Difference between fair wage and equal wage

 :: General :: Theory

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:23 am

Fair wage is based on productivity, equal wage is a blanket amount for everyone.

I don't think equal wage system would maintain productivity very well.

So then, I'm confused somewhat: Is it still socialst to support a wage system based on productivity? Some people may put many hours into labor, but achieve very little; and vice versa. It's not very good to have good and bad workers paid all the same.
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by hermeticist on Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:50 am

Someone more erudite than myself will have to weigh in. As I understand it, wage labor is the foundation of capitalist exploitation -- in this sense there can never be a "fair wage." The idea of wage labor is that's there's a residue -- often a very large chunk -- left over as surplus (the capitalist's profit). This is very different from a collective.

To introduce a capitalist system, financialise all transactions between people, make the transactions contractual ones subject to payments. Including labor. That's what the hellish USA is like today, where medical services, social services, education, etc., are subject to the "laws of the market" (i.e., controlled by cartels).

When feudalism gave way to capitalism in Europe, the first capitalist imperative was to create a class of wage helots, concentrated in cities, who were utterly dependent on money wages. Along with this was the imperative to create an army of reserve labor -- those who were dependent on wages but could not find paid work. This creates a docile and compliant labor force. This dependence on wages has to be done away with if the exploitative capitalist system is to be brought down.
avatar
hermeticist
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 92
Reputation : 48
Join date : 2011-04-02

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:54 pm

hermeticist wrote:Someone more erudite than myself will have to weigh in. As I understand it, wage labor is the foundation of capitalist exploitation -- in this sense there can never be a "fair wage." The idea of wage labor is that's there's a residue -- often a very large chunk -- left over as surplus (the capitalist's profit). This is very different from a collective.

To introduce a capitalist system, financialise all transactions between people, make the transactions contractual ones subject to payments. Including labor. That's what the hellish USA is like today, where medical services, social services, education, etc., are subject to the "laws of the market" (i.e., controlled by cartels).

When feudalism gave way to capitalism in Europe, the first capitalist imperative was to create a class of wage helots, concentrated in cities, who were utterly dependent on money wages. Along with this was the imperative to create an army of reserve labor -- those who were dependent on wages but could not find paid work. This creates a docile and compliant labor force. This dependence on wages has to be done away with if the exploitative capitalist system is to be brought down.

What I'm suggesting is a "socialist" system based on productivity. Maybe it would be more syndicalist than socialist, but no matter.

For each laborer to be fairly paid, it would be in relation to his productivity. Think about it: Equal wages is actually a form of profit for unproductive workers. Scrap this. My idea is to measure wage in relation to output.

Is this still an acceptable view to have on this forum?
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by GF on Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:17 pm

godlessnorth wrote:What I'm suggesting is a "socialist" system based on productivity. Maybe it would be more syndicalist than socialist, but no matter.

For each laborer to be fairly paid, it would be in relation to his productivity. Think about it: Equal wages is actually a form of profit for unproductive workers. Scrap this. My idea is to measure wage in relation to output.

Is this still an acceptable view to have on this forum?

I think it's acceptable. At least, I agree with you, and I'm pretty sure most of us here agree with you. As far as I know, Socialism is exactly what you say you support, a system where wealth is a determined by your actual productivity. Although I suppose an equal wage could be considered Socialist as well.
avatar
GF
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Socialist
Posts : 375
Reputation : 191
Join date : 2011-04-01
Age : 20
Location : FL

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:15 pm

godlessnorth wrote:Fair wage is based on productivity, equal wage is a blanket amount for everyone.

I don't think equal wage system would maintain productivity very well.

So then, I'm confused somewhat: Is it still socialst to support a wage system based on productivity? Some people may put many hours into labor, but achieve very little; and vice versa. It's not very good to have good and bad workers paid all the same.

