Bryan Caplan  

Wages of the Dead

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The Crisis Prophet Speaks... Bubble Seers...
Here's a typically inane FDR quote:
No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.
Taken literally, Roosevelt's norm is superfluous: If you don't pay your workers enough to keep them alive, your business won't be around for long, will it?  

But the "living wage" is not about physical survival.  It's a wage high enough to give workers what Roosevelt sees as a decent life.  And if a worker's best option puts him above the line of physical survival but below a "living wage," FDR effectively says, "Give him a living wage, or give him death" - the social democratic equivalent of "Let them eat cake."

P.S. In his better days, Krugman would have shared my scorn of FDR's sound byte.  But now?


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COMMENTS (40 to date)
Gary writes:

In the article you link to, Krugman mentions "reading my latest batch of hate mail." I wonder if he got a greater proportion of hate mail in his good days than he does now. Do his fiercest opponents today think they have better moral arguments or do they think they have better technical arguments?

Maniel writes:

The minimum wage, the natural extension of the FDR comment, is a fun target, even if it is no laughing matter. I see it as a law against working, passed to keep those who cannot qualify for the so-called "living wage" from earning any wage at all.

Gil writes:

I think it means that FDR and Krugman would rather see people completely dependent on government welfare and/or charity, than see them earn less than a "living wage"; even though the earners have their own reasons (e.g. it's temporary but educational, it's just supplementary, it's fun, etc.) for preferring that wage to their other options.

It's not exactly a wish for their death, but it's still despicable.

pmp writes:

Krugman has lost his cotton-pickin' mind.

In his latest column, a monument to the possibilities of human arrogance, Krugman tells all 50 state governors how to do their job. Not one of these individuals--to a person, elected by their respective states to fix the individual problems of those entities--is better-positioned than Krugman to answer to minister to those complicated, heterogeneous, local problems. Chutzpah!

He really would crown himself King, like Napoleon, if he could figure out a way to do it.

(And NONE of that takes away from his Nobel-winning work!)

Babinich writes:

FDR said: "No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country."

Ok...

Question: Who defines what a living wage is? Is is the market or is it government? Is this the role of one person specifically a Tabula Rasa?


"What horrified markets even more was that FDR managed the operation personally, day by day, over a breakfast tray. No one ever knew what the increase would be. One Friday in November 1933, for example, Roosevelt told Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau that he thought the gold price ought to be raised 21 cents. Why that amount, Morgenthau asked. 'Because it's three times seven,' FDR replied.

Morgenthau later wrote that 'if anybody knew how we set the gold price, through a combination of lucky numbers, etc., I think they would be frightened.'"

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123002660.html

The Cupboard Is Bare writes:

"No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country."

That statement isn't saying "Give him a living wage, or give him death," it's saying "Give him whatever the government decides is necessary, or you're out of business."

Bill Woolsey writes:

The first part of the statement, "no business has a right to exist," is pretty much correct. And, in particular, no one is obligated to provide a firm with labor cheap enough for a firm to surive.

Workers on the other hand, have a right to offer up their labor up at a wage less than what other people think is needed for a decent standard of living. And, firms have a right to accept such offers. They just don't have a right to have such offers made.

It is possible to imagine government policies aimed at preventing more productive firms from stealing a firms employees by paying them more, and so protecting a firms "right to exist."

I try not to forget that I consider the process of firms that only can pay low wages being unable to find labor as a good thing, and something I hope will happen continually--pretty much as fast as possible.

The other side of the coin of this subjective concept of "living wage," is that even if a firm is paying a living wage, it has no right to survive.

Some years ago, I was visiting a nursing convention. Hospitals were there recruiting nurses. The recruiters were complaiing about there being a shortage. Yes, they were raising pay and other benefits, they said. But they were complaining about how the school system wasn't producing enough nurses.

I have heard employers make similar complaints about recruiting skilled machinists. The pay is great, but everyone wants to work in an office, and not on a factory floor.

Firms that can't find people to work for them must disappear.

Randy writes:

Argh@*&! Wrong key... try again and hope I don't double post...

