View Poll Results: Is Labor a Commodity

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  • Yes, it's a commodity subject to the market of wages offered

    10 33.33%
  • No, it's not a commodity, workers should receive a living wage

    12 40.00%
  • Yes, fill in your own justification

    2 6.67%
  • No, fill in your own justification

    6 20.00%
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Thread: Is Labor a Commodity?

  1. #111
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    High labor rates in the USA priced us out of competitive world markets. Many countries have booming manufacturing and export markets. In this country we gave tax breaks to companies moving equipment overseas to cheap labor markets. We heard politicians talk of the emerging service economy. Now we've had great growth in McD's, Subway, BK, ad infinitum. Unions squeezed labor rates too high as a backlash against old time sweatshop factories. Bound and rebound, too much in each direction. Labor rates must go down and the country has to shift to a paradigm that is proactive against Global Warming, energy conservation, species endangerment, alternative and renewable energy and make jobs rebuilding the infrastructure embracing teh paradigm. Easier said than done. Notice it doesn't do much for banksters, Wall Street, and big energy. I wonder if there could be organized opposition?

    Unions have nothing to do with it....Greed is greed wanting more is more....When obama was doing his save GM thing...the gop railed on and on about the auto workers and that TOYOTA and HONDA dont have GMS problems because they arent unionized.....Toyota the NON UNIONIZED car company is building a huge plant in MEXICO....its greed and wanting more...no matter if theres unions or not...

  2. #112
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Razor View Post
    No.. you can't. Well, you could, but often would just be making yourself look ignorant. The Moon - green cheese. You can define it that way if you want, but it is in fact not green cheese.

    Communication and the understanding of such is based in specific definitions for words. That's why we have dictionaries... so that everyone is more or less on the same page.

    For example, the definitions of slavery and subjugation are very important... as is commodity. Because one word can entirely change the context and meaning of a sentence of even a paragraph, it is far from a waste of time.
    By "we", I mean all English speakers, not just one individual. Bickering over whether a particular thing should be called a particular word is pointless. If we want to debate, we should debate about the substance. Like instead of "is labor a commodity?" we should be asking "is the value of labor set by the market?" or whatever the substance of the topic is. Otherwise you just get into useless disagreements about what the term means or whatever.

  3. #113
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Imagine if the restaurant takes two hours to bring the guy his food, and when it does, it's half the size of the portion that was advertised. Of course the guy is going to walk out hungry. I understand personal responsibility much better than you seem to think, but it's irrelevant in a situation where the odds are stacked so badly against someone. For success to be determined by personal responsibility, you need equal opportunity.



    Do you really think that the people in low income neighborhoods are inherently less capable than those born in rich neighborhoods? Do you really think that if you switched them, the ones originally from the low income neighborhood would still fail on average, and the ones originally from the high income neighborhood would still succeed? And you guys say we're the naive ones.
    Now we agree on this subject, but I think you should include natural ability in your arguments. Many people just are not genetically equipped to compete for all those new high tech jobs. We all know people that no amount of education is ever going render competitive. Most who have "settled out" into menial, low demand jobs will NEVER become computer programmers, no matter how much money is spent trying to train them to do so.

    There's a LOT of what I refer to as the "fallacy of the faster pussycat"on this board (in fact, i think i'll start a thread). I learned the hard lesson long ago that just because its easy for me does NOT mean it's easy for everyone. People are VERY different in intellect, drive, natural charisma, ability to learn new things,etc. So "go to school and quit whining" isn't a realistic, "global" solution.

    I really like the half time work for full time pay thing. Its a pretty common solutiin seen in spec fiction to the issue. Addressing the problem while still giving people the sense of being useful that they need.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  4. #114
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    Ok, I hear what you're saying. But what I was referring to was not the neo-luddite "robots are replacing wotkers thing, but another phenomenon I've run across in "hard" speculative fiction, and essays by the scientist authors. So fictional expansions of actual theories. I believe there's actually a term, it was discussed here so I can see if I can find it, but in a nutshell its this:

    We have already exceeded the "carrying capacity" of the planet, and technological solutions are actually keeping mankind alive. An observable factor in technological developments is that they almost always allow fewer people to accomplish more work. While new tech often creates new jobs, the trend is for less and less "useful work" over time with big increases in production. Computers have reduced many office jobs while massively increasing overall output. Agriculture becomes less labor intensive every year.

    This phenomenon, coupled with population growth, will eventually lead to a situation where everything that needs to be done IS being done, but MANY will simply have nothing to do.