There's no single socialist position on the question of remuneration. For example, some state socialists advocate on behalf of wage systems being retained and applied within nationalized institutions. With respect to that model, wage differentials could be (and have been) based on any criteria the bureaucracies see fit. Stalin for instance was willing to accept wage differentials that were highly imbalanced and largely went to benefit what some socialists refer to as the 'coordinator class'. It is this class which invariably comes to assume superior social status and privilege under such (state socialist) models. The imperative to reduce such income discrepancies does not necessarily exist under such a model, due to the fact that the businesses themselves are not controlled by the laborers who work within them.

Others believe that remuneration should be subject to the collective decision of a given enterprise's workforce or representative bodies that are accorded their positions by the workforce. These two models generally serve to mitigate gross inequality in remuneration.

Therefore, while there is indeed a value held by many socialists that insists upon labor being remunerated in accordance to labor-time or some other criteria based upon general productive output, the question itself is superfluous; for within a socialist economy—at least of the sort advocated for by Socialist Nationalists—labor would make such decisions on a micro-level basis. Moreover, these decisions would be made within within the parameters of some form of competitive market system (at least while transitioning into an equally efficient and more upstanding alternative). Such would ensure that the skills possessed by individuals would continue to be marketable and thus remunerated accordingly. However, workers collectively controlling the means of production would simultaneously ensure that income disparities be reduced to socially acceptable levels.
avatar
Admin
_____________________________
_____________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 971
Reputation : 864
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : La Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:19 pm

godlessnorth wrote:Fair wage is based on productivity, equal wage is a blanket amount for everyone.

I don't think equal wage system would maintain productivity very well.

So then, I'm confused somewhat: Is it still socialst to support a wage system based on productivity? Some people may put many hours into labor, but achieve very little; and vice versa. It's not very good to have good and bad workers paid all the same.

The crux of your question primarily has to do with the potential 'free rider' problem that would arise from simply remunerating everyone equally. Of course, you're entirely correct in thinking that such a system would result in massive productivity losses and people taking advantage of things. However, only a few overly idealistic communists have ever proposed anything along those lines—namely advocates of what is known as "free access communism." There are many different theories of how a socialist economy should function, all of which specifically address the free rider problem and which favor different methods to ensure efficient production. The Admin already briefly explained how the socialist mode of production we espouse isn't subject to criticisms based upon efficiency, I'll just elaborate a bit on what he wrote.

Since we endorse a socialist mode of production which operates within the context of a market economy, the market itself would act as a disciplinary mechanism. This form of socialism is characterized by competing syndicalist firms (aka, 'worker cooperatives,' 'collectives,' etc.). Workers in such firms have every incentive to ensure that they work productively, because their incomes are directly tied to the profitability of their firm. Therefore, if a firm happens to have a worker who isn't productive, they would have the incentive and the means to fire that unproductive laborer. Likewise, if a firm adopts a style of management and/or allocation of surplus which isn't conducive to efficiency, that firm will be out-competed by a more efficient firm and put out of business. The market would continue to set prices for goods and services, as it does now, the main difference is that exploitation would be eliminated—since the proletariat would be in control of the surplus it generates (thereby eliminating the bourgeois class).

There are two famous slogans among revolutionaries: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"—which is supposed to represent Marx's "higher stage" of communism—and "From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution"—which describes the ethic most socialists adhere to. As noted, the market and workers collectively (within their individual enterprises) would be the determining factor in how ones "contribution" is remunerated. State socialists and advocates of participatory planning favor other methods.

Since you brought up how you believe people should be paid solely according to their output, I'd like to mention one brief ethical consideration to you. Someone who happens to be born with an athletic physique might be very fast at a job unloading trucks. This genetic endowment alone enables him to have an advantage over his average co-workers with respect to output. His co-workers can still be exerting much more effort than he is, but nevertheless yield a lower output. Should this genetic advantage be enough to claim this worker "deserves" to be paid more? Wouldn't a criteria based upon effort be more just? As far as I'm concerned, the workers' themselves should decide upon such matters, but I just wanted present you with that little thought experiment.


Last edited by Celtiberian on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:21 pm; edited 4 times in total
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:47 pm

Firstly, thankyou both for your generous responces. I have a bit to think about before I repsond in due weight.

