Author Topic: capitalism = exploitation  (Read 1853 times)

ped

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capitalism = exploitation
« on: November 21, 2010, 11:42:11 AM »
is there an instance where an employee, or collective of employees is paid equal to or more than the income they generate?
the point of hiring someone to do the work for you is to profit from their effort, otherwise there would be no point and the business would fail, no? who would hire someone who generates less money than their wage? conversely I understand that employment is relatively free choice, but why would anyone want to work for less than the sum total of their effort? who in their right mind would allow themselves to be so obviously ripped off? is it because they have no other options?

if this is the case then how is capitalism at the most fundemental level not exploitation?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 11:55:52 AM by ped »

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 11:55:17 AM »
I work for what I consider an adequate payment for my efforts. How much my employer earns off my job, I honestly don't care about.

The work you do is worth what the marked will pay for it. The product of your work, by the same, is worth what marked will pay for it. Those are two different numbers, as work and its products are different things.
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 11:58:09 AM »
so you're okay with being payed less than you earned it total? why? why do you give your effort away for free?

also what dictates market wages and why?

if, hypothetically, your employeer earned $50,000,000,000.00 from soley your effort and paid you a market wage of say $30,000.00, would that be okay since it is market rate?

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2010, 12:13:25 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
so you're okay with being payed less than you earned it total?
I don't. I am paid exactly what I earn in total. The company I work for, however, makes additional funds by selling what I make. They too have their expenses associated with the job and their margins of profit. I'm perfectly ok with it since that means I don't have to do things I'm not qualified to do, such as marketing, sales and support, in addition to having enough funds to waste every time a paycheck comes in.

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why? why do you give your effort away for free?
I don't. I just sell it for a price I want, pretty much. Had I had a more inflexible job, I'd sell my skills for what the employer was willing to pay. There is nothing there to suggest "free". Free is when you work 12 hours and get paid for 8.

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also what dictates market wages and why?

Supply and demand. Monopolies. Competition. Quality and quantity of the product. Level of skill required. There are many factors there, which I will not go too deeply into with my "economics for engineers" as the only knowledge ballast.

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if, hypothetically, your employeer earned $50,000,000,000.00 from soley your effort and paid you a market wage of say $30,000.00, would that be okay since it is market rate?
Yes, it's ok. If you think you are being underpaid though, you can always demand a raise or find a job which will pay you more for the same amount of effort.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 01:38:24 PM by Asmodean »
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 12:30:25 PM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
I don't. I am payed exactly what I earn in total. The company I work for, however, makes additional funds by selling what I make. They too have their expenses associated with the job and their margins of profit. I'm perfectly ok with it since that means I don't have to do things I'm not qualified to do, such as marketing, sales and support, in addition to having enough funds to waste every time a paycheck comes in.

but they made a profit, so you generated more than what you were paid. why would you give away your time and labor for less than its worth?

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I don't. I just sell it for a price I want, pretty much.

do you price it at less than it generates? if so, why? that would be giving a portion of your effort and time away for free.

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Had I had a more inflexible job, I'd sell my skills for what the employer was willing to pay. There is nothing there to suggest "free". Free is when you work 12 hours and get paid for 8.

really, thats the only definition? cant free also mean when you earn $12 and get paid for $8 and therefore gave $4 away for nothing?

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Yes, it's ok. If you think you are being underpaid though, you can always demand a raise or find a job which will pay you more for the same amount of effort.  

alright its okay, but how is it not exploitation?

will the wage of that new job or the raise be equal to or greater than the total sum of the wealth I create? if not why would I agree to giving the difference away?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 12:55:17 PM by ped »

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 12:51:09 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
but they made a profit, so you generated more than what you were paid. why would you give away your time and labor for less than its worth?
Of course I generate profit when I work for a company. Otherwise, there would really be no point in keeping me employed, now would it..? If a company is in a crisis, it's often the employees who do not generate profit without being essential who have to go first.

