Karl Marx and Wages

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  1. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 11 years ago

    "An enforced increase of wages (disregarding all other difficulties, including the fact that it would only be by force, too, that such an increase, being an anomaly, could be maintained) would therefore be nothing but better payment for the slave, and would not win either for the worker or for labor their human status and dignity.

    Indeed, even the equality of wages, as demanded by Proudhon, only transforms the relationship of the present-day worker to his labor into the relationship of all men to labor. Society would then be conceived as an abstract capitalist."

    What is your opinion on this passage, right, center, or left?

    1. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Forced increase of wages is a bad idea, for many reasons. I'm too tired to understand exactly what that passage is saying, but I'll put in my 2 cents.

      1 - Increasing all wages increases demand in the market, which increases prices, also known as inflation. It can wipe out the gains in wages, and end up with no net effect.
      2 - Increasing wages can force some jobs to be unsustainable, increasing unemployment.
      3 - It should be fairly clear that artificial price floors and price ceilings are 100% against free-market principles. We can see effects of ignoring the free market everywhere. The government wants to spend hundreds of billions of dollars updating our electric infrastructure. Why? Because they put into place price ceilings. They weren't charging, or allowing private companies to charge, the cost that it takes to produce the electricity and maintain the infrastructure.

      That is all.

      1. ptosis profile image69
        ptosisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        You make it sound like a bad thing, I thought we all had a mixed market

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          We do. Our government continually messes up the market. That's kind of the point.

          Free markets work. When you start messing around with the values of things, you're artificially changing a natural balance. Not good.

          1. ptosis profile image69
            ptosisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            So what you are saying is that social evolution since the dawn of civilization is based not on cooperation which is unnatural but free competition where another person's loss is your gain?

            So that's why Eve tricked Adam into eating the apple - his loss of grace was profitable to her!
            So that's why humanoids would go to war, even though both experienced losses, the strongest - although crippled by waging war - somehow - won?

            Explain this natural law better to me please - I really don't understand how all these theories I've read about cooperation and how that  is what makes us humankind is wrong.

            Now I now why when zebras are chased by lions - that the dorky one gets tripped up by the 'cooler' zebras because they just don't fit into the right clique.

            Emperor penguins do not really take turns going from the inside of the huddle where it's warmest to the outside of the huddle exposed to the frigid elements - not out of cooperation because survival is best in groups - they were all shouldering each other to get to the middle - purging the weakest outside the group for a leaner meaner group, then that next smaller group of penguins pushes the next weakest out  - until - oh a single penguins that dies from the cold - wait a minutes - wouldn't penguins have already been extinct by now?

            I think there is something missing from your theory of competition of the free market without ethics, and cooperative values that would ensure the survival of the species as a whole. If a parasite is feeding off the rest of the group perhaps that parasite should be exterminated since it is not a symbiotic relationship that benefits both species.

            Or perhaps the meme of free market competition IS like the parasite such as toxoplasma that turns rates into 'zombies' that will hang around cat feces in order to be more likely eaten by a cat so that the live cycle of toxoplasma can begin again in the cat's gut!

            Or the fungus Ophiocordyceps which hijacks the ant’s brain and zombifies it to clamp onto a leaf vein with abnormal force.

            Well - I just convinced my self - competition IS natural!
            Must continue to obey & consume.
            Conform, Consume, Obey, Conform, Consume, Obey, Conform, Consume, Obey

            1. profile image0
              PrettyPantherposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              LOVE this post.  smile

            2. profile image0
              JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              You know, that's all well and good, but really does nothing to address the simple reality that price floors and price ceilings always have negative consequences.

              But it's ok, you don't have to acknowledge that.

              1. ptosis profile image69
                ptosisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                I was not responding to your entire post history just the following:

                And it is OK for you not to respond to what I said in my most recent post - I already know that you have been zombiefied!


                And where did this idea that the 'free market' is some sort of living breathing animal? It's an invention of man isn't it? Like Edison's light bulb and the EURO Titanic?

                1. profile image0
                  JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  And that is me talking about price floors and price ceilings... artificially changing the prices of goods is establishing price floors or ceilings.

                  You didn't address the negative consequences of either with your little rant.