Celtiberian wrote:Since you brought up how you believe people should be paid solely according to their output, I'd like to mention one brief ethical consideration to you. Someone who happens to be born with an athletic physique might be very fast at a job unloading trucks. This genetic endowment alone enables him to have an advantage over his average co-workers with respect to output. His co-workers can still be exerting much more effort than he is, but nevertheless yield a lower output. Should this genetic advantage be enough to claim this worker "deserves" to be paid more? Wouldn't a criteria based upon effort be more just? As far as I'm concerned, the workers' themselves should decide upon such matters, but I just wanted present you with that little thought experiment.

I choose pure output as measure of wage. People who produce more with less effort are extremely valueable, and they should be rewarded. The lazy intellectuals, or 80/20s as I call them.
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:00 pm

godlessnorth wrote:I choose pure output as measure of wage. People who produce more with less effort are extremely valueable, and they should be rewarded.

They should be rewarded for being born with the ability to produce more with greater ease? Forgive me, but I don't quite understand the rationale behind people being remunerated more for merely winning the genetic lottery, as it were.

Having said that, it's not easy to monitor the rate of output of every individual worker in many jobs. Managers—and in the case of cooperative production, co-workers as well—try their best to ensure that workers are being as efficient as possible. If a firm decides to give bonuses to individuals for getting more accomplish (be it by effort, innate ability, or a combination of both), I don't necessarily find that objectionable. But again, it's up to the workers of each firm to decide such matters for themselves.
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Rev Scare on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:27 pm

Celtiberian wrote:They should be rewarded for being born with the ability to produce more with greater ease? Forgive me, but I don't quite understand the rationale behind people being remunerated more for merely winning the genetic lottery, as it were.

Having said that, it's not easy to monitor the rate of output of every individual worker in many jobs. Managers—and in the case of cooperative production, co-workers as well—try their best to ensure that workers are being as efficient as possible. If a firm decides to give bonuses to individuals for getting more accomplish (be it by effort, innate ability, or a combination of both), I don't necessarily find that objectionable. But again, it's up to the workers of each firm to decide such matters for themselves.

I fully agree with your position. I believe that effort should be recognized as a more reasonable and just form of remuneration, but due to the nature of Economic Democracy—as you have alluded to—the workers themselves will democratically appropriate the surplus of their labor. As such, the question of rewarding efficiency is answered by the real-time functioning of the firm and the workers who must react to market pressures.

As far as eugenics policies go (which questions of merit based advancement often entail), I am of the disposition that they are in and of themselves independent of economic processes and, as such, should be left to political deliberation. Unless one is a staunch proponent of social Darwinism, I do not see any inherent contradiction in taking this position.
avatar
Rev Scare
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 821
Reputation : 911
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 28
Location : Utah

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:23 pm

Celtiberian wrote:They should be rewarded for being born with the ability to produce more with greater ease? Forgive me, but I don't quite understand the rationale behind people being remunerated more for merely winning the genetic lottery, as it were.

Having said that, it's not easy to monitor the rate of output of every individual worker in many jobs. Managers—and in the case of cooperative production, co-workers as well—try their best to ensure that workers are being as efficient as possible. If a firm decides to give bonuses to individuals for getting more accomplish (be it by effort, innate ability, or a combination of both), I don't necessarily find that objectionable. But again, it's up to the workers of each firm to decide such matters for themselves.

Firstly, I'm a pragmatist. I don't want to have to work with retards, and if I absolutely must, then they should not piggy back on mine or anybody else's efforts. They may try very hard, but they are simply miss a few chromosomes then I have absolutely no sympathy for that. If I did, you would have to be exploiting my positive contribution. If someone else wants to put their hand up to support these people, then be my guest, but I won't be one of them. I didn't decide that life is a lottery, that's the way it is. Sink or swim.

