Saturday May 14, 2011

"Shared sacrifice" "shared prosperity" "shared responsibility"?

By David Moros


To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation's deficit. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush and President Clinton; by Democratic Congresses and a Republican Congress. All three agreements asked for shared responsibility and shared sacrifice, but they largely protected the middle class, our commitments to seniors, and key investments in our future. *** http://www.politicalruminations.com/2011/04/transcriptpresident-obama-speech-on-\ fiscal-policy.html


With all this talk about "shared sacrifice", "shared prosperity", "shared responsibility" let's make clear where what's being "shared" and "sacrificed" comes from and who's responsible for "prosperity".

The shill cry and phrase mongoring, from Barack Obama to MSNBC's Ed Shults, about "protecting the 'the middle class'", is nothing but demogogic euphemism used by them to divert from the realities of the producing working class.

As political and ideological representatives of the appropriating capitalist classes the mentioned Democratic and Republican Presidents, Senators and Congresspersons represent the classes that derive their profits from the exploitation of the working classes - young and old - "seniors' is not an economic category. "Inventments" are not for "our future" as workers, but the future purchase and exploitation wage labour by and for the the future profits of future capital investors - young and old alike.

Democrats dressed in language to appeal to the working class as other than an exploited class, that is uphemistic and patriotic language of 'American middle class' and investment in 'our' future - Ed Shultz at MSNBC to John Watson, CEO of Chevron to US Senator Jay Rockefeller, on and on and on use language as a costume.


U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson disagreed Thursday during a congressional hearing on oil company profits and federal budget subsidies the companies receive.

Rockefeller spent a few minutes telling Watson and four other representatives of large oil companies that they are out of touch with America and said they must be part of the "shared sacrifice" to get federal spending under control.

Watson disagreed.

"I don't think the American people want shared sacrifice, I think they want shared prosperity."
http://www.wvmetronews.com/news.cfm?func=displayfullstory&storyid=45408


THE ED SHOW

Poll: Are the rich paying their fair share of taxes?

Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:58 PM EDT

http://ed.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/14/6473612-poll-are-the-rich-paying-their-\ fair-share-oftaxesthreadId=3105219&pc=25&sp=25


http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=shared+sacrifice&cp=10&um=1&i\ e=UTF8&tbo=u&tbs=nws:1&source=og&sa=N&tab=wn&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=3


The only fuckers talkin' about this shit are those who represent and or those who exploit the labor power of the working class to "earn" their living. Thus, those who are social parasites living off the labor power of others are the ones talkin' about sharing? This disguised capitalist analysis-shit smells rotton!


On the Social Production Process

Let us assume that the money price of these means of subsistence averages 3 shillings a day. Our labourer gets, therefore, a daily wage of 3 shillings from his employer. For this, the capitalist lets him work, say, 12 hours a day. Our capitalist, moreover, calculates somewhat in the following fashion: Let us assume that our labourer (a machinist) has to make a part of a machine which he finishes in one day. The raw material (iron and brass in the necessary prepared form) costs 20 shillings. The consumption of coal by the steam-engine, the wear-and-tear of this engine itself, of the turning-lathe, and of the other tools with which our labourer works, represent, for one day and one labourer, a value of 1 shilling. The wages for one day are, according to our assumption, 3 shillings. This makes a total of 24 shillings for our piece of a machine.

But, the capitalist calculates that, on an average, he will receive for it a price of 27 shillings from his customers, or 3 shillings over and above his outlay.

***

Whence do they 3 shillings pocketed by the capitalist come? According to the assertion of classical political economy, commodities are in the long run sold at their values, that is, they are sold at prices which correspond to the necessary quantities of labour contained in them. The average price of our part of a machine 27 shillings would therefore equal its value, i.e., equal the amount of labour embodied in it. But, of these 27 shillings, 21 shillings were values were values already existing before the machinist began to work; 20 shillings were contained in the raw material, 1 shilling in the fuel consumed during the work and in the machines and tools used in the process and reduced in their efficiency to the value of this amount. There remains 6 shillings, which have been added to the value of the raw material. But, according to the supposition of our economists, themselves, these 6 shillings can arise only from the labour added to the raw material by the labourer. His 12 hours' labour has created, according to this, a new value of 6 shillings. Therefore, the value of his 12 hours' labour would be equivalent to 6 shillings. So we have at last discovered what the "value of labour" is.

"Hold on there!" cries our machinist. "Six shillings? But I have received only 3 shillings! My capitalist swears high and day that the value of my 12 hours' labour is no more than 3 shillings, and if I were to demand 6, he'd laugh at me. What kind of a story is that?"

