July 31 , 2011
By Adaoma Lil Joe and David
The Ed Show for Wednesday, July 13, 2011
[with guests including: Judson Phillips - creator
of Tea Party Nation Corporation, Leo Gerard - president of the United
SCHULTZ: Well, he‘s willing to cut $4 trillion. And your Tea Partiers are standing in the way of it, because you won‘t give up any more revenue from the wealthiest Americans. I mean, Mr. Phillips, that‘s where we are tonight.
PHILLIPS: It‘s not the wealthiest Americans. It‘s entrepreneurs. It‘s small businesses. It‘s the people who create the jobs in this country.
The gentleman said there‘s a job crisis. Yes, there is a job crisis. You want to create jobs, let‘s make it easier for people to create jobs.
Let‘s cut the taxes. Let‘s cut the regulations.
GERARD: Ed, let me calm down and make this one point. We just extended the Bush tax cuts last year. Coming on the heels of 10 years of those massive tax cuts that have helped create this huge deficit and they haven‘t created any jobs. Trickle down doesn‘t trickle down.
All it does is line the pockets of the already rich and powerful. And what we need now, is we need jobs, we need a jobs bill. If people were going back to work, the deficit would come down.
SCHULTZ: All right. Gentlemen—
PHILLIPS: I‘m just curious who you think creates jobs? Who creates jobs?
PHILLIPS: Or do you create jobs? I think the rich people of this country do create jobs
Let‘s sample people. Create jobs. You don‘t create jobs. You create a lot of hot air, but that‘s about it.
GERARD: Not the billionaires that are sitting on a trillion dollars on their bank accounts and not spending it.
PHILLIPS: What did these people do, win the lottery out of the blue? No, they got out there, they became successful and they created jobs.
Let's, first of all, present the issues in scientific terms and dismiss the demogoguery of the capitalist partisans flowery rhetoric of referring to capitalists as 'entrepreneurs' and 'job creators'! Phillips, shameless partisan of big capital that he is, knows full well that 'small business' - i.e. the petty bourgeoisie - is dependent upon the big bourgeoisie, i.e. agricultural, industrial and finance capital to provide the wherewithal to supply their business operations.
Moreover, it isn't the quantity of money taxes appropriated from the petty-bourgeois by the State, that are driving the petty bourgeois 'small business' out of 'business', but is the domination of markets by big monopoly capitalists that is doing this, eliminating the petty bourgeoisie as a class.
For instance, an obvious example of big monopoly capital displacing 'small business': thirty or so years ago, when one took the bus or drove cross country, or up and down the state, there were thousands of mom and pop owned diners and restaurants along the high way. Today, all of those diners and restaurants have been driven out of busness and displaced by McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and so on.
Phillips is also right when he said capitalists have the lions share of national wealth - the wealth produced by the nation's laboring classes, those who own the means of production don't work and those who work don't own:
"In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the value of one's home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2010).
Table 1: Distribution of net worth and financial wealth in the United States, 1983-2007
Total Net Worth
Top 1 percent Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
1983 33.8% 47.5% 18.7%
1989 37.4% 46.2% 16.5%
1992 37.2% 46.6% 16.2%
1995 38.5% 45.4% 16.1%
1998 38.1% 45.3% 16.6%
2001 33.4% 51.0% 15.6%
2004 34.3% 50.3% 15.3%
2007 34.6% 50.5% 15.0%
Top 1 percent Next 19 percent Bottom 80 percent
1983 42.9% 48.4% 8.7%
1989 46.9% 46.5% 6.6%
1992 45.6% 46.7% 7.7%
1995 47.2% 45.9% 7.0%
1998 47.3% 43.6% 9.1%
2001 39.7% 51.5% 8.7%
2004 42.2% 50.3% 7.5%
2007 42.7% 50.3% 7.0%
Total assets are defined as the sum of: (1) the gross value of owner-occupied housing; (2) other real estate owned by the household; (3) cash and demand deposits; (4) time and savings deposits, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts; (5) government bonds, corporate bonds, foreign bonds, and other financial securities; (6) the cash surrender value of life insurance plans; (7) the cash surrender value of pension plans, including IRAs, Keogh, and 401(k) plans; (8) corporate stock and mutual funds; (9) net equity in unincorporated businesses; and (10) equity in trust funds. Total liabilities are the sum of: (1) mortgage debt; (2) consumer debt, including auto loans; and (3) other debt. From Wolff (2004, 2007, & 2010).