As to why I would "give away" my time and labour for "less than it's worth" - I don't. I don't give it away since I do get paid and I don't underprice it since my wage is well above average for my profession and the current objective is of average complexity.

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do you price it at less than it generates? if so, why? that would be giving a portion of your effort and time away for free.
No. I'm not giving anything away, ok. I say "My hour costs 50 bucks" and 50 bucks I get (example hourly rate) Nothing "given away" there unless I work free overtime. I don't price it as less then it generates - the total income is calculated after my wages are paid. It is my wage, among other factors, that dictates the from-factory-price of the end-product, not the other way around. I price it to what I think my skills are worth compared to average within my level of education and line of work. I think I'm above average, and so above average you have to pay me.

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really, thats the only definition? cant free also mean when you earn $12 and get paid for $8 and therefore gave $4 away for nothing?
If your contract, which you signed upon employment, says that you earn 12 bucks but get 8 before taxes, then yes. If, on the other hand, it says that you earn 8 bucks and doesn't even mention what your employer earns by selling your effort, then no. Then you are selling yourself for an agreed price. Period.

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will that new job be equal to or greater than the total sum of the wealth you create?
Doesn't matter. what matters is whether or not you are satisfied with your personal sum total and with the percentage of generated income it represents, if you care about such things.
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2010, 01:08:16 PM »
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Of course I generate profit when I work for a company. Otherwise, there would really be no point in keeping me employed, now would it..?

no, thats the point. because the reason for keeping you employeed is to pay you less than you generate. i.e. to exploit your efforts.


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As to why I would "give away" my time and labour for "less than it's worth" - I don't. I don't give it away since I do get paid and I don't underprice it since my wage is well above average for my profession and the current objective is of average complexity.
 

but you just said you generate more than you get paid.


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No. I'm not giving anything away, ok. I say "My hour costs 50 bucks" and 50 bucks I get (example hourly rate) Nothing "given away" there unless I work free overtime. I don't price it as less then it generates - the total income is calculated after my wages are paid. It is my wage, among other factors, that dictates the from-factory-price of the end-product, not the other way around. I price it to what I think my skills are worth compared to average within my level of education and line of work. I think I'm above average, and so above average you have to pay me.

again you said "off course i generate a profit." so your price is always going to be less than its total value, right? why in the world are you agreeing to give away that difference?

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If your contract, which you signed upon employment, says that you earn 12 bucks but get 8 before taxes, then yes. If, on the other hand, it says that you earn 8 bucks and doesn't even mention what your employer earns by selling your effort, then no. Then you are selling yourself for an agreed price. Period.

why would anyone in their right mind agree on $8 without knowing what their services are actually worth? why would anyone even agree on a set price instead of an equal or positive percentage of what their efforts generate in total?


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Doesn't matter. what matters is whether or not you are satisfied with your personal sum total and with the percentage of generated income it represents, if you care about such things.

are saying it is in fact exploitation but thats okay?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 01:32:03 PM by ped »

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2010, 01:30:28 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
no, thats the point. because the reason for keeping you employeed is to pay you less than you generate. i.e. to exploit your efforts.
*sigh* You're hopeless...  :raised:

Again and again (and again and again...) I am NOT giving anything away. To give something away, I have to posess it. I do NOT posess the profit generated by the company as a whole. I am a tool that is required for a certain job and I am paid accordingly to the job I do. When it is done, the company's profit is the marked value of the end product minus my salary, marketing cost, material costs, administrative expenses, taxes and the like.

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why would anyone in their right mind agree on $8 without knowing what their services are actually worth? would it be foolish to assume that if they're offered only $8 that their services are actually more valuable? if so, why?
A personal question: are you by chance unemployed..?

Can't answer for the world in general, but I agree to my wage because I think that is what my skills are worth after having examined what lowest and highest paid professionals in my country and line of work get for what jobs and measuring that against my own expected effort, level of education and amount of responsibility.