    Its a take off on the idea that technology would free man from labor. Freeing us to pursue being human. All that sci fi utopian stuff.

    This is a global phenomenon, and there's a number of folks much more educated than I that are taking it seriously as something that needs to be addressed BEFORE it becomes a serious problem.

    Its where Astrasicarius gets the "everybody works half time for full time pay, which is one of the solutions I've seen kicked around. Another is cradle to grave "welfare". Expansion into space. Etc. But basically some way of addressing too many people and not enough "useful work".
    You seem to be defining the "proletariat" perception of the problem. The greedy, and that might be the wealthy, would say that we have too many people and just need a few wars to rectify this problem and perhaps make a tidy profit with armanents or war supplies. Money can make a very nice "bubble" or sanctuary during the hostilites. Perhaps even "Champagne" units for those who want to generate patriotic perceptions for future political use. We're so lucky that the very wealthy that control the world are always thinking about us.

  5. #115
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Yup - they believe that being selfish and self centered somehow someway as if by magic makes society as a whole better.
    No one said selfish. There is a difference between acting in your own self interest and being selfish. Acting in your own self interest includes clothing yourself and your family, feeding yourself and your family and maintaining shelter for yourself and your family. Being selfish would imply that you have wronged others to garner wages or commodities beyond what is necessary. There is nothing inherently wrong with acting in your self interest.

    Now, if each and every individual is allowed to act in their own self interest, the majority will not require assistance to meet their basic needs. Those that do have wants, will generally be cared for by the same people you termed selfish to some extent or another. The same is not true if the government forces charity. When the government forces charity, government charity becomes the best self interest of many. That is why government charity raises the number of the poor. Liberalism raises the number of poor.

    The sheer stupidity of that dwarfs the largest mountain on earth.
    Only to be outdone by the stupidity of the belief that government charity helps people.
    You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

  6. #116
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    You seem to be defining the "proletariat" perception of the problem. The greedy, and that might be the wealthy, would say that we have too many people and just need a few wars to rectify this problem and perhaps make a tidy profit with armanents or war supplies. Money can make a very nice "bubble" or sanctuary during the hostilites. Perhaps even "Champagne" units for those who want to generate patriotic perceptions for future political use. We're so lucky that the very wealthy that control the world are always thinking about us.
    I actually think the "problem" is pretty "organic". While I have seen some pretty amoral behavior on the part of some of the wealthy I've known, its not the dominant factor. "Going with the flow" leads to something that LOOKS like conspiratorial, exploitive behavior but really isnt. There isn't a conspiracy to subjugate the lower classes. No "plan" to effect public support for things against that publics interest. Just a lot of individual entities building on what exists for their own ends giving that appearance.

    There's all this talk about "30 years" ago being a point where the trajectory of America changed. I believe that was the point when the world "filled up". The point at which every readily available "teat" on the planet had somebody attached to it. No unexploited resources of significant size still untapped. This caused our "expansionist" form of capitalism to have nowhere else to expand into, which caused it to become "parasitic". MUCH of the wealth being "created" today is "extractive" in nature obtaining capital without adding much real value to the economy as a whole. Not productive in the classic sense. Too much stuff like speculation that just creates artificial limits of supply instead of lubricating the wheels of commerce as it was originally intended.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  7. #117
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    I actually think the "problem" is pretty "organic". While I have seen some pretty amoral behavior on the part of some of the wealthy I've known, its not the dominant factor. "Going with the flow" leads to something that LOOKS like conspiratorial, exploitive behavior but really isnt. There isn't a conspiracy to subjugate the lower classes. No "plan" to effect public support for things against that publics interest. Just a lot of individual entities building on what exists for their own ends giving that appearance.
    I've seen much more amoral behavior among the poor than among the wealthy. People who breed like rabbits and cannot afford to care for the kids, people who drop out of school, do drugs, get involved in crime and gang activity, who get on welfare and have their hands out for everything... that's seriously amoral.