                  The 'free market' is just a word to encompass the free trade of living, breathing humans. It's very real, the market exists and is what allows people to obtain things that they don't grow or make themselves.

                  1. ptosis profile image69
                    ptosisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Price floor and ceilings: That would depend on which products. The only thing we both agree on is that is currently a mixed market. Your position is that any controls anywhere at anytime is not good.

                    My position is that that price controls on everything is not good but in some cases is required for the public good and safety. These are limited cases that are very specific. I will cite just one case and you can respond to that one case so that we are all on the same page OK?

                    Fair enough?
                    California botched utility deregulation electricity markets back in late 2000.

                    The writer of this article seems to agree with you. "Actually "deregulation" is a misnomer. What California did was move from a regulated market to a semi-regulated market.

                    California precluded its power companies from entering into long-term contracts with suppliers, making them more vulnerable to price spikes and the trading games played by Enron and others. In a truly deregulated market, utilities would be able to sign contracts that made the most economic sense. In other words, they would have been able to hedge and protect themselves from the very price gyrations that Enron was profiting from

                    http://www.chron.com/business/steffy/ar … 578782.php

                    I don't agree that. No rules at all would seem to me to make things worse in THIS SINGLE case. I don't have the credentials to argue on this - that's why I avoided do so before but you pressed me to do so. I can't comply with your request. I don't have the right words for it. All I can do is a child's version of understanding. And here it is.

                    Everybody has to drive on the roads. In a 'free-market' there would be no roads - everybody can drive anywhere  - over you mother's grave and in the National forests. We regulate our driving by building roads. Everybody has to use the roads. On freeways that is a maximum speed limit and a minimum speed limit because a speed too low or high creates an unsafe situation for the general public.

                    And that's how I look at it in certain cases. Free-market on a Gucci dress - Hell Yeah! Zero regulations on water, electricity, gas, and sewage - hell no!

                    If google -  water prices free market - there are a lot of folks that hold your position of how much better it would be. But the reality is not so rosy:

                    Some economists have hailed Chile’s water rights trading system, which was established in 1981 during the military dictatorship, as a model of free-market efficiency that allocates water to its highest economic use.

                    But other academics and environmentalists argue that Chile’s system is unsustainable because it promotes speculation, endangers the environment and allows smaller interests to be muscled out by powerful forces, like Chile’s mining industry.
                    - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/world … wanted=all

            3. profile image0
              HowardBThinameposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I don't have to outrun the bear, Ptosis.

              I just have to outrun you.

          2. rhamson profile image71
            rhamsonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            "Free markets work. When you start messing around with the values of things, you're artificially changing a natural balance. Not good."

            How about the value of living in the country you do and competing with a country with a much lower value of living. Who is messing with it then? The natural balance that you refer to is only as good as the legislation and regulation that protects it.

            The funny thing is when we get the labor down low enough to manufacture the goods on a competitive footing who will be able to afford to buy it?

  2. maxoxam41 profile image64
    maxoxam41posted 11 years ago

    Those passages show the acute discrepancy between the theorization and reality. What would be an abstract capitalist? An oxymoron? Capitalism is a well thought irrationalized theory. Abstraction is undefined. Where are we going with those datas?

  3. Evan G Rogers profile image61
    Evan G Rogersposted 11 years ago

    Karl Marx didn't understand economics.


    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      + ad infinitum!

    2. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      He wasn't/isn't the only one...

    3. profile image0
      Sooner28posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you are going to make such a bold claim, I'd like some specifics.  I'm not going to seek out any arguments on this forum, your answer just doesn't add anything to the discussion at all.

      It would be like me saying "Romney is wrong."  That's all.  No further explanation, no specifics, nothing.  Just please explain where you disagree.  That's all I ask.

  4. marwan asmar profile image66
    marwan asmarposted 11 years ago

    Poor guy just think of the myriad of books and literature he wrote on economic theory, so that guys like us can come back and so oh Marx didn't understand economics! What a world, what brains we have!

    1. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Anyone can write. It doesn't make it true.

  5. profile image0
    JaxsonRaineposted 11 years ago


    regulation and price controls are not the same thing.

    1. ptosis profile image69
      ptosisposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      ooops - I thought it was, I will bow out of this ungracefully.........


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