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. #61
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    It's dynamically priced, of course it's a commodity.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Razor View Post
    Just to be clear, I'm speaking of labor provided by individuals, not labor as jobs offered by companies.

    What is the essence of labor? Is it a commodity, or is it a the product of commodities invested by an individual such as time and energy?

    Or maybe you have another view or philosophy you'd like to share on the subject of labor.

    Please try to support your positions with quotes, links, citations, historical precedent, etc... Personal opinions are little more than anecdotal without knowing how and why you draw the conclusions you do.
    From an economic standpoint, labor behaves like a commodity in some ways. On a micro level, higher salaries will usually draw more qualified people, and lower salaries will usually draw fewer qualified people. Furthermore, monopolization of labor markets (i.e. unions) tend to cause inefficiencies, just as monopolization of other commodities do. But there are many ways in which labor is NOT like a commodity: It isn't interchangeable (i.e. you can't replace Bob's labor with Joe's labor and expect exactly the same results), you usually don't know the quality of what you're buying until after the fact, and lowering wages may paradoxically cause existing workers to work MORE (whereas with most commodities, a lower price REDUCES the quantity supplied).

    However I can't answer the poll question because you posed two completely separate and unrelated questions. Whether or not labor is a commodity has nothing to do with whether or not a certain wage should be paid. To answer that question: No, I don't think the government should mandate a minimum wage. Let the market determine the prices, then provide assistance via social programs for the poor and offer subsidized training/education to help people move up the income ladder if they want to.
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  3. #63
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    find one post that comes close to justifying that
    Okay.
    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    spare me the psychobabble. The market sets wages. If someone has skills that only bring 7 dollars an hour

    1) whose fault is that
    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Not as amazing as the idea that people ought to be responsible enough to get an education, training and learn job skills that will allow them to make the living they'd like to make. The very idea that people ought to LEARN anything... imagine that!
    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    2) not the fault of society or the employer or especially the market
    Quote Originally Posted by ksu_aviator View Post
    And why do we need someone else to provide for us? You aren't skilled enough to garner wages that aren't a "living wage" and some how that's the employers problem? Societies problem? Why isn't that your problem?
    Want me to start looking through other threads to find a few dozen more, or is that good?
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  4. #64
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    complete fail there dude, try again



  5. #65
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    complete fail there dude, try again
    Right, let me explain this very slowly and carefully: It's not someone's fault that they can't get an education if educations aren't being offered in their area. And that's exactly what most inner city schools amount to, whatever excuses you might try to make. Every time you blame someone for not having an education, you're completely disregarding the society that surrounds them.
    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

  6. #66
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    From an economic standpoint, labor behaves like a commodity in some ways. On a micro level, higher salaries will usually draw more qualified people, and lower salaries will usually draw fewer qualified people. Furthermore, monopolization of labor markets (i.e. unions) tend to cause inefficiencies, just as monopolization of other commodities do. But there are many ways in which labor is NOT like a commodity: It isn't interchangeable (i.e. you can't replace Bob's labor with Joe's labor and expect exactly the same results), you usually don't know the quality of what you're buying until after the fact, and lowering wages may paradoxically cause existing workers to work MORE (whereas with most commodities, a lower price REDUCES the quantity supplied).

    However I can't answer the poll question because you posed two completely separate and unrelated questions. Whether or not labor is a commodity has nothing to do with whether or not a certain wage should be paid. To answer that question: No, I don't think the government should mandate a minimum wage. Let the market determine the prices, then provide assistance via social programs for the poor and offer subsidized training/education to help people move up the income ladder if they want to.
    Ok, but do you acknowledge that technological solutions are more and more often eliminating useful work, creating a situation where there isn't enough actual useful work that needs to be done to provide all those able to work with full time employment?

    I see this as a problem that is beginning to manifest now, and that is going to get worse fast.

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  7. #67
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Right, let me explain this very slowly and carefully: It's not someone's fault that they can't get an education if educations aren't being offered in their area. And that's exactly what most inner city schools amount to, whatever excuses you might try to make. Every time you blame someone for not having an education, you're completely disregarding the society that surrounds them.
    You are not addressing the claim you made about conservatives



  8. #68
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by atrasicarius View Post
    Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that people are completely independent of their society, and that a black kid from the projects has just as much chance to succeed as a rich white kid with private tutors.
    No one has argued that

    1) people are COMPLETELY independent of society

    2) that a black kid in the projects has just as much chance to succeed as a rich white kid etc



  9. #69
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    From an economic standpoint, labor behaves like a commodity in some ways. On a micro level, higher salaries will usually draw more qualified people, and lower salaries will usually draw fewer qualified people. Furthermore, monopolization of labor markets (i.e. unions) tend to cause inefficiencies, just as monopolization of other commodities do. But there are many ways in which labor is NOT like a commodity: It isn't interchangeable (i.e. you can't replace Bob's labor with Joe's labor and expect exactly the same results), you usually don't know the quality of what you're buying until after the fact, and lowering wages may paradoxically cause existing workers to work MORE (whereas with most commodities, a lower price REDUCES the quantity supplied).

    However I can't answer the poll question because you posed two completely separate and unrelated questions. Whether or not labor is a commodity has nothing to do with whether or not a certain wage should be paid. To answer that question: No, I don't think the government should mandate a minimum wage. Let the market determine the prices, then provide assistance via social programs for the poor and offer subsidized training/education to help people move up the income ladder if they want to.
    Thank you for an actual and serious answer that doesn't shy away from the role human psychology makes actions deviate from a strict supply and demand model that many here seem to rely on. I wish more people would realize reality is always more complicated than a simple model or principal would predict, meaning that simple rules about society never work well.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 09-10-11 at 08:41 PM.

  10. #70
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    No one has argued that

    1) people are COMPLETELY independent of society

    2) that a black kid in the projects has just as much chance to succeed as a rich white kid etc
    OK, in the interests of fairness, you can replace "completely" with "almost entirely." I will stand by that position, though. If you're looking for more evidence, here's one of my favorites that I managed to dig up:

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Perry View Post
    I missed nothing. I showed where pointing out one person proves nothing. There have been far more presidents to come from humble beginnings than that came from a Kennedy or Bush lineage. Are you disagreeing with that?

    You've shown no obvious examples.



    There are tons of people who are from a poor background that get a good education. I'll cede the point that there are a lot of poor parents that do not care whether their kids get a good education or not.



    Because you say so? I say poor choices are a far higher up the list as opposed to actually being poor.
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