Just finished reading Marx's Capital, and FDR's statement is a typical extrapolation of the idea that the value of labour is objective. Funny thing though, Marx as good as admits in the last paragraph of Part One, Chapter 1, Paragraph 1, that he understands that the value of labour is subjective;

"Lastly, nothing can have value, without being an object of utility. If the thing is useless, so is the labour contained in it; the labour does not count as labour, and therefore creates no value."

He then proceeds for several hundred pages as if he'd never said it. The result of too much time with Hegel and not enough with William James.

floccina writes:

It can up the other day that an individual had two jobs. His fist job was more skilled and paid better than the other job but the first company did not want to pay overtime so he got a part time job at lower pay. It struck me that what he had done subverted the state’s overtime laws and that the laws made him worse off.

Such in where intervention in wages leads.

floccina writes:

BTW I think that the linked Krugman article shows that Krugman’s despising of Bush has made him less objective than he was without Bush in office and that there is hope that with Bush out of office he will return to rationality.

Boonton writes:

In his latest column, a monument to the possibilities of human arrogance, Krugman tells all 50 state governors how to do their job. Not one of these individuals--to a person, elected by their respective states to fix the individual problems of those entities--is better-positioned than Krugman to answer to minister to those complicated, heterogeneous, local problems. Chutzpah!

Wow that's amazing arrogance! Except what does every economist, every pundit likewise do? When the topic is the min. wage is Kling only advising 2 out of 50 states to reject it out of some type of humility?

ben writes:

In the US, employment needs to be modeled as a three party contract, employee, company, and government.

I would then frame FDR's living-wage/right-to-exist as a government solvency question. If companies pay workers less the government decided standard of living, or not enough to pay their fair share of roads, police, bureaucrats etc... the government becomes less solvent. The government has an definite interest in preventing the mainstreaming of these jobs, i.e. they are fine as transitory stepping stones for people to enter the workforce but doing anything more serious such as support a family. The government has to step in because the 'Job' can cost the government money, but at the same time be profitable for both the employee and company.

Politically and practically its much easier to enforce a minimum/living wage that tells companies your workers have to be this productive to keep the government solvent.

Kurbla writes:

It is true that administratively determined minimal wages have negative impact on profit, resulting in loss of jobs. However, we shouldn't be satisfied with "more" and "less", the question is "how much." Under some circumstances, significant increase of min. wage can cause relatively small or insignificant decrease of profit and loss of few jobs. Furthermore, higher wages have some positive externalities.

Tom West writes:

FDR effectively says, "Give him a living wage, or give him death"

Say what? Cranking down the rhetoric a bit, I think it's better interpreted that the country is better off without some jobs being offered, even if there is demand for it.

And to that sentiment, I have to admit, I agree.

First, there seems to be an almost irresistible tendency to treat very badly paid workers poorly. I think it's got to be something in the human psyche that says if someone is willing to accept this little, they cannot be worth very much as a human being. Oddly enough, poorly paid workers seem to be treated far worse and are subject to far worse abuses than people who aren't working at all.

I suspect that if someone is working, their value as a human being in the eyes of many is roughly commensurate with their income. If someone is not working at all, then people seem to use a different metric to judge their worth as a human being.

In other words, yes, I'd rather have someone unemployed (and supported) than, for example, working as a garbage picker climbing over heaps of refuse for pennies an hour. Odd though it might be from a strictly logical perspective, I strongly suspect that the unemployed worker would be treated by society far better than someone holding what would be considered by many to be a demeaning job.

Likewise, there no doubt exist classes of jobs that cannot be done economically if the workers have to be protected against injury or death. While there might be those desperate enough to accept such a job, I do not think that it is in the interest of the country as a whole to accept as fact that certain citizens are essentially expendable simply because their economic contribution is not big enough except by laying their life on the line.

Randy writes:

Tom West,

Well said, but I think the focus comes down to this line;

"I'd rather have someone unemployed (and supported)..."

As long as those who follow such a prescription are willing to do the supporting, good hearted souls with lots of free time and money, I don't have a problem with the concept. I support members of my family unconditionally precisely because I don't want to see them working at crappy jobs and living in squalid conditions. But I do have a problem with the idea that "we as a society" owe a similar level of "support" to anyone and everyone just because we all happen to live under the rule of the same political class. Such an open ended obligation is, in my opinion, foolish. Incentives matter.

