I’ll call this my year-end shit for 2021, since I can’t think of anything remotely positive to say about this year. Even my own production of graphics and writing was low this year. I’m weary and tired.
Let’s return to the oldest constant theme of this blog: Social Economics.
SocEcon companies treat workers like valuable property, not like valueless meat objects. Maintain them, train them, don’t overstrain them.
Obviously we need to bring it back. We need a new Henry Ford.
Henry was actually a latecomer to Social Economics. Many companies making delicate or complex devices had figured it out in 1890. NCR laid out the idea. Weston Instruments, Elgin watches, Jones and Lamson lathes, and dozens of others were practicing the principle before Henry picked it up. I’m using Henry as the icon because he made SocEcon famous and influential.
Henry was not a nice guy. He had some OCD/psychopath tendencies, but didn’t seem to have a burning need to destroy and kill the world. He certainly didn’t care deeply about the souls of his workers. Nevertheless, he tried running his factory both ways, and LISTENED TO THE RESULT OF THE EXPERIMENT. His profit was greater when he treated workers like valuable property. When his workers were maintained, trained, and unstrained, they provided better quality and stayed on the job longer.
The best SocEcon companies (like Conoco) maintained the entire city, not just their workers. They created a beautiful and pleasant place to LIVE when the workers weren’t on the job.
Unions provided a counterbalance that helped to spread SocEcon. Companies that treated their workers as valuable capital found that the workers were not attracted to unions.
This year’s informal mass strike creates the conditions for a new experiment. We no longer have unions, but WFH (or the Chinese version, ‘Lying Flat’) is the counterforce now.
A manager who wants to keep workers in the office should turn the office into a SANCTUARY from all insane mandates. No muzzles, no needles, no lucite, no distancing, no diversity, no sensitivity. Just get the fucking job done with maximum quality.
Will anyone try it?