***

As soon as we reduce the values, now expressed in money, to labour-time, the contradiction becomes even more absurd. By the 12 hours' labour, a new value of 6 shillings is created. Therefore, in 6 hours, the new value created equals 3 shillings the amount which the labourer receives for 12 hours' labour. For 12 hours' labour, the workingman receives, as an equivalent, the product of 6 hours' labour. We are, thus, forced to one of two conclusions: either labour has two values, one of which is twice as large as the other, or 12 equals 6! In both cases, we get pure absurdities. Turn and twist as we may, we will not get out of this contradiction as long as we speak of the buying and selling of "labour" and of the "value of labour." And just so it happened to the political economists. The last offshoot of classical political economy the Ricardian school was largely wrecked on the insolubility of this contradiction. Classical political economy had run itself into a blind alley. The man who discovered the way out of this blind alley was Karl Marx.

What the economists had considered as the cost of production of "labour" was really the cost of production, not of "labour," but of the living labourer himself. And what this labourer sold to the capitalist was not his labour.

"So soon as his labour really begins," says Marx, "it ceases to belong to him, and therefore can no longer be sold by him."

At the most, he could sell his future labour i.e., assume the obligation of executing a certain piece of work in a certain time. But, in this way, he does not sell labour (which would first have to be performed), but not for a stipulated payment he places his labour-power at the disposal of the capitalist for a certain time (in case of time-wages), or for the performance of a certain task (in case of piece-wages). He hires out or sells his labour-power. But this labour-power has grown up with his person and is inseparable from it. Its cost of production, therefore, coincides with his own cost of production; what the economist called the cost of production of labour is really the cost of production of the labourer, and therewith of his labour-power. And, thus, we can also go back from the cost of production of labour-power to the value of labour-power, and determine the quantity of social labour that is required for the production of a labour-power of a given quantity, as Marx has done in the chapter on "The Buying and Selling of labour Power." [Capital, Vol.I]

Now what takes place after the worker has sold his labour-power, i.e., after he has placed his labour-power at the disposal of the capitalist for stipulated-wages whether time-wages or piece-wages? The capitalist takes the labourer into his workshop or factory, where all the articles required for the work can be found raw materials, auxiliary materials (coal, dyestuffs, etc.), tools, and machines. Here, the worker begins to work. His daily wages are, as above, 3 shillings, and it makes no difference whether he earns them as day-wages or piece-wages. We again assume that in 12 hours the worker adds by his labour a new value of 6 shillings to the value of the raw materials consumed, which new value the capitalist realizes by the sale of the finished piece of work. Out of this new value, he pays the worker his 3 shillings, and the remaining 3 shillings he keeps for himself. If, now, the labourer creates in 12 hours a value of 6 shillings, in 6 hours he creates a value of 3 shillings. Consequently, after working 6 hours for the capitalist, the labourer has returned to him the equivalent of the 3 shillings received as wages. After 6 hours' work, both are quits, neither one owing a penny to the other.

"Hold on there!" now cries out the capitalist. "I have hired the labourer for a whole day, for 12 hours. But 6 hours are only half-a-day. So work along lively there until the other 6 hours are at an end only then will we be even." And, in fact, the labourer has to submit to the conditions of the contract upon which he entered of "his own free will", and according to which he bound himself to work 12whole hours for a product of labour which cost only 6 hours' labour.

The rock upon which the best economists were stranded, as long as they started out from the value of labour, vanishes as soon as we make our starting-point the value of labour-power. labour-power is, in our present-day capitalist society, a commodity like every other commodity, but yet a very peculiar commodity. It has, namely, the peculiarity of being a value-creating force, the source of value, and, moreover, when properly treated, the source of more value than it possesses itself. In the present state of production, human labour-power not only produces in a day a greater value than it itself possesses and costs; but with each new scientific discovery, with each new technical invention, there also rises the surplus of its daily production over its daily cost, while as a consequence there diminishes that part of the working-day in which the labourer produces the equivalent of his day's wages, and, on the other hand, lengthens that part of the working-day in which he must present labour gratis to the capitalist.

And this is the economic constitution of our entire modern society: the working class alone produces all values. For value is only another expression for labour, that expression, namely, by which is designated, in our capitalist society of today, the amount of socially necessary labour embodied in a particular commodity. But, these values produced by the workers do not belong to the workers. They belong to the owners of the raw materials, machines, tools, and money, which enable them to buy the labour-power of the working class. Hence, the working class gets back only a part of the entire mass of products produced by it. And, as we have just seen, the other portion, which the capitalist class retains, and which it has to share, at most, only with the landlord class, is increasing with every new discovery and invention, while the share which falls to the working class (per capita) rises but little and very slowly, or not at all, and under certain conditions it may even fall.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/intro.htm


Capital can "share" only what it has already stolen from what the working class has produced as the working class alone produce ALL useful products and services. But not only that, as Frederick Engels points out, the owners of the social productive forces have long ago been separated from the production process to the point where they might never see the factory, mine, etc that they have ownership in but they may never see any product of said production facility.