Figure 1: Net worth and financial wealth distribution in the U.S. in 2007
In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 38.3% of all privately held stock, 60.6% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top 10% have 80% to 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=779&bih=424&q=who+rules+america&oq=who+rules+america&aq=f&aqi=g5g-s1g4&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=51718l61125l0l66390l17l14l0l0l0l0l2171l2171l9-1l1
Phillips said it is the capitalists that are the 'job creators'. This tautology is wrongly stated. Concerning their financial wealth, since we are not talking about 'rich people' in general - which would include atheletes, actors and actresses, lawyers, and so on, which are professions and not economic categories related to the production and appropriation of wealth - but considering wealth creation and appropriation, the response to Phillips must be placed in economic class categories.
Thus, by asking the trade union representative regarding whether or not to raise taxes on 'the rich' is itself a deceptive misnomer, saying "What did these people do, win the lottery out of the blue? No, they got out there, they became successful and they created jobs".
"The rich" do not 'create jobs' ex nihilo, out of nothing. It is capitalists who employ wage workers in order to expropriate the wealth of those workers, whose labor is what creates value and it is this value, appropriated by capitalists, which 'create jobs', in order to have the labor process producing value embodying products, commodities. Thus, Phillips has it backward.
"Success" is not an economic category, either. It is the capitalist's in appropriating the worker's labor power and by the exploiting of working classes that is the basis from which their wealth is accumulated at the expense of labor.
It is in the interests of workers to be able to answer this Tea Partier - Phillips, unblushing apologist of big business that he is. As for all the Democrat and Republican claptrap abut small business being the job creators, Leo Gerard, rather than answering Phillips, ended up just being a defense for Obama, the Democratic Party and Congress as a whole...rather than speaking in the interest of labor in general and workers in particular. The working class did not extend Bush tax cuts, as Phillips said. Congress did so, with majorities in the House and Senate with the Democratic administration.
Had Leo Gerard, the steelworker unionist, had a class analysis, he would have been able to refute Phillips' premise that the 'rich create jobs' . (Aside), if Shultz had put him up against Bernie Sanders (a socialist in the Senate) he, perhaps, would have been able to answer him. We must answer him!
First, let us change the terminology. Capitalists (the accurate term, rather than "the rich") don't "create" anything! They appropriate. Its workers, the labor force, that makes things...workers labor in the fields to make food, labor in the clothing mills to make clothing, labor in the factories to make cars, labor in construction to make roads and buildings.
Capitalism is the business of making 'profits'. Wage labor is the means by which their profits are made...and wealth is appropriated from the labor of workers.
Capitalists are not altruistic. They are not in the business of 'creating jobs'. On the contrary, Capitalists are in business to make the largest profits by paying out the least amount of wages possible. Capitalists can never make profits without labor. It is labor power that is the value engendering commodity.
The value of labor power is determined and must be sufficient money-wageswise, to enable workers to purchase the quantity of means of subsistence required by their families to live. But, labor power put to work in producing commodities, must by the laws of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage laborers, produce enough commodities for the capitalists to 'turn a profit'. Labor power is purchased: labor power in use is value engendering value, the only commodity that capitalists find in the market that produces more value then it itself requires to reproduce.
As stated, earlier, Capitalists don't create anything. It is labor that makes the commodities that are sold. It is the worker that makes the demand for that which is produced, and it is the worker that makes the wealth of capitalists possible, by way of profits.
The market is flooded with commodities that have been produced by workers, their labor is no longer needed for production. The capitalist then cut back on the quantity of commodities produced and part and parcel of this is the firing of workers in those markets. This increases the surplus population of unemployed workers who have no money with which to purchase the means of subsistence because there is no demand for their labor power to be appropriated by capitalists to use and exploit as means of production. When they are laid off, as their labor (time and half and overtime) is no longer needed, now having no money have no access to means of subsistence. This results in more commodities that cannot be sold, resulting in more cut backs in production and therefore more unemployment and these unemployed consequently thrown off means of subsistence demand curves.