Secondly, you ask how productvity could be measured accurately for each individual. Good question. I'm sure this process can be accomindated, especially in this technological age. Is it the principal or the application which bothers you most? I can elaborate on either one.
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:06 am

godlessnorth wrote:Firstly, I'm a pragmatist. I don't want to have to work with retards, and if I absolutely must, then they should not piggy back on mine or anybody else's efforts.

I appreciate that and I never suggested that you should have to "work with retards." If a firm decides to hire and keep workers who are inefficient at their jobs, the market itself will ensure that said firm will not stay in business for long. However, companies (be they capitalist or socialist) tend to follow a strict criteria of hiring and retaining people who prove to be skilled at their jobs.

They may try very hard, but they are simply miss a few chromosomes then I have absolutely no sympathy for that.


Let's not conflate issues here. The mentally retarded aren't cognitively capable of most forms of labor as it is. Personally, I favor the abortion or institutionalization of the mentally handicapped. If they have relatives with the desire to subsidize their existence, that's one thing, but I've never endorsed assimilating them into the labor force. Still, I was discussing the job performances of average laborers versus those with a genetic endowment enabling them to achieve a higher rate of output with less effort. Exceptional workers obviously shouldn't be punished for being good at their jobs, but I don't see why they should be given extra rewards for simply being talented at what comes naturally to them.

I didn't decide that life is a lottery, that's the way it is. Sink or swim.

It's one thing to acknowledge that life is a sort of lottery, it's another thing to celebrate it. Revolutionary Wolf alluded to eugenics in his post (of which I am a supporter, incidentally), but like him, I believe that it's a subject unrelated to the sphere of economics.

Secondly, you ask how productvity could be measured accurately for each individual. Good question. I'm sure this process can be accomindated, especially in this technological age. Is it the principal or the application which bothers you most? I can elaborate on either one.

I think that micromanaging the output level of each worker, in some neo-Taylorist fashion, is a waste of time and resources. I don't agree with the principle, since most forms of production are collaborative efforts anyway—rendering individual contributions meaningless without the integral cooperation of other parties. Bearing in mind the cooperative nature of most jobs (which really only excludes the self-employed sector), I'm of the opinion that workers should collectively decide how to allocate the surplus they all play a role in generating. Some firms might very well decide that certain employees are so productive, they deserve a higher than average rate of remuneration, but it's up to the firm to decide. If you happen to disagree, very well.
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Coach on Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:02 am

In real world workplaces, even today, you will find that workers that slack off do not tend to make many friends or enjoy the protection of their fellow workers, who end up forced to carry the slacker's burden by necessity as well as their own. If anything, should the decision to do something about workers that slack off be placed into the hands of the workers themselves, I think you'd find LESS lenience then you typically find in the public or private sector workplaces of the capitalist System today. Believe me, the workers themselves know who's screwing around and leaving them to end up carrying the burden, and if they could do something about it they'd do it in a heartbeat. This is doubly true if not only do the workers themselves control their enterprises, but they also collectively own them (thus receive a share of the surplus value produced by the worker's collective/cooperative), and it's triply true if these worker-owned and worker-run collectives/cooperatives are operating in the context of market competition with other such collectives/cooperatives.
avatar
Coach
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : socialist-nationalist/revolutionary Trotskyist
Posts : 259
Reputation : 133
Join date : 2011-04-02
Location : US Midwest

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:43 pm

Ugh, the quote system is so tedius.

PNR88 (force of habit),

I didn't mean, literally, 'retards'. I suppose I retract my hyperbole, but as you may understand it's an issue which effects me personally. In all but the most competitive careers, management is always antagonistic with the underlings. Laborers tend to only do the minimum to secure their employment and they band together in mediocracy to maintain this lax workload. Nowadays capitalism is NOT as efficient as they would have you believe.

The collaborative nature of the workplace encourages mediocracy. It's a banded system where you are not required to perform above the average. I don't think it's necessary to be so collaborative, i.e. roman army vs. barbarian gauls. Just charge at the formation (i.e. task at hand) and fight (work) as individuals. Make the means of production (plunder) readily avaliable and the workforce should work itself out. How hard would that be to achieve? So maybe it's not so much an issue or fair wage, but a systemic inclination towards laziness which I have most frustration with.