The Cupboard Is Bare writes:

Tom West,

"In other words, yes, I'd rather have someone unemployed (and supported) than, for example, working as a garbage picker climbing over heaps of refuse for pennies an hour."

This is more about your feelings. Watching people scratch out a living makes you feel uncomfortable, so you want them to stay at home collecting checks so that you don't have to look at them.

I for one have a great deal of respect for people who work hard for very little and am not embarassed by the sight of them.

BTW, how does one work one's way up by not working at all?

El Presidente writes:

And if a worker's best option puts him above the line of physical survival but below a "living wage," FDR effectively says, "Give him a living wage, or give him death"

Actually, Bryan, if you take him in context, he says anything but that. Nice try, but you've gone a bit too far with your interpretation of his remark.

The whole paragraph reads:

"In my Inaugural I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living."

He is not saying "Give him a living wage, or give him death", though that would make your argument more viscerally satisfying. He is saying that there should be no starvation, and that is not nearly good enough. He is saying we have an obligation to treat one another as more than inputs in our production function whose price must be forced down as low as possible in the name of profit. It is plain enough . . . if you take the time to read it, and if you represent it honestly.

Combined with his initiatives to create and expand social safety nets, you can hardly make the argument with a clear intellectual conscience that we ought to be impugning Roosevelt's intentions because of that one sentence, or even the rest of the speech. If your argument is about policy, which I respect you enough to believe it is, why is shifting profits to wages any worse than shifting wages to profits? The former moderates disparity making the median and mean standard of living more proximate, while the latter makes them more disparate. If taken too far, the former might lead to stagnation, but the latter might lead to precarious volatility. So, why is one extreme better than the other, or is it?

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

"...you can hardly make the argument with a clear intellectual conscience that we ought to be impugning Roosevelt's intentions..."

I don't think that Bryan is impugning FDR's intentions, but rather the results of his anti-business program. Many believe that his diatribes and actions caused the productive class to delay reinvestment until after he was known to be good and dead.

El Presidente writes:

On Krugman,

I do not disagree with what he says. I ask one question though: If exporting technology and capital to raise the real wage of workers abroad is worthwhile on humanitarian grounds, what price should we demand to do it? There is no quarrel over the idea of improving the lot of others except from those who would have to pay to maintain that improvement in the first instance: employers at home and abroad, the owners of land and capital. The increased income has not come from the profits of producers but from the wages of competitors, laborers. It is a result of the distribution of ownership, wealth, whatever you want to call it. The exclusivity of wealth creates leverage which can be used to drive wages downward. The greater the consolidation of that ownership, the more effective the leverage it provides. Improvements abroad have come in part at the expense of the health of those foreign workers and their respective environments, and anticipated but forgone increases in real wages at home. Yet, we refuse to look behind the curtain.

I don't think you're a fool for advocating greater trade and exchange of technology for the betterment of all (that's wonderful), but I'm not impressed by genius in your argument against Roosevelt or your use of Krugman to make your case. As Krugman points out, the reason that expansion of industry into third-world countries is advantageous for them is that they have few attractive alternatives. Why is that?

In Latin America it has an awful lot to do with the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary (Teddy, not FDR). Having enacted military barriers to direct foreign investment in this hemisphere, save in the United States, and having subjugated these nations ourselves to "protect" them from the influence of Europeans, we are pretty sorry SOBs to turn around and patronize foreign workers by telling them we offer their best alternative, as though we are their daddy. We have behaved miserably and we would deserve a good walloping if they could muster it. It is beyond my capacity for abstraction to claim righteous credit for nursing the wounds of people I have beaten within an inch of their lives. Calling it a win-win doesn't make it any better. To take the status quo for granted is a failure of vision, an abdication of conscience, and a convenient indulgence purchased at the price of ill-gotten profits, historically and presently.

It's all about leverage. If we want to see others do well, and it is within our power to make it so, why would we demand that they suffer before we see to it? For their dignity, or for our gluttony? If we must take profits, why must they be so high as to maintain or even increase our leverage over others? FDR was right in that sometimes you need to flip the bird to those who believe their wealth is justified license to take advantage of others. I've had to do it using the authority of government because it was the last resort of people who were being physically and financially harmed by commercial activities. Until I issued a credible threat to put them out of business, they didn't give a damn. They were previously unresponsive for 25 years. After I made the threat, they began bending over backwards to find innovative solutions and restore compliance. I didn't enjoy it, but I don't regret it. Profits and wealth do not equal justice in all cases. It is folly to assert as a first principle that they do.

