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. #181
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. View Post
    Well, let me just say that it's pretty clear to management that these people aren't getting any more productive after a certain point (and maybe even getting less productive), yet they continue to get paid more money than the young guns in the same position who are clearly more productive to management.

    I think that in an implicit way, the company is taking care of those who have put many years of loyalty by paying them more money, not because they are assuming that with each year of experience = increased production.

    When the company knows that these people are not gaining experience after a certain point, yet is continuing to pay them 35% more than a younger person in the same role, what's the motivation to offer a labor agreement if the assumption that experience = increased production no longer holds true in this case?





    I don't know KSU. For one thing cars =/= commodities, and for that reason it's easy for me to think of brand loyalty when talking about a product like Lazyboy's vs something like salt which is virtually exactly the same wherever you get it from.





    Look. I understand that especially in the low skilled world labor is going to be treated 'like' a commodity at times and certainly can see the relation. If 600 people can turn a lever 500x a day for $40, why employ the guy who's demanding you pay him $60. But we're missing a key element of my argument here.

    Do we want to perpetuate the idea that labor should be treated like a commodity and wages should be continually worked downwards, or should we consider this idea that perhaps people and the labor they provide are something just a bit different than just sugar or a bottle, ect, and embrace an idea that a company can be treated a bit more like a 'community' when fiscally possible.
    Why would you assume that wages would continually work downwards? Has any commodity gotten cheaper over the years? Have products gotten cheaper over the years? No. If labor was treated exactly like a commodity, wouldn't it increase in cost just like other commodities?


    Perhaps if companies take care of people a little better, the gov't might not have to.

    Also, I realize that this is not a fantasy fairy world of glitter and that companies are not in business for the purpose of taking care of their workers, and that it's just not possible to keep paying a premium to people just because they're older and have been with the company a long time - I get that.

    However, when it is possible, and perhaps before the CEO decides to give himself a big raise/bonus/whatever, perhaps he/she can pass up on that raise and let a little bit of those profits trickle down to a loyal worker, creating a wage that is slightly more than what the worker is worth on a purely economic standpoint.

    Realize I'm ranting vs debating, time for bed!
    Ah, the fantasy world of glitter and business...oh what a dream
    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.”

  2. #182
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    By those who think they are entitled to the wealth of others you mean rich investors who don't create wealth themselves, but feel entitled to it, right?
    I was reading your post and thinking about our situation. By many standards we meet the criteria for rich. I was drafted into the Army, but I escaped and spent 4 years in the Air Farce instead. I worked in industry for 30 years for decent salary, but only received small bonuses for very many useful, creative, innovative patentable (I have over 10) developments. After a RIF at 55, I started doing my own work with my inherited commercial land and my residential real-estate. I also did stock trading; I was a contrarian, e.g. bought BP after the blowout sold on recovery, and did very well. Now we have a firm handle most of our investments. Some of our investments do create wealth, e.g. CD’s; but, some don’t e.g. my BP trades and a commercial property sale that just moved money from someone else’s pocket to ours. I do feel I earned to my wealth, not entitled to it. And we have no trouble with what earnings of ours went to support SS (I’m getting checks.), Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, the forced ‘savings’ of SS by some retired family members is now providing checks to them, so we don’t have to support them as much as we would have to without SS. Again, we come out ahead because they were forced to ‘save’.

    Is my minority opinion rational?

  3. #183
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    even parasitic scumbags can be right on some issues!
    Sorry, but both you and your communist friends are incorrect. Labor is human activity. Yes it can be bought and sold within the context of time, wage, and productivity; but thinking of it in these terms just confuses the differences. A man who has a new born child on the way can become motivated more so than he was, causing his real value of labor to increase. However, a commodity such as corn is not motivated to become "cornier", and therefore more valuable. A commodity such as corn differs in value based on the level (in terms of productivity and focus) of labor required to create it.
    Last edited by Kushinator; 09-12-11 at 03:54 PM.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  4. #184
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by ksu_aviator View Post
    I wonder where I got that idea:





    First, no its not. Second, I don't accept the assertion/implication that that is the case in today's workforce.



    No it is not. The day is NOT spent working solely for the benefit of another. That would presume that no wage was earned, and we know that is not the case. If it was, it would be slavery. As it stands, people have the freedom to chose to work or not work.



    No they are not. They may not like their choices, but being unhappy with your choices does not make you a slave.



    That may actually be slavery, but you failed to prove that is even happening or that that is in any way related to the labor market in the US.



    Dude? LOL..whatever...Dude. We aren't talking about outside the US. This is a forum about US politics. If you want to talk about slavery on the international stage, try starting another thread.



    Well, I was using the word to describe a false notion...what do you think a fallacy is? You see, I saw your assertion that "people are being bought and sold" as a description of labor and since I know that people have the freedom to chose which jobs they accept and which they don't and that they are selling their time and not their person so I called it a fallacy because it was a false notion.
    Number four from your cite: wage slavery.

    For more on this, look up "company store". Load sixteen tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt. Saint Peter don't call me cuz I can't go. I owe my sould to the company store.

    Chains can be forged of laws and debt actually more easily than of steel. And wage slavery is superior to chattel slavery from a business standpoint, as it turns livestock upkeep from a cost to an income stream by making ones slaves responsible for their own upkeep.

    Not fantasy or conspiracy. History and anthropology.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  5. #185
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Labor power is a commodity, not labor. You are selling your ability to work.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  6. #186
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Labor power is a commodity, not labor. You are selling your ability to work.
    I disagree. IMO, labor is a form of capital, not a commodity.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  7. #187
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    Labor power is a commodity, not labor. You are selling your ability to work.
    semantics. practically, labor is a commodity.

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


  8. #188
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by liblady View Post
    semantics. practically, labor is a commodity.
    Is the work an automated forklift does a commodity? This is a serious question.
    Last edited by Kushinator; 09-12-11 at 04:43 PM. Reason: damn android
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

  9. #189
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    Is the work a an automated forklift a commodity? This is a serious question.
    Pretty sure that would be the forklift itself. Its useful life calculated into its initial value. As well as maintenance, etc.

    However, people do rent things like that to others, so I'm not sure how that fits.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

  10. #190
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    Is the work a an automated forklift a commodity? This is a serious question.
    it could be, i think. do commodities have to be physical? is it enough that they can be bought and sold regardless of the form they take?

    Originally Posted by johnny_rebson:

    These are the same liberals who forgot how Iraq attacked us on 9/11.


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