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?

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    Is Labor a Commodity?

    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.
    Last edited by Occam's Razor; 09-10-11 at 03:27 PM.

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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?
    The debate would have been more fun if you opened it up. Labor in and of itself is not a commodity. If you broaden the Op you create all kinds of lively viewpoints.
    If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. Patton
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael H View Post
    The debate would have been more fun if you opened it up. Labor in and of itself is not a commodity. If you broaden the Op you create all kinds of lively viewpoints.
    As stated in the third and fourth poll options, it's entirely open... Go for it!

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Of course it's a commodity. Labor is trading one's skills and work for a wage offered by someone else. It is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay for it, nothing more, nothing less. The more skilled a person is and the more valuable their skills are, the more they deserve to earn for their work.

    Not sure why this is even a question.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Of course it's a commodity. Labor is trading one's skills and work for a wage offered by someone else. It is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay for it, nothing more, nothing less. The more skilled a person is and the more valuable their skills are, the more they deserve to earn for their work.

    Not sure why this is even a question.
    If you're confused about the question... Stay tuned...

    And of course pay rises with skills and knowledge, that is not the issue.

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Razor View Post
    As stated in the third and fourth poll options, it's entirely open... Go for it!
    I think labor has been made a commodity by vested interests. Control of banking and wealth has allowed for markets to be undeveloped / underdeveloped. This can be reasoned for a control of resources, using a market solely for export of goods, nationalistic protective interests, or limiting market growth to create a cheap labor markets. Whatever the reason labor becomes a barge-able market, where the single relationship of skill for compensation no longer applies, and control of jobs becomes the driving factor in compensation. By limiting job creation ... one may "corner" the market like a commodity.
    If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. Patton
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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Of course I understood the question as you asked it. You asserted, I presume, that labor is not a commodity and people deserve a "living wage", whatever that is. However, in your last post, you said that pay raises with skills and knowledge, thus proving that labor *IS* a commodity! If it was not, then everyone would get the same pay for performing work. It's not just the work that matters, but the skill and knowledge involved in said work, the rarity of those qualified to perform such work, etc.

    Thus, it is a commodity.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Throughout my lifetime, I have had small boodles of money show up that must be spent. I have always chosen my friends that were on hard times or individuals I wanted to share with. This was not a gift to any of them, but they were paid at a premium for their labor. I never felt it was a commodity, just my good fortune to have an opportunity to help a friend. I think it happens more than you would figure and most don't want bragging rights, just feel good inside because they were blessed with the opportunity.

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Of course I understood the question as you asked it. You asserted, I presume, that labor is not a commodity and people deserve a "living wage", whatever that is. However, in your last post, you said that pay raises with skills and knowledge, thus proving that labor *IS* a commodity! If it was not, then everyone would get the same pay for performing work. It's not just the work that matters, but the skill and knowledge involved in said work, the rarity of those qualified to perform such work, etc.

    Thus, it is a commodity.
    No... the knowledge and skills are a commodity... not the labor.

    Tell me, when an hourly worker goes over 40 hours a week, their pay suddenly goes up by fifty percent. Did their skills increase? Their knowledge? Did their job suddenly become more rare? No. It's because it requires more sacrifice of the time of life, taking away from family and leisure.

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    Re: Is Labor a Commodity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Razor View Post
    No... the knowledge and skills are a commodity... not the labor.

    Tell me, when an hourly worker goes over 40 hours a week, their pay suddenly goes up by fifty percent. Did their skills increase? Their knowledge? Did their job suddenly become more rare? No. It's because it requires more sacrifice of the time of life, taking away from family and leisure.
    Labor doesn't have a history of performing like a commodity either. Commodities rise and fall over time ... which wages haven't. That's being worked on though.
    If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. Patton
    New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. John Locke

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