    There's all this talk about "30 years" ago being a point where the trajectory of America changed. I believe that was the point when the world "filled up". The point at which every readily available "teat" on the planet had somebody attached to it. No unexploited resources of significant size still untapped. This caused our "expansionist" form of capitalism to have nowhere else to expand into, which caused it to become "parasitic". MUCH of the wealth being "created" today is "extractive" in nature obtaining capital without adding much real value to the economy as a whole. Not productive in the classic sense. Too much stuff like speculation that just creates artificial limits of supply instead of lubricating the wheels of commerce as it was originally intended.
    I'd place it back farther, back to the late 60s/early 70s. It may not have been until the early 80s that it got into full swing though. I call it the "liberalization of America", where people stopped recognizing that with every right comes responsibility to exercise said right correctly. People started acting like they deserved the world just for bothering to get up in the morning, that they ought to get things delivered to them on a silver platter and not have to actually earn them.

    We do have lots of places we can expand into, the problem is, we've shipped those responsibilities overseas where production is cheaper and consumer costs are reduced. Where the U.S. was a world-leader in innovation, today we're simply a consumer society which buys from everyone else and only keep those jobs which are impossible to outsource. We import far more than we export, we buy far more than we sell and the economy has only expanded in the past several decades by preaching the "keep up with the Jones'" mentality. Buy more than you can afford, it's what keeps the economy going!

    It's no wonder we're in the mess we're in.
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  8. #118
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by What if...? View Post
    Now we agree on this subject, but I think you should include natural ability in your arguments. Many people just are not genetically equipped to compete for all those new high tech jobs. We all know people that no amount of education is ever going render competitive. Most who have "settled out" into menial, low demand jobs will NEVER become computer programmers, no matter how much money is spent trying to train them to do so.

    There's a LOT of what I refer to as the "fallacy of the faster pussycat"on this board (in fact, i think i'll start a thread). I learned the hard lesson long ago that just because its easy for me does NOT mean it's easy for everyone. People are VERY different in intellect, drive, natural charisma, ability to learn new things,etc. So "go to school and quit whining" isn't a realistic, "global" solution.

    I really like the half time work for full time pay thing. Its a pretty common solutiin seen in spec fiction to the issue. Addressing the problem while still giving people the sense of being useful that they need.
    That's true when you're talking about individuals. Like I said, there will always be exceptional individuals from low income backgrounds who manage to make something of themselves despite their disadvantages, and there will always be **** ups from high income backgrounds who are completely incapable of succeeding no matter what their advantages. If you had equal opportunity, or near equal opportunity across the board, individual capability (including personal responsibility) would be the only factor in determining success. In that situation, the libertarian's philosophy actually works quite well. The problem is, getting to that point requires some things that definitely do not fit in with their philosophy.
    For: legalizing drugs, gay marriage, abortion, guns, universal health care, public sector jobs, nuclear power, free education, progressive taxation
    Against: corporations, make-work, the 40 hour work week, intellectual property, imperialism, "homeland security," censorship

  9. #119
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    There is a very strong overlap and intercourse between randroids and libertarians. To deny it is to deny reality. To deny that is to commit intellectual fraud.

    Just go to lewrockwell.com - the modern libertarian clearing house and you will find passionate defenses of Rand, the randroids and the ideas that libertarians absorded into their 'ideology'

    It’s Ayn Rand Bashing Time, Once Again by Walter Block



    and more

    The Left and Right Within*Libertarianism by Murray N. Rothbard



    and yet more showing that Rand is often the gateway drug to addiction to libertarianism

    Ayn Rand Introduced Me to Libertarianism



    Perhaps instead of simply pontificating about your own personal theories about selfishness resulting in charity you can actually go into the real world and the historical record and sow us with verifiable evidence just who it is that you are talking about?
    Your allergic reaction to those who want more freedom is funny. But you really aren't an authority on either rand or libertarians so what is the point.

    and why are you demanding I defend something I didn't write?



  10. #120
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    Your allergic reaction to those who want more freedom is funny. But you really aren't an authority on either rand or libertarians so what is the point.
    You - and they - use the word FREEDOM as an all purpose hollow cliche devoid of any real meaning. To the libertarian right, FREEDOM is a bumper sticker and lapel pin... something that sounds good but means nothing without context and meaning around it.

    You seem angry that your previous post to me on the randdroid/libertarian left you in the dust as I gave three different independent sources which proved you totally and completely wrong.

    here is what your wrote that I asked you to prove with evidence that there was any truth or foundation to it

    And nothing is more selfish than demanding other people pay so you can claim you are being charitable and reap the benefits from those who are given the the moneys others were forced to pony up.
    It is merely a variation on the same thing I have asked to to prove time and time and time again in thread after thread after thread when you make such a claim of belief that is unsupported with specific facts and documentation.
    Last edited by haymarket; 09-11-11 at 07:39 PM.
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