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why would anyone be satisfied with so much less than their earning in total? why would i sell you a $1k piece of gold for $1?
Your earnings are NOT the same as company income, unless you ARE the company.
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2010, 01:54:47 PM »
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*sigh* You're hopeless...  :raised:


maybe someone hacked your account?

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I am a tool


 :hmm:

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I am paid accordingly to the job I do. When it is done, the company's profit is the marked value of the end product minus my salary, marketing cost, material costs, administrative expenses, taxes and the like.

Can't answer for the world in general, but I agree to my wage because I think that is what my skills are worth after having examined what lowest and highest paid professionals in my country and line of work get for what jobs and measuring that against my own expected effort, level of education and amount of responsibility.

so you're fine with getting less than you're actually worth, as long as everyone else is also?

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A personal question: are you by chance unemployed..?

i am self-employeed.

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Your earnings are NOT the same as company income, unless you ARE the company.

correct. you are there to earn the company more money than they pay you.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 02:21:26 PM by ped »

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2010, 02:19:27 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
but you're paid less than you made for your employeer. your employeer made money from you. he exploited your time and effort for a profit. just because you feel thats okay doesnt mean its not exploitation.

exploit, according to Merriam Webster.

1: to make productive use of : utilize <exploiting your talents> <exploit your opponent's weakness>
2: to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage <exploiting migrant farm workers>

Assuming, as I have throughout this thread, that you are refering to definition two, the following conditions are unmet: Meanly, unfairly. Thus, the definition of exploit does not stand in this case.

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maybe someone hacked your account?
I doubt it. It's just that I'm careful not to use off when I mean of. It distorts the meaning. For instance, off course is the opposite of on course while of course is somewhat synonimous to certainly or for sure.

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:hmm:
A tool. An instrument to be used to perform certain tasks.

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so you're fine with getting less than you're actually worth, as long as everyone else is also?
"you're actually worth"..? What AM I actually worth? To whom? My employer..? They pay me exactly what I'm worth to them, I think. Perhaps even a bit more. They still make very good money off my work though.

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i am self-employeed.
...Yet the answers to most of these questions are not intuitively obvious to you..?

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correct. you are there to earn the company more money than they pay you.
No. My agenda is to earn me money and possibly make a name for myself while at it. That is the whole reason why I am there. The company has its perspective and seen with their eyes, your assertion is usually perfectly correct, but you did put forth your statement from MY perspective, not their.
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 02:37:20 PM »
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exploit, according to Merriam Webster.

1: to make productive use of: utilize <exploiting your talents> <exploit your opponent's weakness>
2: to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage <exploiting migrant farm workers>

Assuming, as I have throughout this thread, that you are refering to definition two, the following conditions are unmet: Meanly, unfairly. Thus, the definition of exploit does not stand in this case.


un·fair   (Å­n-fâr')
adj., -er, -est.
1.Not just or evenhanded; biased: an unfair call by an umpire.
2.Contrary to laws or conventions, especially in commerce; unethical: unfair trading.

why did Websters use migrant workers in the example of exploitation you think?


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A tool. An instrument to be used to perform certain tasks.


exploit, according to Merriam Webster.

1: to make productive use of


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"you're actually worth"..? What AM I actually worth? To whom? My employer..? They pay me exactly what I'm worth to them, I think. Perhaps even a bit more. They still make very good money off my work though.

so you admit they're not paying you what you're earning. so you didnt make what you're worth. i understand that you, for some bizarre reason have accepted this, but i fail to see how you're not being made productive use of?

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...Yet the answers to most of these questions are not intuitively obvious to you..?

no, they make no sense at all quite frankly.

