Why are first world workers paid above the value of their labor power?

Modern workers in the first world are paid far far more than the minimum needed to substain them and their skills. Why are first world workers paid so much more than the value of their labor power?

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Read Marx

Because the capitalist does not yet have a lower cost alternative, else they would see themselves in the same spot as third worlders. This is happening now; it's called outsourcing.

You're a fucking idiot.

That would be literally impossible, they're not paid more than the value of their labor power, they're just exploited less and get paid closer to its true value than say, Chinese workers. Why this is is because they have through class struggle fought for as high wages as possible, and in the scandinavian model productivity increases have been linked to wage increases, thus not decreasing the amount of exploitation while ensuring the stability of continued capital accumilation.

They produce more value, which means the rate of exploitation is actually higher for first world workers, they are still better of than third world workers because of the enormous amount of value they produce. Somebody pressing a button in a car factory produces more value than somebody in a sweatshop the entire day.

Don't equate rate of exploitation = human misery.

came to say this

Read Lenin's Imperialism to see why First world workers are exploited less than Third world workers.

Hint: It is the chapter about colonies. And Cecil Rhodes out of all people gives you the answer why.

Because the "first world" has more wealth, power, and resources?
Is this supposed to be some kind of gotcha?

The fuck are you talking about? They're paid a greater fraction of the value of their labor than workers in the developing world because labor is more organized here.

value of labor power is not what it produces its what it took to produce.

They aren't, they could be paid a greater percentage and higher base amount due to organization of labor and generally producing more value, but they are certainly not paid more than their labor value.

Can you elaborate?

I mean I think the majority of posters in this thread are mostly right with the exception of highly paid celebrities and CEOs who make millions a year.

They earn so much cash that they can transform themselves into money-capitalists simply by putting a part of their immense salary into the financial system.

Because Porky needs someone to consume the crap first world workers make, and basic logistics say that they're the best consumers.

First of all the value of labor power would be the product itself, and of course no capitalist is paying more than he gets out of his workers. The real question I'm guessing is the value of the ability to perform labor.

The simple answer is that unions and the like can struggle for better pay, and Porky bribes first-worlders with a portion of the surplus value and then compels them to waste their surplus value on useless shit through advertising. There is no realistic way the workers can accumulate enough money to compete with Porky or even survive Porky's boot, because of how much profit Porky is accumulating (especially with the help of the capitalist state which inflates' Porky's profit margins with huge tax breaks, subsidies, and laws to constrain competition from starting up in the first place). Porky is also helped by peculiar laws which literally force people to buy Porky's products in order to function in society, like mandatory health insurance and mandatory auto insurance for drivers.

But those are rare exceptions, the ratio of stars and corporate executives to the general population is probably less than a % and probably not worth talking about. I don't think stocks are a good measure either, as most seem to have them as part of a retirement plan and while technically owning stock means you own part of a corporation in practical terms you either lent them money to expand in exchange for interest or purchased the interest rights from someone who had. I think it would be a stretch to say an electrician or factory worker that has a retirement plan involving stocks is a porky, considering that his sustenance hinges upon him selling his labor in exchange for a wage.

I think its worth talking about. The US for instance has 13.6 million millionaires:

That's a couple percentage points of the population at the very least. If you have a highly well-paid job, let's say you make $200,000 a year, if you could put away half of it you would be a millionaire in just 10 years. That's not excepting the fact that "capital-inequality" as porky economists call it is miles worse than income inequality which you hear a lot about in the bourgeois media

Only the top 10% of the population has net-positive savings, which means that really only those in the top 10% of the income bracket is really capable of transforming themselves into capitalists. Even those in the bottom 90% who are remarkably resourceful when it comes to saving are completely cancelled by the massive population of debtors among the working class.

I would say there is a difference between a factory worker having a pension and a CEO buying stocks and bonds or even just putting his money CD/ savings account. A couple percentages of interest on a few thousands or tens of thousands of dollars probably wouldn't pay for your monthly groceries, but on millions or several hundred thousand dollars it does start to become significant.