El Presidente writes:

Randy,

"I don't think that Bryan is impugning FDR's intentions, . . . "

I hope you are correct. I've given him the benefit of the doubt.

" . . . but rather the results of his anti-business program. Many believe that his diatribes and actions caused the productive class to delay reinvestment until after he was known to be good and dead."

What anti-business program? And how on earth can people afford to delay all investing for more than a decade unless they have so much wealth that they could care less about advancing the welfare of others because it would have no considerable consequence to their own? Adam Smith presupposed that the baker needed to earn a living and so had to concern himself with the nourishment of others. What if the baker was independently wealthy; would he bake?

You like to talk about a "political class". Do you suppose there are a number of individuals who fancy themselves aristocrats and use government as merely a convenient instrument for personal enrichment? How can you disdain Roosevelt for standing up to similar individuals and yet despise them for oppressing the "productive class" which you proudly embrace? Roosevelt was considered a traitor to his class, as was David Ricardo, and both for resisting the entrenched distribution of wealth as a basis for extracting rents from captive laborers. Seems relevant given the prompt for this thread.

Tom West writes:

Such an open ended obligation is, in my opinion, foolish. Incentives matter.

Incentives do matter, so it's true that supporting others unconditionally is not without its costs even to those being supported. However, I believe that the benefits do outweigh the costs. Moreover, I do believe that we have a moral obligation to support others (where we can).

This being a democracy, if my belief is shared by enough others, it becomes the law of the land, and so it has.

This is more about your feelings. Watching people scratch out a living makes you feel uncomfortable, so you want them to stay at home collecting checks so that you don't have to look at them.

True, but I suspect it's held by a great many people. Worse, with exposure to massive relative differences in wealth, many, if not most humans construct justifications for why people who are working just as hard as they earn 1/100th as much. Unfortunately, these justifications often end up very dark indeed.

In the end, I don't think it's healthy for the society.

I for one have a great deal of respect for people who work hard for very little and am not embarrassed by the sight of them.

I try to, but to be honest, it's pretty hard not to wonder why someone who is working 100 hours a week in deplorable working conditions should be paid 1/100th of what I earn, where I work in comfy conditions doing something fun. In North America, it's likely that the relative difference is going to max out at about a 1/3 or a 1/4, which is something that I can live with.

BTW, how does one work one's way up by not working at all?

Actually, at the bottom of the heap, there's usually very little "working your way up". I've found that in some ways the opposite is true - you're better off from a hiring perspective to have done nothing at all than to prove having been at one point virtually valueless by the sort of job you've taken. Again, not so evident here where we have a minimum wage.

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

"What anti-business program?"

Are you serious? FDR loved to beat up on "business men", and he did so in nearly every major speech. And it wasn't just in his speeches - he followed through with a reign of confiscation and regulation the likes of which had never been seen in America.

"Do you suppose there are a number of individuals who fancy themselves aristocrats and use government as merely a convenient instrument for personal enrichment?"

Absolutely.

"How can you disdain Roosevelt for standing up to similar individuals and yet despise them for oppressing the "productive class" which you proudly embrace?"

Because I include modern "business men" in the productive class*. FDR loved to play to Marxist sentiment, but he did not understand the difference between Marx's times and his own. The Capitalists of Marx's day were the aristocrats. The Capitalists of FDR's day, and of our day, are entrepreneurs and technicians.

*Except for the criminals and those who spend more on lobbying than on their products. Such as these are members of the political class.

Randy writes:

Tom West,

"I do believe that we have a moral obligation to support others (where we can)."

Its that "where we can" that gets me. In a true charity situation that phrase makes sense. But in the political world what we have is a political class extracting rent from the productive class. They claim to be doing an infinite amount of good - but I don't think they pay the least bit of attention to the cost. And why would they? - they're not the ones doing the paying.

El Presidente writes:

Randy,

"Are you serious?"

