I have written an earlier post along the same vein as this one but given that labor day has passed it seems appropriate to write about it again. In this instance the impetus I had to write was an article I read on USA today(http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/28/low-wage-workers/2711379/).

One of the first things mentioned in the article is the lack of economic opportunity in this country. This is unavoidable due to the nature of capitalism itself which has no connection with social aspirations. Capitalism is defined by its boom-bust cycles and the way it benefits one set of nations by the labor of others. While the United States benefited from the low wages of other countries in the past, the wheels have turned and it is now other countries that are slowly benefiting from our low production costs. As more and more of the jobs in this country become low-wage jobs then it only stands to reason that economic opportunities will dwindle for the majority of workers.

And while it pains me to say this, corporations make a good point in the article concerning the relationship between wages and prices. Wages is the highest cost of labor so it follows that raising wages will inversely affect profits. The more workers are paid the less capitalists will make in profits and the more prices will have to raised in order to keep the previous profit level. This is the one defense that capitalism affords to capitalists, the one bulwark it has against worker demands.

This is the great irony that is constantly thrown in our faces whenever we ask for more. If we ask for more then all is doomed. But if capitalists ask for more then it will herald in an age of prosperity for all! More for the workers will end in disaster but more for the owners will usher in opportunity for the rest of us. But as we have seen, more for the owners has done nothing but increase opportunity and wealth for themselves.

There is one last point I wish to show that is raised in the article which I have written about before. The article speaks of the relationship between employment levels and wages and how one affects the other. I don't suspect many people understand that high unemployment works in the favor of capitalists since a high employment level allows them a greater pool of workers to choose from. The more workers there are that are seeking a job, the more they will compete amongst themselves in order to attain that job. And the only way workers can compete with each other is to lower their cost, to work for lower wages than those around them.

This all works in the favor of capitalists and we can see how high unemployment would be preferable so long as it doesn't interfere with their profit margins. And while the capitalists reap the benefits of our despair we must fight each other to survive and learn to live with less.


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