When a particular market is flooded with commodities that are no longer in demand, the capitalists will not invest in productive forces and hire workers to manufacture those commodities, for instance cars that cannot be sold.
Capitalists are not fools and cannot be manipulated into making foolish investments in the production of commodities for which there is little or no market demand to purchase. Take record albums for example. No tax cut will give capitalists an 'incentive' to invest their money in the production of this now archaic industry, where commodities cannot be sold and profits not realised. On the other hand, in the 1990s when computer technology resulted in CDs displacing records, the increase in taxes on this industry wasn't a disincentive against investments in this booming sector. It isn't tax polices, but supply/demand scheduals that determine what is invested in and how little or how much is invested.
The Big Three auto sales:
The so-called Clinton era boom years obviously didn't include booming auto production, which on the contrary was in decline throughout this period because the global (including the national auto industry) was in a glut. The so-called 'Bush era tax cuts' to capitalists didn't reverse the decline in the auto industry, either. Why not is obvious: the chart of the decline of auto sales as a long term tendency, posted directly above, speaks volumes and for itself.
It is absurd to think that by providing auto industrial capitalists tax cuts, as an ostensible inventive of positive reinforcements to invest in the production of these commodities, the sale of which are in long term decline, and thus products that cannot be sold, is the basis of capitalist profitability calculus.
Republican's opposition to 'government spending' on social needs fulfillment isn't because it raises taxes to pay for it, they are not opposed to raising taxes on workers to pay for military industrial production. They are opposed to social spending on e.g. Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children and so on because throwing these unemployed workers into the labor markets result in over supply of labor power, competition increases and wages are lowered.
Capitalists analyse the potential for making money - a return on investments at rates higher than the invested principle, paid out in the purchase of means of production and of its relevant skilled labor force, what the capitalist's accountants calculate is not how much money they will save from tax cuts, but whether or not the produced commodities can be sold at a profit. The tax cuts are related to profits retained on this basis, and if no profits can be made because no commodities can be sold, the capitalists will take a loss compared to the quantity of cash invested in the production of those commodities.
From the standpoint of capitalist investors, investing in the manufacture of automobiles that cannot be sold, but just bake under the sun in lots of bankrupt auto dealers, is as absurd as investing in the production of beef to be placed in the sun to rot. Were the government to offer tax cuts as an 'incentive' to such capitalists to produce beef to rot in the sun, in which case there is not only no possibility of turning a profit from unsold beef, these capitalists not only wouldn't reap profits but would lose the money 'invested' in such an asenine project.
Economic growth is predicated upon increased production to meet an increased demand. This is basic economics 101 and 102, microeconomics and macroeconomics. As stated:
Economics Basics: Demand and Supply
The relationship between demand and supply underlie the forces behind the allocation of resources. In market economy theories, demand and supply theory will allocate resources in the most efficient way possible. How? Let us take a closer look at the law of demand and the law of supply. Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/university/economics/economics3.asp#ixzz1SX1se7Zn
Of course bourgeois economic theory and theorists are vulgar propagandists as well, insomuch as they depart from the theoretical conclusions arrived at by empirical measurements of social-labor time observations by the classical economists that acknowledged the labor embodied in commodities by labor process bottom-line determination of prices, rather than subjective, voluntarist determination of the 'desire' for these commodities to be sold and bought.
Also, the vulgar economists, in contrast to Marxian economic tools that enable an objective analysis of the laws of motion of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor engendered drive for the maximization of profits by maximizing surplus value inhering in surplus products that results in periodic overproduction creating situations in which an excess of commodities cannot be sold. We need not imagine rotting beef as the example, the observation of the auto industry and the proof of the chart posted above suffices.
Be that as it may be, no economist has posited tax cuts for capitalists as a determination of investment - but, the purchase by capitalists of means of production and labor power as cause of economic growth.
The Democrats' claim, that it was the government policies of the Clinton era that 'caused' the economic growth of that period, is a lie, and they know it.
In that period, Clinton's tax policies did not reverse the slump in auto sales. The '24,000,000 jobs created' by capitalists excluded the auto industry, where workers were being fired, downsized and jobs outsourced. These new jobs were based on the employment of workers related to the new computer related electronic industries.
