neverfail wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:34 am
cassowary wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:21 am
The idea Marx gave birth to was that the capitalists exploit the working class. The owners, through their firms, get rich out of the labor of the workers.
I question whether Marx "gave birth" to that idea at all. In his day there would have been no shortage of workers and even some middle class sympathizers who had already arrived at the same conclusion.
Marx merely put down on paper, crystallised into clear thinking, that which many people would already have observed at the time.
Exploitation of employees by employers still happens even in the advanced Western countries (even in my own) but is no longer anything like as blatant or as widespread as it was because it has since been challenged. We now have humane labour laws (a regulated workplace) and employees' organisations that have driven exploitation into the shadows.
I have mixed with working people all of my life. Their average level as education may not be as high as yours but I can assure you they are not dumb. They are usually quick to know when they are being done over by someone.
The idea that Marx and the average worker believed in was false. It may seem obvious that the more you pay workers, the less profit the boss gets. But it is not true because the story does not end there. It is not a zero-sum game or a adversarial relationship. The capitalist and his employees are actually partners to beat the competition.
If they are unable to sell their products or services at a profit, the company goes broke and the workers are out of a job. So if the unions demand unrealistic wages and working conditions, the company cannot make a profit. That's how Detroit got ruined. See the video.
The owner has alternatives to deploying his capital. He can:
1)Spend the money instead of investing in a business in which case he does not create jobs for workers
2)put the money in the bank to earn interest. Or bonds. Or publicly traded stocks. Or invest in real estate and earn rental income.
3)Start a business with his capital.
He has to decide which option is best for him. So if he cannot make a decent return as compared to his alternatives, he will shut down the business.
Meanwhile, the worker also has options. His employer is not the only employer in town. There will be other employers that he can sell his services to. So if someone else is willing to pay a higher salary or give him better working conditions, he will resign and work elsewhere.
The company has to deal with the customers who also have options. This is not the only company that can provide the product he wishes to buy. If someone else can give him the same product at a lower price or better quality, he will shop elsewhere.
The more profitable the company is, the more the owner can afford to pay his employees. Trump's corprate tax cuts increase the after-tax profit of US companies. So many have responded by upping wages and giving out bonuses. This is not done out of altruism. It is done out of business necessity. Other companies are doing the same and they wish to retain their workers. Remember, companies that can afford to pay the highest wage can pick the best emplyees that will come flocking to seek a job.
So Marx was wrong. You cannot exploit the workers because exploited workers will resign and work for someone who is willing to pay more and give better working conditions. But workers have to up their game. The best workers will go to the companies that pay the best wage. Companies that pay the best wages are the ones who are the most profitable. So it is in the interest of workers to help the company make a worthwhile profit.