LectureNotes229

LectureNotes229 - C136 022908 Taylor is really at the core...

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C136 022908 Taylor is really at the core of what H. would call a certain kind of prog thikingin that doesn’t really look prog: looks absolutist, as if he’s trying to impose a certain kind of system onto workers, in plants, etc. Issues we’ve talked about so far: common thesis: J. Livingston. how many strikes are going on in this period— thousands per year. incredible labor unrest. a depression from 1883-1895. financial era of great success 1895-1919. 1920s also good growth era (until 1929, duh). great depression doesn’t end until military spending in WWII. 1950s-60s great financial periods. the rate of growth from post-civil war to 1895. general era of depression. 1893 panic has dissipated. great deal of paradox that prog reform mvmts come in an era when the US is in great financial shape. great reform periods come during periods of success. people can think thru problems of the past. 1870-95 period of slow growth, deflationary. working people considered to be exploiting capitalism because their wages aren’t dropping—value rising under deflation. rate of exploitation increased on the half the workers. what, then, causes strikes? the managers, the ceos keep trying to lower wages, saying they’re getting too much money. labor unrest, management violence. 1902-5 11,000 strikes. 1898-1901: 7,000 strikes. what is the solution to all of these economic problems? 1) massive technologizing; 2) merging companies—to cut down costs in one way or another, thus deal w/ problems. magic word: EFFICIENCY. a whole new, secularized religion of the period. problem of overproduction: what to do? look for new markets. consumerism becomes a solution to the problem of economy during this whole period. labor & capital are at war. the attempt to overcome that war is to technologize the plant: “de-skilling labor” (porter/taylor?). new markets, possibility of getting amer to consume. change ideology from production to consumption. taylor has another solution. what he calls “scientific management.” claims that he’s working against an idea he participated in. trained as an engineer. p 50-1: advantages he has, why he can do this w/ labor: in a dif. class. he comes from a high- middle-class family who didn’t go to college but became an engineer & inventor. engineers considered heroes of culture, seen to have knowledge about how things work.
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LectureNotes229 - C136 022908 Taylor is really at the core...

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