The "Dot-Com" boom and bust of 1995-2000 represents a boom where a great proportion of the new money was spent on Dot-Com companies.
The Cluster Effect of the 90s Boom From 1994 to 2000,
Software & IT Services was the fastest growing cluster of the 1990’s, averaging 13 percent job growth during the boom years of 1994 to 2000.
Tax cuts were not needed to encourage capital investments in Microsoft, nor would a rising industry where billions in profits were being made be 'discouraged' by tax increases! The tax policies of the Clinton era no more caused or sustained the economic growth or so-called 'job creation' by capitalists of the 1990s than tax cut policies during the Bush era to auto industries could have enticed capital investments into those industries producing commodities that could not be sold, increasing the already glutted auto markets.
So, what is the Republicans insistence on 'spending cuts' to displaced, unemployed workers really all about? They have often enough said it themselves - they assert that unemployment compensation, early retirement and welfare checks are a 'disincentive' to workers getting off their 'lazy arses to find a job', even at low wages, and that providing those displaced and unemployed workers with money rewards laziness.
The objective motive behind this Republican demagogic rhetoric, is of course, to return to the supply and demand curves, to flood - over supply - the labor markets. This mass of unemployed workers competing for jobs will drive downward the prices of labor power, and destroy unions by forcing employed workers to compete with a desperate mass of unemployed who are 'willing' to work not just for less wages but accept having no unions as a condition for employment.
Democrats, and Obama in particular, the same as the Republicans, are quite willing, or rather eager, in wanting to cut $4 trillion from social 'spending' because both capital based parties represent capitalist interests = national interests. This is the behind the curtain Democrat and Republican patriotic premise that what's good for General Motors, - i.e. domestic industrial capital jingoistic demagogy of 'country first' and presenting capitalist interests - is 'good for the country'.
In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first. – Ambrose Bierce
Capitalists pursue their own material class interests, first, last, foremost and always. "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" - said John F. Kennedy, the millionaire Senator from the ruling class become President of the United States. He wasn't talking to another capitalist, as the capitalist classes do nothing for 'the country'. Rather, he was calling on the working classes to sacrifice their material class interests, for the 'good of the country', that is, the scoundrels who are the ruling classes.
Never was a patriot yet, but was a fool. – John Dryden
A patriot is a fool in every age. – Alexander Pope.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.– Samuel Johnson
It is not in workers' interest to be complicit in some 'big deal' between the protectors of finance capital (Republicans) and industrial domestic capital (Democrats) to gut vital social programs for workers and cut taxes for businesses under the guise of some "shared sacrifice" and solving 'the nations debt'.
It is not our debt!
Certainly, workers had no say over the Federal Budget. Workers were not invited to advise the decisions to fund the bail outs, fund the various wars, previous tax cuts to business and the wealthy, or any parts of the Federal Budget. It is debt made by the "professional politicians" mentioned by Obama.
"THE PRESIDENT: "Well, let me distinguish between professional politicians and the public at large. The public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury option goes. They shouldn't. They're worrying about their family; they're worrying about their jobs; they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/07/11/obama_professional_politcians_understand_debt_crisis_more_than_the_public.html
Contrary to what 'professional politicians' say, it is in the interests of workers to follow what is happening with the Federal budget and all aspects of it. It is more necessary that they sharpen their critical faculties of thought and not be duped by the demagogy and rhetoric of either of the bi-partisan capitalist class partisan Parties.
The question of "jobs".
What is a job?
Under capitalist relations of social production, a "job" is a social relationship in which human beings without means of production or subsistence of their own sell their labor power/capacity to "work" for a stipulated period of time for money, for another, who does have means of production and means of subsistence, although those means of subsistence - food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medicines, hospitals ... - are produced by workers in previous labor processes.
Capitalists are in possession of the forces of social production and money is at his or her disposal.
Thus, "jobs" can only exist historically, in human history, under social conditions and relations wherein which, one group has possession/ownership of the social productive forces while, the other group lacks productive forces of their own and thus, must work for another to get money to buy the necessities of life.
All human societies have modes of social production but all human socities were/are not based upon exploitative social relations.
If a society isn't producing commodities, then there's no "jobs". There are social responsibilities but no "jobs". But this does not mean that social production and distribution don't take place in these non-commodity producing societies.
