Stefan Stern says recession or no recession there’s still a strong case in favour of improving the quality of people’s working lives.

So race-to-the-bottom employers are not really tough-minded libertarians at all: they actually limit people’s freedom. This is an ingenious argument, but one that may seem more than a little idealistic to today’s credit crunched executive. Some may even feel that “objects to be manipulated in the service of business objectives” is quite a good way of thinking about the staff.

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