is that towards the end of the 7 steps they recommended a workshop for the employees to brief them on the problem and how they fixed it. It didn't make sense because the way that they figured out how to fix the hypothetical problem was to ask the employees. A manager, in passing, mentioned the problem to a floor employee and right away they figured out the answer. It was something to do with the machines that he or she was operating. So if they would have had employee input from the beginning the problem would have been solved months before the managers figured out what was going on. Worker run businesses would not only be more productive, but also more efficient. No one in class mentioned this. The text didn't either.
I have paying for a capitalist education and spending most of my time studying different worker-led movements, like council communism, for free. One thing that has really got me interested is participatory economics. Here are some videos with Parecon's co-founder Michael Albert explaining it a bit. Any thoughts?
link | posted by Jae at 10:14 AM |
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