Yes, I am. What anti-business program? Name a federal program, a piece of legislation, a regulatory action; give me something besides speeches and conjecture.

"The Capitalists of Marx's day were the aristocrats. The Capitalists of FDR's day, and of our day, are entrepreneurs and technicians."

You really believe that, don't you? Why do entrepreneurs need to buy gold, or oil? What does a technician want with a railroad oligopoly, or a hedge fund? The assertion that wealth is de facto the progeny of industrious virtue, particularly in FDR's day and in ours, is laughable.

"*Except for the criminals and those who spend more on lobbying than on their products. Such as these are members of the political class."

That's a pretty broad caveat. It hardly serves to support your position given the rampant and shameless white-collar crime and violation of fiduciary responsibility on display in FDR's day and in ours.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

From Higgs, here is how businesspeople felt about FDR:

In November 1941, just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into total war, the Fortune pollsters asked a sample of business executives a question that bears quite directly on the regime uncertainty at issue in this article. The question was “Which of the following comes closest to being your prediction of the kind of economic structure with which this country will emerge after the war?” The respondents were presented with four options, as follows (the percentage of respondents selecting that option as the closest to their own prediction is shown in brackets):

(1) A system of free enterprise restored very much along the prewar lines, with modifications to take care of conditions then current.
[7.2 percent]

(2) An economic system in which government will take over many public services formerly under private management but still leave many opportunities for private enterprise.
[52.4 percent]

(3) A semi-socialized society in which there will be very little room for the profit system to operate.
[36.7 percent]

(4) A complete economic dictatorship along fascist or communist lines. [3.7 percent]

The Cupboard Is Bare writes:

"I support members of my family unconditionally precisely because I don't want to see them working at crappy jobs and living in squalid conditions."

It's one thing to give a family member a "leg up" when they're first starting out on their own, or when there's an illness or loss of a job. But unlimited financial support can create a sense of entitlement that can be just as crippling as that of the government.

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

"That's a pretty broad caveat."

Certainly it is. A categorization by behavior (productive behavior good, political behavior bad) covers a lot of ground. And certainly it does stand in sharp contrast to the standard propaganda that political behavior, assumed to be in the best interest of some meta-community, is good, and that productive behavior, driven by self interest, is "selfish" and bad.

"It hardly serves to support your position given the rampant and shameless white-collar crime and violation of fiduciary responsibility on display in FDR's day and in ours."

White collar crime and violation of fiduciary responsibility are political behaviors - exploitation.

Randy writes:

The Cupboard is Bare,

"But unlimited financial support can create a sense of entitlement that can be just as crippling as that of the government."

Agreed, but I can accept it as a family dynamic. What happens in other people's families is usually none of my business.

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

Forgot this one...

"The assertion that wealth is de facto the progeny of industrious virtue... is laughable."

Laughable? Really? What else could it possibly be the progeny of? I mean, certainly it is possible to amass wealth via political behavior (exploitation), but it isn't possible to create wealth via political behavior.

Tom West writes:

we have is a political class extracting rent from the productive class ... they're not the ones doing the paying.

First, I don't really divide us into classes as such. This year's politician is tomorrow's lawyer or businessman and vice-versa.

Secondly, politicians are fairly well remunerated, and as such will be paying taxes along with the rest of us.

Thirdly, being a democracy, over the long term legislation presumably tends to reflect the will of the people. Obviously democracy isn't perfect, but I think your point would be stronger in a society with a hereditary aristocracy (Kennedys and Bushes not withstanding :-)).

El Presidente writes:

Randy,

[C]ertainly it is possible to amass wealth via political behavior (exploitation), but it isn't possible to create wealth via political behavior.

The key phrases in my previous statement are "progeny" and "de facto". First, there is natural wealth, value in use, which cannot be created; only protected or destroyed. Second, wealth is a matter of ownership the way we typically choose to define it, in material terms. Creating wealth is thus frequently shorthand for acquiring ownership of things which others desire. The mere existence of desirable things does not constitute wealth in the colloquial sense. Our cultural notion of wealth requires that value must be transferable and excludable. It is the ability to get what one wants in exchange for what one has; the ability to command the resources of others. That can certainly be "created" through "political" behavior, as leverage can be increased by taking, at least as much as by giving.