If you want to, please make another thread about eugenics.

Other bloke (SN Labor Champ),

I've worked in various trades and now land management, and I can tell you right now, from experience, that, for reasons indicated above, there is a culture of slackerism. We struggle just to get people to turn up on a regular basis. You can get as angry as you want, but it isn't going to help. You have to cradle them into working because on average motivation is very thin. You would think that employers have all the cards, but not so in practice. I want to be able to pick out the best guys and give them exception, yes, JUST BECAUSE THEY WON THE LOTTERY. It is a industry necessity.
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Admin on Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:56 am

godlessnorth wrote:Ugh, the quote system is so tedius.

PNR88 (force of habit),

I didn't mean, literally, 'retards'. I suppose I retract my hyperbole, but as you may understand it's an issue which effects me personally. In all but the most competitive careers, management is always antagonistic with the underlings. Laborers tend to only do the minimum to secure their employment and they band together in mediocracy to maintain this lax workload. Nowadays capitalism is NOT as efficient as they would have you believe.

The collaborative nature of the workplace encourages mediocracy. It's a banded system where you are not required to perform above the average. I don't think it's necessary to be so collaborative, i.e. roman army vs. barbarian gauls. Just charge at the formation (i.e. task at hand) and fight (work) as individuals. Make the means of production (plunder) readily avaliable and the workforce should work itself out. How hard would that be to achieve? So maybe it's not so much an issue or fair wage, but a systemic inclination towards laziness which I have most frustration with.

If you want to, please make another thread about eugenics.

Other bloke (SN Labor Champ),

I've worked in various trades and now land management, and I can tell you right now, from experience, that, for reasons indicated above, there is a culture of slackerism. We struggle just to get people to turn up on a regular basis. You can get as angry as you want, but it isn't going to help. You have to cradle them into working because on average motivation is very thin. You would think that employers have all the cards, but not so in practice. I want to be able to pick out the best guys and give them exception, yes, JUST BECAUSE THEY WON THE LOTTERY. It is a industry necessity.

I think you're overlooking a critical fact in this criticism of yours. That is, that under worker-ownership of a given enterprise, you are conjoining interests that are kept independent of one another under the alternative capitalist model. As the term 'worker-ownership' suggests, labor has a collective interest in ensuring maximum productivity, as the associated benefits of increased output are collectively shared (through increased remuneration, etc.). Also, given the hypothetical maintenance of market competition, labor also has an interest in sustaining maximum levels of productivity, in order ensure the enterprise's survival.

Such incentives do not exist in the minds of laborers under the capitalist mode of production. Therefore the drive to maximize individual productivity is largely absent in most enterprises. As such, many of those being remunerated in wages will do the absolute minimum to get by without being terminated. On the other hand, if they had a direct interest in the enterprise's survival and profitability (via ownership stake), the 'mediocrity' you refer to—which I regard as a byproduct of the alienation that invariably transpires under the capitalist mode of production—is largely diminished.


Last edited by Admin on Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:00 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Admin
_____________________________
_____________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 971
Reputation : 864
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : La Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Rev Scare on Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:33 am

godlessnorth wrote:Ugh, the quote system is so tedius.

PNR88 (force of habit),

I didn't mean, literally, 'retards'. I suppose I retract my hyperbole, but as you may understand it's an issue which effects me personally. In all but the most competitive careers, management is always antagonistic with the underlings. Laborers tend to only do the minimum to secure their employment and they band together in mediocracy to maintain this lax workload. Nowadays capitalism is NOT as efficient as they would have you believe.

The collaborative nature of the workplace encourages mediocracy. It's a banded system where you are not required to perform above the average. I don't think it's necessary to be so collaborative, i.e. roman army vs. barbarian gauls. Just charge at the formation (i.e. task at hand) and fight (work) as individuals. Make the means of production (plunder) readily avaliable and the workforce should work itself out. How hard would that be to achieve? So maybe it's not so much an issue or fair wage, but a systemic inclination towards laziness which I have most frustration with.