Articles by Engels in the Labour Standard 1881


A Fair Day's Wages for a Fair Day's Work


*** A fair day's work is that length of working day and that intensity of actual work which expends one day's full working power of the workman without encroaching upon his capacity for the same amount of work for the next and following days.

The transaction, then, may be thus described the workman gives to the Capitalist his full day's working power; that is, so much of it as he can give without rendering impossible the continuous repetition of the transaction. In exchange he receives just as much, and no more, of the necessaries of life as is required to keep up the repetition of the same bargain every day. The workman gives as much, the Capitalist gives as little, as the nature of the bargain will admit. This is a very peculiar sort of fairness.

But let us look a little deeper into the matter. As, according to political economists, wages and working days are fixed by competition, fairness seems to require that both sides should have the same fair start on equal terms. But that is not the case. The Capitalist, if he cannot agree with the Labourer, can afford to wait, and live upon his capital. The workman cannot. He has but wages to live upon, and must therefore take work when, where, and at what terms he can get it. The workman has no fair start. He is fearfully handicapped by hunger. Yet, according to the political economy of the Capitalist class, that is the very pink of fairness.

*** But let us inquire out of what fund does Capital pay these very fair wages? Out of capital, of course. But capital produces no value. Labour is, besides the earth, the only source of wealth; capital itself is nothing but the stored-up produce of labour. So that the wages of Labour are paid out of labour, and the working man is paid out of his own produce. According to what we may call common fairness, the wages of the labourer ought to consist in the produce of his labour. But that would not be fair according to political economy. On the contrary, the produce of the workman's labour goes to the Capitalist, and the workman gets out of it no more than the bare necessaries of life. And thus the end of this uncommonly "fair" race of competition is that the produce of the labour of those who do work, gets unavoidably accumulated in the hands of those that do not work, and becomes in their hands the most powerful means to enslave the very men who produced it.

*** The question has often been asked, in what degree are the different classes of society useful or even necessary? And the answer was naturally a different one for every different epoch of history considered. There was undoubtedly a time when a territorial aristocracy was an unavoidable and necessary element of society. That, however, is very, very long ago. Then there was a time when a capitalist middle class, a bourgeoisie as the French call it, arose with equally unavoidable necessity, struggled against the territorial aristocracy, broke its political power, and in its turn became economically and politically predominant. But, since classes arose, there never was a time when society could do without a working class. The name, the social status of that class has changed; the serf took the place of the slave, to be in his turn relieved by the free working man -- free from servitude but also free from any earthly possessions save his own labour force. But it is plain: whatever changes took place in the upper, non-producing ranks of society, society could not live without a class of producers. This class, then, is necessary under all circumstances -- though the time must come, when it will no longer be a class, when it will comprise all society.

*** This, then, is the result: the economical development of our actual society tends more and more to concentrate, to socialise production into immense establishments which cannot any longer be managed by single capitalists. All the trash of "the eye of the master", and the wonders it does, turns into sheer nonsense as soon as an undertaking reaches a certain size. Imagine "the eye of the master" of the London and North Western Railway! But what the master cannot do the workman, the wages-paid servants of the Company, can do, and do it successfully.

Thus the capitalist can no longer lay claim to his profits as "wages of supervision", as he supervises nothing. Let us remember that when the defenders of capital drum that hollow phrase into our ears. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/05/07.htm


The workers pay the rich, not vise versa. Workers work part of their work period to create the value that represents their wage, then, another portion representing the tools, machinery, electricity, etc, that enters into the social production process and another part to produce suplus product/value representing capitalist profit.

The capitalist cannot "pay their fair share" as the capitalist doesn't produce any value period. It's an absolute impossibility.

Any taxes that capital pays on revenue or profit is actually paid by the working class as the revenue and profit comes out of the surplus products surplus values that the labor power of workers produced.

And plus, the ruling class in the US is only concerned about working class "prosperity" when their economic and thus political power is threatened. Think New Deal. The only possibility for a "prosperous" producing class is for the workers to make the social productive forces common property by expropriating what is now called capital. The working class is already THE economic creator on the stage. We must become THE political force by creating a political party that represents our interests, proletarian interests.

Investment in 'our' future as workers. Not only the fruit of labor should go to labor but also workers should decide what social labor will produce, how and in what way social production and distribution will be carried out.

David


LabourPartyPraxis discussion - subscribe





Last updated 19.5.2011