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No. My agenda is to earn me money and possibly make a name for myself while at it. That is the whole reason why I am there. The company has its perspective and seen with their eyes, your assertion is usually perfectly correct, but you did put forth your statement from MY perspective, not their.

regardless of your reasons, you have allowed yourself to be a tool for profit. the migrant workers are exploited because of their will for money, you're exploited because of your will for money. how are the two of you ultimately different? or do you just simply disagree with websters example?

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 02:56:51 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
un·fair   (Å­n-fâr')
adj., -er, -est.
1.Not just or evenhanded; biased: an unfair call by an umpire.
2.Contrary to laws or conventions, especially in commerce; unethical: unfair trading.

why did Websters use migrant workers in the example of exploitation you think?
Because they are often being exploited by recieving sub-marked wages or working in conditions considered illegal by a given government.

I, however, am not an immigrant worker. My wage is good for my line of work and the working environment law is followed to the best of my employer's ability. No un-fairness there. None at all.


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so you admit they're not paying you what you're earning.
Distorted facts. I admit no such thing. I am paid exactly what I earn - if I wasn't, I'd likely drag my employer to court.

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so you didnt make what you're worth.
What AM I worth? To whom?

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i understand that you, for some bizarre reason have accepted this, but i fail to see how you're not being made productive use of?
I'm sorry, I'm losing you here... What on earth are you talking about?

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no, they make no sense at all quite frankly.
Nor do my explanations, apparently. Can we have an economics teacher here, please!  :raised:

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regardless of your reasons, you have allowed yourself to be a tool for profit.
Yup. Serves my needs just fine.

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the migrant workers are exploited because of their will for money, you're exploited because of your will for money. how are the two of you ultimately different? or do you just simply disagree with websters example?
Oh, we are very different. I am not in any way treated unfairly or unlawfully by my employer, thus I am not being exploited by definition 2 of Merriam Webster. Definition 2 is at the core different from definition 1, encompassing some specifics that go to the negative use of the word. By first definition, we are all the same and capitalism is the same as anything else that requires you to work for a living. By second definition, I am in no way exploited other than being utilized as a profit-generating instrument. That falls short of exploitation since, as I stated, I am treated fairly and according to my country's laws and regulations.
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ped

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2010, 03:30:53 PM »
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Because they are often being exploited by recieving sub-marked wages or working in conditions considered illegal by a given government.

I, however, am not an immigrant worker. My wage is good for my line of work and the working environment law is followed to the best of my employer's ability. No un-fairness there. None at all.

so if everyone else doesnt feel they're being cheated (market wage), and the government has decided that using people to make a profit will be tolerated, then thats not explotative?

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Distorted facts. I admit no such thing. I am paid exactly what I earn - if I wasn't, I'd likely drag my employer to court.

you said multiple times you're not being payed what you earn for the company.


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What AM I worth? To whom?

you're worth precisely what you earn in total.


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I'm sorry, I'm losing you here... What on earth are you talking about?

ditto


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Nor do my explanations, apparently. Can we have an economics teacher here, please!  :raised

what does economics have to do with the ethics?


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Yup. Serves my needs just fine.

great! but you're still a willful tool. (no personal insult intended)

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Oh, we are very different. I am not in any way treated unfairly or unlawfully by my employer

law here is arbitrary and an apeal to authority. whether you are treated fairly is in contention. so is fairly purely subjective then? arent 3rd world child laborers happy to even have a job?

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thus I am not being exploited by definition 2 of Merriam Webster. Definition 2 is at the core different from definition 1, encompassing some specifics that go to the negative use of the word. By first definition, we are all the same and capitalism is the same as anything else that requires you to work for a living.

no because capitalism is dependant on people willing to accept less than their work is ultimately worth. other systems net 100% return on time and effort. capitalism means <100% for the employee and >100% for the employer.

 
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I am in no way exploited other than being utilized as a profit-generating instrument. That falls short of exploitation since, as I stated, I am treated fairly and according to my country's laws and regulations.

again appeal to authority fallacy. just because the government has allowed it doesnt make it not exploitative.