If you want to, please make another thread about eugenics.

Other bloke (SN Labor Champ),

I've worked in various trades and now land management, and I can tell you right now, from experience, that, for reasons indicated above, there is a culture of slackerism. We struggle just to get people to turn up on a regular basis. You can get as angry as you want, but it isn't going to help. You have to cradle them into working because on average motivation is very thin. You would think that employers have all the cards, but not so in practice. I want to be able to pick out the best guys and give them exception, yes, JUST BECAUSE THEY WON THE LOTTERY. It is a industry necessity.

I do not believe that workers are "lazy" today, only that they have far less motivation to exert themselves. Why should they? After all, their efforts bear no significant impact upon their wages. In fact, real wages (wages adjusted for inflation) have declined and continue to decline with relative consistency since the 1970s despite gains in productivity (i.e., output per worker). The following data applies to the United States only (I do not know the statistical situation in Europe and elsewhere, although I am certain that much of it is reflected):

Chart 1:

Actual Wages vs. Productivity-Enhanced Wages in the United States. Author's calculations using Bureau of Labor Statistics data[1]

As is evident from the chart (which only includes nonsupervisory workers), the real wages of workers have stagnated and declined significantly after 1973, but productivity-enhanced wages (the wages in proportion to productivity as per the "inextricable" neoclassical link between wage and output; i.e., marginal product) would have come close to doubling.

Chart 2:

Real Hourly Total Compensation vs. Productivity, U.S. Non-farm Business Sector 1947-2008 (3rd Q). Author's calculations using Bureau of Labor Statistics data[2]

Chart 2 precludes the claim that the loss of the productivity bonus was offset by total compensation. We see that gains in workers' compensation (all costs to employers, including wages, pensions, health care, vacations, paid leave, unemployment insurance, disability, and Social Security) have been minimal. In other words, the loss of surplus in Chart 1 is not balanced by Chart 2's reported gains in compensation. The results are quite staggering (but hardly astonishing) and completely refute the myth that "lazy" workers exist as some plague upon society.

Where did the surplus go? To the capitalist class of investors. I need not elaborate upon the egregious wealth inequalities present in the Western world alone. This is well-documented and notorious.

Another fact worth mentioning is that the average leisure time per worker has also steadily declined from about the same time that real wages have fallen. The average American worker works longer hours than he did several decades ago and the trend shows no signs of fading. It is incredible to think that the productivity increase since 1948 has doubled, theoretically allowing for labor time to be halved while retaining the same level of output in production and maintaining a standard of living equivalent to the United States in 1948[3]; however, my source is in reference to data collected in 1991, and I believe that it is safe to say that technological growth in the two decades since allows for considerably greater flexibility.

Why is it impossible to even contemplate such a possibility as increasing leisure time in American society? It is due to the fact that the capitalist system offers no leisure-labor trade-off. Employers have no incentive to compensate workers with greater leisure time at greater levels of production; on the contrary, they are spurred by fierce competition to continually expand. The absence of leisure-labor trade-off potential coupled with increasing working hours has resulted in exponential stress and an array of other concentric health problems.

Is it any surprise, then, that modern workers would retaliate against their perceived oppressors by such actions as absenteeism and tardiness? By a general indifference toward the workplace? It is not "slackerism," but a consequence of pressing exploitation. Furthermore, if you will employ anecdotal evidence, then I will offer my own: in my experience, management has nearly always exhibited neglect and irresponsibility in the workplace. To be fair, I am referring more to my experience with lower management and middle management, which are often pressured to "cut costs" and extract greater surplus from labor. Nevertheless, in my experience, it has hardly been the benevolent manager who strained and was forced to sacrifice a tremendous amount of life for a scarce sum.