A hunter-gatherer or forager society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were hunter-gatherers until around 10,000 years ago....
Social and economic structure
Hunter-gatherer societies also tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures. This might have been more pronounced in the more mobile societies, which generally are not able to store surplus food....
Mutual exchange and sharing of resources (i.e., meat gained from hunting) are important in the economic systems of hunter-gatherer societies.
Why and how do capitalists create jobs?
Capitalists create "jobs" by hiring workers to produce commodities by offering a certain wage for a specified - though not absolute - time period of work.
Capitalists create jobs and produce commodities to extract excess value from workers.
By excess is meant extra value, surplus products, over and above the value of wages, over and above what it takes, in general, to keep the worker coming back to work in the appropriate shape to carry out the work the "job" demands and requires. Money left over after the commodities have been sold and all the costs of production including wages (even wage for the capitalist!), machinery, electricity, rent, etc, have been covered. What's left, after the capitalist has sold the commodities and paid all the production costs, is value/money that is greater in amount from the money initially extended as capital, as that money meant to procreate or multiply. What's left over is profit.
Commodities are use values that are produced for their owner not for personal consumption but for exchange.
Did a chattel slave have a job? Technically, chattel slaves did not have "jobs" as the term is used today. Chattel slaves did not work for wages but for whatever the slave owner was willing to provide the chattel slaves as the slave owner owned not only the tools that the slaves used but the products of this slave labor as well. The chattel slaves in the US up until 1865 produced commodities but recieved no wages, they didn't sell their labor power for time periods but were owned, bodily, outright. The owner of these chattel slaves didn't produce "jobs" but commodities by slave labor.
The slave owning commodity producer was neither in the charity business. Any slave owner would not for very long continue to own and maintain slave labor if the slave labor wasn't producing a greater amount of value then it took to maintain the physical existence of the slave. The slaves not only produced their own necessesities but also those of his/her owner and family as well as a portion of the slave labor produced products that were traded nationally and internationally.
The same applies to capitalists. Capitalists will employ, have "jobs" available, only so long as there is a profit. Even if a capitalist could produce commodities and cover all overhead, raw materials, wages, rent, etc. the capitalist would stop production if there was no or not enough profit.
Moving production beyond borders is a "job killer" for the country productive forces are moved out of but, a "job" creator for the country productive forces are moved in to.
Technological innovation is the biggest "job" killer under capitalist relations of social production and distribution. When the productivity of labor increases, less labor time is required to produce the same social product. For example, as machinery, like a tractor, is introduced into the social production process, this reduces the socially necessary labor time to produce x commodity, as it greatly multiplies the productivity of labor in each particular area of social production, fewer and fewer workers, based upon a 40 hour workweek, will be needed to produce greater amounts of commodities in each sphere of social production.
US agriculural output:
Agricultural land area and production US 1950-1990:
Persons supprted by 1 farmer 1860-2000:
G7 Manufacturing 1970-2002:
Technological innovation on the other hand is reduction of socially necessary labor time. The graphs above clearly demonstrate that fewer and fewer workers are needed to produce increasing amounts of useful commodities, both manufactered and agricultural.
Technological innovation as labor saving invention.
Technological innovation leads to different social outcomes depending upon the relations of social production and distribution.
On the one hand (capitalism), technological innovation results in increasing unemployment, increasing numbers of people without a livlihood, money, a "job"- increasing amounts of commodities (the capacity to produce commodities) beside increasing numbers of proletariat who are unable to consume these commodities. Overproduction, overcapacity beside unemployable surplus population.
Plant capacity utilization:
Long Term Unemployment
The reality is that the possibility the productive technology of today possesses can not be tapped under the current capitalist relations of social production.
On the other hand, within different social relations of production, (where the people in general have the productive forces at their disposal and decide collectively how to organise social production and distribution) technological innovation results in a freeing up of the quantity of socially necessary labor time devoted to the production of necessities.
For example, based upon the graph above, from 1900 to 2000 the percentage of the workforce devoted to the production of agricultural goods in the US shrank from 33% to around 2% even as the population quadrupled over the same period of time from 76 million to 272 million.
33% of 76 million = 25 million
2% of 272 million = 5.5 million
So basically, five times as few worker hours or socially necessary labor time, in absolute terms, was needed to produce agricultural products (which include food) for four times as many people. Five times as few workers producing not only for a population that has quadrupled over this 100 year period but also increasing amounts of agricultural commodities that are exported.
While unpopular at first, these gasoline-powered machines began to catch on in the 1910s when they became smaller and more affordable. Henry Ford introduced the Fordson, the first mass-produced tractor in 1917. They were built in the U.S., Ireland, England and Russia and by 1923, Fordson had 77% of the U.S. market....
Agricultural exports US 1970-2006:
Capitalist relations causing recession, depression in times of and because of and in relation to technological innovation.
Instead of more for the working class, based on the current productive forces and the productivity of labor they afford, we have less here in the US and worldwide.
Gerard, representative of the American Steel Workers Union, was smashed by the ideological demands of the Tea Party representative of capital, because he accepted the capitalist's standpoint in the argument. The presence of the labor bureaucrats in the capitalist partisan Democratic Party results in the union viewing the working class from the standpoint of the capitalist class.
Actually, capitalists might create "jobs" but, the working class create all wealth, all useful things, even the wealth that the wealthy capitalist and banker has, period.
The working class in the US don't need "jobs"! We need access to and control of the social productive forces so that we can produce and distribute what we require to live. Fuck the capitalists and their production of commodities based on wage labor with profit as the overriding objective of social production that leaves the working class enslaved to capital and destitute.
In terms of the ongoing budget negotiations, it's clear that the Democrats and Republicans could give a hoot about the working class in general or "job" creation in particular.
Cutting the social budget is a "job" eliminator. Firing public employees eliminates "jobs".
In terms of "uncertainty" on the part of capitalist "business owners", no amount of "certainty" can replace demand for their commodities. They're not gonna hire additional workers until demand increases which in turn depends on proletriat having money in their pockets to spend. Cutting public employees will only lessen aggregate demand.
If these hypocritical Democratic and Republican politicians were really serious about "turning the economy around" they wouldn't be proposing to slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or public employees. Cutting these programs that folks are entitled to because they've already paid for them over their working lives by having money taken out of their paychecks each pay period will only further tank this capitalist economy.
The time is ripe here in the US for the workers to build a working class based political party so that we can take the social productive forces from the capitalists and finally put an end to economic recessions, depressions and universal uncertainty that presently make working class lives an unpredictable hell, in an otherwise predictable world.
Business inventories rise in May as sales slip
WASHINGTON | Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:15am EDT
(Reuters) - Business inventories rose more than expected in May as sales recorded their first decline in almost a year, a government report showed on Thursday.
The Commerce Department said inventories increased 1.0 percent to $1.51 trillion, the highest level since October 2008, after rising by an upwardly revised 1.0 percent in April.
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.
But, these discoveries and inventions which supplant one another with ever-increasing speed, this productiveness of human labour which increases from day to day to unheard-of proportions, at last gives rise to a conflict, in which present capitalistic economy must go to ruin. On the one hand, immeasurable wealth and a superfluidity of products with which the buyers cannot cope. On the other hand, the great mass of society proletarianized, transformed into wage-labourers, and thereby disabled from appropriating to themselves that superfluidity of products. The splitting up of society into a small class, immoderately rich, and a large class of wage-labourers devoid of all property, brings it about that this society smothers in its own superfluidity, while the great majority of its members are scarcely, or not at all, protected from extreme want.
This condition becomes every day more absurd and more unnecessary. It must be gotten rid of; it can be gotten rid of. A new social order is possible, in which the class differences of today will have disappeared, and in which – perhaps after a short transition period, which, though somewhat deficient in other respects, will in any case be very useful morally – there will be the means of life, of the enjoyment of life, and of the development and activity of all bodily and mental faculties, through the systematic use and further development of the enormous productive powers of society, which exists with us even now, with equal obligation upon all to work. And that the workers are growing ever more determined to achieve this new social order will be proven on both sides of the ocean on this dawning May Day, and on Sunday, May 3rd. [Engels is referring to the May Day celebrations of 1891]
Introduction to Karl Marx’s Wage Labour and Capital by Frederick Engels http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/intro.htm
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