Asmodean

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 04:06:26 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
so if everyone else doesnt feel they're being cheated (market wage), and the government has decided that using people to make a profit will be tolerated, then thats not explotative?
Not my point, but that would be correct under the more usual circumstances.

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you said multiple times you're not being payed what you earn for the company.
Yes. I earn more for the company than I get from it. And yet I am paid what I am worth to them. My work (or THE work, to be more precise, since it doesn't really matter if I do it, or someone else) is worth a tad more, however.

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you're worth precisely what you earn in total.
Yes. What YOU earn. Not what someone earns by selling the products of your work.

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what does economics have to do with the ethics?
What do ethics have to do with economics? What does global warming have to do with the environment for that matter?

Ethics are a part of most schools in life, be it work and money making or love and relationships. Or driving a car, for that matter.

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great! but you're still a willful tool. (no personal insult intended)
And you see some big ethical problem in it, I take it..? How would I not be a tool to someone else's ends under communism, for instance?

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law here is arbitrary and an apeal to authority. whether you are treated fairly is in contention. so is fairly purely subjective then? arent 3rd world child laborers happy to even have a job?
And as long as their country's law permits child labour and they are paid according to the marked for their line of work and above minimal wage, if applicable, then what's the problem..? How are they then treated meanly or unfairly, as Webster put it..?

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no because capitalism is dependant on people willing to accept less than their work is ultimately worth. other systems net 100% return on time and effort. capitalism means <100% for the employee and >100% for the employer.
What you are saying that while I earn less than I earn, my employer earns more than he earns. That... Is bullshit. The other point about capitalism and something else is severely flawed too. However, I tire of this going back and forth, so I'm not gonna address it at this time.

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again appeal to authority fallacy. just because the government has allowed it doesnt make it not exploitative.
Within a society, it's government largely defines what is considered fair and lawful. Those are key points in defining exploitation in its negative meaning. No fallacy here since the whole debate is not a cosmic scale dilemma, or even an inter-social one. If a Polish worker works in my country and recieves less for hour than my countryman with the same level of education and/or experience, it's exploitation. If however, worker A does the job for about the same as worker B, representing the general run of the profession in question would and the laws and regulations that apply to the given society are upheld, that is, by definition (2 of MW), not exploitative.
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Thumpalumpacus

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Re: capitalism = exploitation
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2010, 04:28:35 PM »
Quote from: "ped"
is there an instance where an employee, or collective of employees is paid equal to or more than the income they generate?

No, such a business would quickly go under.  You forget that "the income they generate" must not only pay worker incomes, it must pay overhead and capital costs.

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the point of hiring someone to do the work for you is to profit from their effort, otherwise there would be no point and the business would fail, no?

Yep.

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who would hire someone who generates less money than their wage?

Governments and other non-profits, obviously.

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conversely I understand that employment is relatively free choice, but why would anyone want to work for less than the sum total of their effort? who in their right mind would allow themselves to be so obviously ripped off? is it because they have no other options?

No, it's because the options (taking out a loan, securing a location, developing a product, organizing its manufacture and distribution, etc) are a helluva lot of work that most people do not wish to undertake, and so they work for less in order to let the business owner handle these headaches.  In a very real sense, the profit they generate is the reward to the owner for being willing to assume not only these responsibilities, but the risks of putting one's own money up for risk.  How would you propose to get these things done without incentivizing them?

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if this is the case then how is capitalism at the most fundemental level not exploitation?

Why single out capitalism?  Socialism exploits as well: if a state business turns a profit, it is exploiting customers who don't have a choice of product, and if it doesn't turn a profit, then it is exploiting taxpayers (who may not agree with the way the business is run at all) by forcing them to subsidize it.

Sad fact:  all of life is exploitation.  For you to live, something else must die, be it plant or animal.  There is no way around that blunt reality, and no sense in wringing one's hands over it.
Illegitimi non carborundum.