[ExI] anti-capitalist propaganda, was: retrainability of plebeians

painlord2k at libero.it painlord2k at libero.it
Tue May 12 13:56:44 UTC 2009

Il 12/05/2009 6.09, Stathis Papaioannou ha scritto:
> 2009/5/12 painlord2k at libero.it<painlord2k at libero.it>:

> If you make money at a higher hourly rate, then you are considered
> more successful. This means more money for less work.

If I gather 1 kg of berries at hour and sell them and you gather 2 kg of 
berries in half an hour, are you working less than me and gaining more 
money than me?

> The hourly rate
> can be averaged out to include any study or training: there's not much
> point to it (from a capitalist perspective) if the time spent working
> but not earning money won't be at least repaid when when you do start
> earning.

You are under the false assumption that all work is the same.
Are you telling me that a surgeon work less than a nurse?
It is like comparing orange and apples.
Not all work is the same, as a surgeon is able to do a work the nurse is 
unable to do. There are less surgeon than nurses. To have a working 
surgeon you need to invest much more scarce resources than to have a 
working nurse.

>> In your example about Mr. Buffett, you imply that the work done by him could
>> be done by any plumber or farmer with a minimum training. If it was so,
>> there would be many Warren Buffett and Mr. Buffett would not be so special
>> or rich.
> No, I think he was just lucky, as most studies of investors show that
> they are no more likely to be successful in the future if they have
> been successful in the past. But even if in fact he was successful
> because he was smart or because he risked his capital, it doesn't
> change the fact that he made a lot of money doing a little work a
> *lot* less work than someone has to do to obtain the dole.

If he is only a lucky man, you can just wait and he will lose his money.
Capitalism is not gambling, albeit someone could think so if believe 
that capitalism is only what happen in a trade exchange.

> Very few wealthy people make their money purely through their own
> efforts.

Usually they do the most difficult and requested works; they use their 
wealth, organize and coordinate the jobs of others.

> Your Robinson Crusoe story is an example of this, but the
> usual capitalist way is if Crusoe could get several competitors to
> gather food and give him a proportion of it while he sits back. For
> example, he could set up a shop trading one type of food for another
> and keeping a profit.

This is called "economic coordination" or "economic specialization".
This would be done only if it is more practical and efficient to do.
The people hunting game and the people gathering berries could exchange 
the goods between themselves and cut out Mr.Robinson (as he is doing 
nothing useful for them, you suppose).

But wait!
Mr. Robinson (an ex-gathers of berries) invested his leisure time to 
build a storage room where the berries and the game could be stored for 
many days. Then he stored his hand-gathered berries there and started to 
exchange them for game.
Now, all hunters and gathers know that Mr.Robinson have this place where 
they can go and exchange immediately berries for game. When a hunter 
want berries, he can immediately go to Mr. Robinson and obtain his 
berries in exchange of game. The same is true for the gatherers.
Suppose, for simplicity, that the game/berries exchange rate is fixed 
between the two groups.
Now, Mr. Robinson decide that he will keep 10% of the game and 10% of 
the berries he trade as payment for his services.
You could say this is an unjust profit, I would argue that this is the 
price the gathers and the hunters can choose to pay to obtain, without 
delay, berries or game. It is 90% immediately or 100% with a delay (a 
day or a week, maybe).

> Now, this takes *some* work, maybe even hard
> work, and perhaps it helps the other hunters as well as the
> shopkeeper, so that everyone is happier than if there had been no
> shop. But the fact remains, if the shopkeeper makes a profit much
> larger than that of the hunters, he is effectively sponging off their
> work.

If the shopkeeper is doing a too large profit, someone else could 
undercut him doing the same job at a lower price and profit nonetheless.
Hunters and gathers could return to a direct exchange if they find the 
cost to use Mr.Robinson services too high.
So, Mr.Robinson have to limits at the prices he can charge:
1) The people using the services must find them useful enough to be 
willing to pay for them
2) The profits he earn must not be so large to invite others to do 
compete with him; usually he will profit as much as possible, then 
competition will show up and he will need to lower his prices.
3) The foresighted profits must be higher than doing something else.

> This was the Marxists' essential criticism of capitalism: they
> valued hard work, and they thought that workers should be able to
> profit in proportion to their labour.

Are hard work and labour the same?
If the capitalist is reaping too large profits, what prevent the workers 
to organize themselves, pool resources and become self-employed and keep 
the profits for themselves?
The only answers are two:
1) They are unable or unwilling to do so
2) They are prevented to do so

If you want all workers to share the profits of the enterprise, you must 
share even the costs and the losses and the risks.
For example, the workers of a plant producing cars could be required to 
receive their wages only when the car are materially sold and the money 
collected. This could be days or weeks or months after the cars are 
produced and the work done. So, you would see their wages change 
continuously every months in a not easily predictable way.
Or they could build cars and sell them to dealers that will resell them 
to customers, but this would imply the profits would be lower and the 
dealers could refrain from buy cars if their inventories are too high.
If the factory work at a loss, there would not be any money to pay 
wages, obviously or the workers could be required to cover the losses.

Do you like these arrangements?
I find them extremely unworkable.

Do you have any suggestion that don't imply the capitalist must suck 
lemons and risks, profits and losses are shared proportionally and  equally?

And we have not covered how much pay people with different jobs.

> Government welfare payments etc.
> was not a feature of communism. In fact, I believe that in some Soviet
> Bloc countries it was actually illegal to  be willfully unemployed.

Yes, it was illegal to don't hold a recognized job.
The state could force you to do any job it feel you were fit or deserve 
or was needed. Obviously this worked so well for wealth creation and 
productivity. Mainly in the Siberian Gulags.


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