1. Leopold, Les (2009). The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About it
2. Ibid.
3. Schor, Juliet (1991). The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure


Last edited by Revolutionary Wolf on Tue May 10, 2011 2:02 am; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Rev Scare
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 821
Reputation : 911
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 28
Location : Utah

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by godlessnorth on Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:52 pm

Wow, I really appreciate you guys walking me through the capitalistic reasons behind the diminishing worker morale. I think that my idea was trying to squeeze more out of a bad situation rather than seeing it from a new revolutionary perspective which, in the long run, would solve my resentment towards base-line wages. You are both correct in saying that increasing vested interest of the individual would increase productivity, as perhaps even surpass that of outcome-based wages. In the least it would be much more consistant and better for society as a whole.

Again, I appreciate the depth of insight. It's why I'm here. Thanks, fellers.
avatar
godlessnorth
___________________
___________________

Posts : 88
Reputation : 17
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by alpine joe on Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:17 am

SN Labor Champion wrote:In real world workplaces, even today, you will find that workers that slack off do not tend to make many friends or enjoy the protection of their fellow workers, who end up forced to carry the slacker's burden by necessity as well as their own.

One thing I did notice when working in factories was that it's the people who do nothing that normally get promoted first. If you're too good at your job and will be hard to replace then chances are you're going to be stuck on that lathe for life. Whereas, if you do nothing but drink tea and kiss the boss' ass then you'll be one of them before you know it. The other workers may not like you but the bosses will think you're great, presumably because you remind them of themselves.

Of course this wouldn't happen under a socialist government, but in the UK it seems to be a rather common occurrence.

alpine joe
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 22
Reputation : 4
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 40
Location : A land fit for heroes?

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by mistek on Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:08 am

hermeticist wrote:Someone more erudite than myself will have to weigh in. As I understand it, wage labor is the foundation of capitalist exploitation -- in this sense there can never be a "fair wage." The idea of wage labor is that's there's a residue -- often a very large chunk -- left over as surplus (the capitalist's profit). This is very different from a collective.

To introduce a capitalist system, financialise all transactions between people, make the transactions contractual ones subject to payments. Including labor. That's what the hellish USA is like today, where medical services, social services, education, etc., are subject to the "laws of the market" (i.e., controlled by cartels).

When feudalism gave way to capitalism in Europe, the first capitalist imperative was to create a class of wage helots, concentrated in cities, who were utterly dependent on money wages. Along with this was the imperative to create an army of reserve labor -- those who were dependent on wages but could not find paid work. This creates a docile and compliant labor force. This dependence on wages has to be done away with if the exploitative capitalist system is to be brought down.

The Industrial Revolution brought people into the cities to be wage slaves. The very rich are always looking for ways to have poorly paid working masses.
They consider labor costs an unpleasant part of doing business.

Hence you hear terms like "Human Capital", which objectifies human beings. Before the Industrial Rev, Americans were not as dependent on others for an income. They grew, raised, built, fabricated, and bartered and traded.

There have always been the "haves" and the "have-nots" and the very rich fear the masses greatly. That is why collective bargaining worked, for awhile...

mistek
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 18
Reputation : 8
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by mistek on Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:12 am

alpine joe wrote:One thing I did notice when working in factories was that it's the people who do nothing that normally get promoted first. If you're too good at your job and will be hard to replace then chances are you're going to be stuck on that lathe for life. Whereas, if you do nothing but drink tea and kiss the boss' ass then you'll be one of them before you know it. The other workers may not like you but the bosses will think you're great, presumably because you remind them of themselves.

Of course this wouldn't happen under a socialist government, but in the UK it seems to be a rather common occurrence.


I agree...I am amazed at some of the bosses I have had, they know everyone in the field who is a boss. But I am more educated and actually have a skill, and they are paper pushers. Some of them are not even college-educated, but simply got to where they are by their contacts and knowing the "right people". I don't think a college degree necessarily makes someone smarter, but in this case, I am talking about someone being more knowledgeable in the field.

The bosses like ass kissers, and this is what is ruining American industry, because there is so little real innovation and quality out there.

Bosses are given kickbacks to save money for their departments, perhaps for every dollar they save the department, they get a fifth...

