Slavery and Modern Management

Researcher at Harvard Business School, Caitlin Rosenthal, has traced the origins of many modern business management techniques back to the practices invented by slaveholders as ways to optimize the production value of the enslaved individuals. In this Forbes piece the author explains: “Slave owners were able to collect data on their workforce in ways that…

Quick-n-Dirty History of Government Shutdowns

The first government shutdown or “funding gap” occurs in 1976. Happy Bicentennial, President Ford! How many government shutdowns since 1976? Eighteen counting this one. Has anything changed? Julian Zelizer says we see two shifts: first, in 1980, when President Carter says that federal workers have to stay home during a shutdown, and second, in 1995/96,…

Kathleen Flenniken’s Shell Game

What an amazing mixture of poetry, memory, and historical reflection. Your personal experiences are your reality until they are the past. Historical perspective and context can change the meaning of your experiences. What better way to wrestle with conflicting emotions than through the arts. The combination of poetry and film here makes a powerful statement…

History Makes Economics More Interesting!

This is a wonderful blend of history and economics. It effortlessly integrates some major historical practices and concepts (oral histories, searching out the answers to a historical rumor, finding documentation and ultimately revealing some of the complexities that exist between memory and history) as a way to illustrate some economic principles for listeners. The Cost…