Really its just the top 10-20% of income earners that even have the capability to become real capitalists, whether productive or simple money capitalists/collectors of capitalist ground rent but its worth talking about nonetheless.

I'm not sure if you meant to imply it that way, but what you're saying is that the capitalist pays more money to the worker than the worker makes, if that were true the capitalist wouldn't make any profit and would indeed be actually paying his workers out of his own money, if this is kept up he will either have to close his business or owe debt to his workers.

The TWist argument is that the third world working class is so heavily exploited by the imperialists in the core that the capitalists can pay First World workers more value than they make and still make a profit.

It certainly is, that statistic means about 4% of Americans are millionaires, but I wonder how much of that is composed of retired folks cashing in on their savings. While they are certainly well off compared to the average worker, I think there is a stark difference between them and a ceo or other rich person who had million+ before hitting middle age. As it stands, the most the average burger can hope for is a few lucky investments and landing a good job that allows for a comfy retirement. However this is unlikly, and even if such success were to happen would require selling labor for much of their adult lives.

You're a dumbass.

Some of you dumbfucks need to read Marx. Start with Value, Price and Profit and Wage labour and capital. Also watch that Law of Value youtube series.
The (exchange) value of a workers labouring power is not the same as the (use) value of their labour. The first one is the wages of the workers, the last one is the exchange value of the products of their labour.
As for OP's question, the value of their labor power is not always equal to the minimum needed to sustain them and their skills, that is just their minimum value. Their value is determined by supply and demand, and there is a finite amount of workers in the first world. It can also be held up "artificially" by trade unions and government regulations.

read wage labor and capital.

read marx. marx says that the value of labor power is determined in the same way as all other commoditys.

"Now, the same general laws which regulate the price of commodities in general, naturally regulate wages, or the price of labour-power. Wages will now rise, now fall, according to the relation of supply and demand, according as competition shapes itself between the buyers of labour-power, the capitalists, and the sellers of labour-power, the workers. The fluctuations of wages correspond to the fluctuation in the price of commodities in general. But within the limits of these fluctuations the price of labour-power will be determined by the cost of production, by the labour-time necessary for production of this commodity: labour-power.

What, then, is the cost of production of labour-power?

It is the cost required for the maintenance of the labourer as a labourer, and for his education and training as a labourer.

Therefore, the shorter the time required for training up to a particular sort of work, the smaller is the cost of production of the worker, the lower is the price of his labour-power, his wages. In those branches of industry in which hardly any period of apprenticeship is necessary and the mere bodily existence of the worker is sufficient, the cost of his production is limited almost exclusively to the commodities necessary for keeping him in working condition. The price of his work will therefore be determined by the price of the necessary means of subsistence.

Here, however, there enters another consideration. The manufacturer who calculates his cost of production and, in accordance with it, the price of the product, takes into account the wear and tear of the instruments of labour. If a machine costs him, for example, 1,000 shillings, and this machine is used up in 10 years, he adds 100 shillings annually to the price of the commodities, in order to be able after 10 years to replace the worn-out machine with a new one. In the same manner, the cost of production of simple labour-power must include the cost of propagation, by means of which the race of workers is enabled to multiply itself, and to replace worn-out workers with new ones. The wear and tear of the worker, therefore, is calculated in the same manner as the wear and tear of the machine.

Thus, the cost of production of simple labour-power amounts to the cost of the existence and propagation of the worker. The price of this cost of existence and propagation constitutes wages. The wages thus determined are called the minimum of wages. This minimum wage, like the determination of the price of commodities in general by cost of production, does not hold good for the single individual, but only for the race. Individual workers, indeed, millions of workers, do not receive enough to be able to exist and to propagate themselves; but the wages of the whole working class adjust themselves, within the limits of their fluctuations, to this minimum. "


What a nice, meme-tier, market ignoring interpretation of the LTV you have.

directly from marx.

who knew

I'm not a third worldist.


I think this a good point. I don't think having a million dollars would automatically make one a class enemy Engels btw was a millionaire in old British pounds which would have made him a centi-millionaire today but I do think the petit-bourgeoisie, for the moment is a major opponent of communism.

