E.F. Schumacher, in his book Small Is Beautiful, describes the Scott Bader Commonwealth, a chemical company where the founder turned much of his ownership over to the employees, and created a "constitution" that guaranteed a limited company size, a low ratio of remuneration between the highest and lowest paid employees (7-to-1), a no firing policy (since everyone was a partner), and guaranteed charitable contributions. At the time Schumacher was writing, in 1973, the company had been successful for over 20 years with this constitution in place.
But, I wondered, how had the company fared through another 40+ years of market tests? Pretty darned well, it turns out.
Here is a nice reform idea: let us rewrite our incorporation laws to favor company structures like this one. Efficiency should not be the only test of our social institutions: their humanity might be an even better one.
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Is shaping up nicely .
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