What you call political behavior is not confined to the formal institutions of politics and governance. It is on full display in many very noticeable businesses these days, and persistently throughout our history. It would be convenient if we could rely on your tidy divisions of political versus productive and identify people as one or the other based on our limited observations of their behavior, profession, or associated organization. The reality is that people are frequently a combination of both and that reducing the "political", as you use the word, is not a function of diagnosing and eliminating certain people or institutions but rather constraining them; shaping their alternatives so they have good ones to choose from and can comprehend the costs of the bad ones. It's often called regulation.

That's not utopian, it's just good governance. It applies as much to the proprietor as it does to the senator. They are similarly capable of objectifying and abusing others for selfish and shortsighted ends. There is no righteous productive class, and thinking there is paves the way to unjustifiable absolution. I've seen wealthy men steal from their impoverished workers. I've seen "industrious" businessmen so debase the intrinsic value of another human being that they ought to be shot to protect others from being infected with their callous disregard for humanity. They weren't acting under the color of official authority, but they had everything they needed to objectify and abuse other people, and it was frequently perfectly legal or entirely impossible to prosecute. The notion that businessmen should be freed of constraints because they are righteous or better than others on balance, and that FDR was a bad bad man for thinking or saying otherwise, is too pollyannaish to take seriously.

Randy writes:

Tom West,

"...politicians are fairly well remunerated, and as such will be paying taxes along with the rest of us."

They are renumerated with dollars they do not earn. The idea of it being "taxed" is just an accounting trick - that is, propaganda.

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

"What you call political behavior is not confined to the formal institutions of politics and governance."

I agree. But it is the preponderant behavior of politics and governance. In other realms it is subsidiary and undesireable.

"It would be convenient if we could rely on your tidy divisions of political versus productive and identify people as one or the other based on our limited observations of their behavior, profession, or associated organization."

I agree. It is human nature to behave productively (creatively/cooperatively) or politically (exploitatively) in response to an environment which gives greater rewards to one or the other. The best I can say is that the realm of government is more rewarding of exploitative behavior while the business environment is more rewarding of productive behavior.

jabberwocky writes:

I read that piece by Krugman in "The Accidental Theorist". Best thing he's ever written by far compared to the garbage in his columns these days.

El Presidente writes:

Randy,

"It is human nature to behave productively (creatively/cooperatively) or politically (exploitatively) in response to an environment which gives greater rewards to one or the other."

I would say it is demonstrated human tendency, but voluntary and deliberate nonetheless. So, I think the next question is whether we can do something about the environment which encourages one behavior and the other. Are there things we can do to regularize incentives so that people are less inclined toward extreme behaviors that harm others?

Randy writes:

Randy,

"Are there things we can do to regularize incentives so that people are less inclined toward extreme behaviors that harm others?"

Great question. There might be, but the only thing that has ever been tried is to subject the exploiters to a system of ultimate exploitation (see Leviathan). The obvious problem with this is that the exploiters simply congregate within the exploitation system and continue their behavior.

The only way to end the exploitation, will be to somehow limit the ability of the system to exploit - that is, to make the system fall within the productive realm. I keep mentioning the idea of running government, to the greatest extent possible, on a voluntary fee for service basis. Usually, I am simply ignored. Sometimes the idea is rejected as unfeasible. And that may be the bottom line - that it is simply unfeasible to control the exploiters. If so, I still see no reason to honor or respect them.

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

I'm sure you figured it out, but the above should have been addressed to you. Haven't had my coffee yet...

El Presidente writes:

Randy

"The only way to end the exploitation, will be to somehow limit the ability of the system to exploit - that is, to make the system fall within the productive realm."

Two classes but only one system? That is dangerously close to a unifying element of a singular society. Are you sure you want to stick with it?

Randy writes:

El Presidente,

Good one :)

But yeah, I'll stick with it. The idea of a "society" of the productive, with a government based on true cooperation rather than exploitation, bothers me not at all. While the idea of being exploited by a political class that uses the term "society" as propaganda to justify its exploitation bothers me considerably.

...and again, I find myself strangely in tune with Marx.

El Presidente writes:

Randy,

I feel out of place too sometimes. =)

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