These bosses are greedy, so they don't really look for legitimate ways to cut costs, they just scalp the workers.

The American worker has no protection, no power, even if you are a nuclear physicist, you are now at the mercy of bean counters.

mistek
___________________________
___________________________

Posts : 18
Reputation : 8
Join date : 2011-04-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Altair on Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:50 am

godlessnorth wrote:Fair wage is based on productivity, equal wage is a blanket amount for everyone.

I don't think equal wage system would maintain productivity very well.

So then, I'm confused somewhat: Is it still socialst to support a wage system based on productivity? Some people may put many hours into labor, but achieve very little; and vice versa. It's not very good to have good and bad workers paid all the same.

Yes, it is definitely still fundamentally socialist to support a wage system based on productivity. In fact, I believe that this is necessary in sustaining a successful socialist state. Not only that, but it will also be more appealing to those who have a warped idea of what socialism truly is. I know of many in the middle to upper middle class who are against what they consider to be socialism detest the idea of having to share their wealth with those they deem lazy or unworthy, when in fact the form of socialism we strive for eliminates every problem they mention. However, the socialism we strive for is only possible with nationalism deeply ingrained, so I can understand the belief that it would not work now. However, they fail to acknowledge the reason it cannot work is because we are multicultural and have elite who use us for their own gain. If they understood this, there should be no issue. The issue is not with socialism, but with capitalism, its sustainers, and the elite that have warped our perspective on practically every thing that has become a major issue today (when it shouldn't even be an issue).

But as others have pointed out, some will argue it is "not right" for those who simply have the genetics to make more. However, you can also argue it is not their fault for being born with traits that help them to be more productive. So why should they be more productive with no compensation? Etc.

I don't think the genetic factor should be looked at, at all. If they contribute, they contribute, and higher contribution should get more pay for its own sake. Effort means the most, though it's something that I definitely consider to be debatable.
avatar
Altair
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 205
Reputation : 246
Join date : 2011-07-15
Age : 22

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:18 am

edelweiss wrote:Yes, it is definitely still fundamentally socialist to support a wage system based on productivity. In fact, I believe that this is necessary in sustaining a successful socialist state. Not only that, but it will also be more appealing to those who have a warped idea of what socialism truly is.

The typical argument one hears regarding socialism is: "if everyone is paid an equal wage unconditionally, they'll lose their motivation to be productive!" As I explained earlier in this thread, within the context of a socialist market economy, workers in labor-managed firms would collectively decide how much each individual in the cooperative would be remunerated—it is usually done so in a fairly egalitarian manner, and this method has been empirically shown to enhance overall productivity. So the bourgeois argument that socialism would "inevitably" result in higher rates of inefficiency and low rates of productivity is demonstrably false. As for how labor could be remunerated in a post-market, participatory economy, I see no reason why a criteria based upon effort, time, and the onerousness of ones work would produce undesirable outcomes. I continue to object to the notion that mere genetic endowment (which enables one to yield a higher rate of productivity with less effort) is deserving of special reward. Remunerating the genetically advantaged slightly higher may be a feature which a socialist commonwealth will have to accommodate for the foreseeable future, but I see no compelling reason why it cannot eventually be transcended.

I know of many in the middle to upper middle class who are against what they consider to be socialism detest the idea of having to share their wealth with those they deem lazy or unworthy, when in fact the form of socialism we strive for eliminates every problem they mention.

The common perception of socialism among the American middle classes is that it's an ideology which promotes the systematic expropriation of the "productive" elements of society and "redistributes" exclusively to the voluntarily unemployed. This has obviously been an immensely useful rhetorical trick to dissuade working people from actually researching socialism. It is this straw man argument which we must relentlessly attack in order to show people that what we promote is the exact opposite of what they've been told socialism espouses; that it is the bourgeoisie which is the unproductive class, and what we seek is to expropriate the means of production from this parasitic group and establish a system whereby the proletariat is in full control of the product of its labor.

_________________
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Difference between fair wage and equal wage

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 :: General :: Theory

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum