The Lays Of Ancient Profit

Many people, and probably most Americans, assume that the notion of a labour collective wherein all workers, however humble, are entitled to a share of the proceeds of the enterprise, is some kind of new-fangled Communist subversion. Prior to this, they imagine, the sole economic model was that the enterprise had one owner, who took the profit, and paid as little to his workers as he possibly could.

At sea, however, it is this model that is the new-fangled heresy; for maritime trading, whaling, privateering and even prize money in navies operated mostly on “lays” or shares of profit. These shares were naturally not equal between the master of the vessel and the able seaman, but shares they nevertheless were. Let us now imagine the scene in the boardrooms of the oil majors were it to be suggested that Filipino tanker crews be remunerated on the same basis.

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 10:12 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!, The Age Of Enron-cence

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