Thursday, March 29, 2012

Surely this will Work in Education

Rob Watson:

The form of business management that is espoused in the neoliberal positivist agenda is one in which all context, history, personality, community and local situation is ripped-out of the economic evaluation process. This is a process whereby good companies and bad companies are measured and boiled-down to numerical metrics only. The spreadsheet is the only thing that matters, and the numbers that are produced therewith, are the only data that is reported to the market. Without any other form of contextualising data, the well-being of a company, of its investors, it’s stakeholders, it’s workforce and it’s customers, are all placed on the sacrificial altar of the stock price. Driving this stock price forward is the primary, indeed the only concern of the management caste who run these companies. Making money is the only measure of success, and the management caste who normalise and drive this forward are the only ones who experience the rewards and benefits accrued in these deals. This is a form of economics that smashes collective action, denies partnerships through trade-unionism, and decouples companies from the shared benefits that might potentially be on offer, but which are realised only in more long-term or more dispersed forms of accountability. Instead, in the neoliberal model, the rewards only go to the managers. The management castes sense of entitlement therefore far outstrips the rewards that ordinary citizens and employees can expect. Investment in general public services, such as health, education and transport, becomes anathema to the supposed good running of business and the economy. And the decay that is wrought on communities in the process of seeking to make money alone is blamed on the disadvantaged communities themselves. As if being poor was a moral fault of the individual, and not expressly the product of an unbalanced and inequitable system.

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