Really, even the bourgeois economists and analysts have come to realize that only multi-millionaires even count in the grand scheme of things. They distinguish between mere millionaires and what they call HNIs (high-net worth individuals) who are individuals and families worth 30+ million dollars.

I know it's pretty arbitrary but it gives you some idea of what it means to actually be a major player in the capitalist class.

Please try paying attention.

I'd say it's a combination of things. One is that there is a little bit of a holdover from the era when labor was powerful in most of the western countries. Through their blood and sacrifice, workers won concessions from the capitalist class. However, perhaps due to the freebooter problem and the effects of living in a spectacular society, the participation in labor activities has decreased with time. In the U.S. for example, something like only 10% of the workforce (public and private) are unionized. Spectacular society has managed to separate the idea of "union" from "workers rights" in many people's minds. They don't realize that without a strong labor movement, worker's rights will (and have been) degrade over time. Still, it hasn't been too long since unionization has started to slip in the West, so there is still the lingering effects of this that persist to this day, partially explaining the comparatively high wages that western proles can expect. Another explanation can be seen in the arguments of our Third-Worldist comrades: the plundering of the third world subsidizes the relatively high wages of first world workers.


They're not.

Wages and living standards are rapidly declining in the West and poverty is on the rise. This is an outdated 20th Century talking point.

The 20th Century ended 17 years ago, guys

They are not, you retard.

They are. According to marx the completely unskilled worker would be be paid the bare minimum for survival and reproduce. Modern completely unskilled 1rst world workers are paid more than that.

The standard of living in a given nation is historically-determined, the price of labour-power doesn't simply mean biological survival. Even in the 18th century it was realized by Smith that a worker needed a little more than just bare sustenance in order to reproduce a civilized life and to reproduce the next generation of workers.

The fact that Wal-Mart greeters can buy smartphones does not prove that either they or the working class itself is overpaid.

Daily reminder that Marx's definition of unproductive labor is different from that of bourgeois economists like Smith who saw only those workers who produce tangible commodities as productive

The value of labor power and it's use value (as a creator of new values) are not proportionally related. The value of labor-power is based on its cost of reproduction, which can be increased via the class struggle and in other ways.

Because Capitalism requires consumers.

Poor argument tbh capitalists can make money selling each other shit using profits they stole from the working class without having to raise the standard of living or maintain a high standard of living.

Yeah, and claiming that the value of labor is purely that what it takes to minimally keep workers alive is ignoring the labor market.

This is trying to apply a meme-tier understanding of the LTV to the cost of labor itself.

Yeah I would say it's also ignoring what Marx called the historical determination and moral factor. Like you don't have to like how First World countries attained such a relatively high-standard of living hint: colonialism but you can't ignore the fact that even unskilled workers in the imperial core are used to a higher standard of living then people in the developing world which is emerging from feudalism, colonialism and slavery.

The capitalists in the core countries have to take this into account when they buy labor domestically, so it's not like we Marxists can ignore it. Yes, there are efforts to make the standard of living for workers in rich countries lower but one of the reasons this has not been an unqualified success is the historical-moral factor.

Putting it simply, when you try to force people into a lower standard of living then what their parents had, they start to get pissed off and revolt.

Also also, the OP is wrong.

Cost of labor power is not the same thing as cost of keeping someone alive because people demand to be paid.

Otherwise you're going to reduce the entire fucking theory to "everything costs nothing".

What is cost of labour power?

Ask the labor market.




The quote is specifically talking about the labor market, and how labor-power functions like all other commodities: the price fluctuates around the cost of production based upon supply, demand, and competition. That's also a quote from WLC so you're saying Marx has a meme-tier understanding of his own theory.

wow really helpful…
wtf im alt-right now

Daily reminder Roo BTFOs anyone who challenges Mao or Third Worldism.

Fuck off Acuna. No one cares about your stupid blog.

I wish this was real


That's just an incredibly rude and childish response

AKA a Jason Unruhe response.

It's fake.
maoistrebelnews.com/?s=Antonio Wolf




Captialists need consumers, that's why.


no refutation yet, I see

High living cost mean high wage and more taxes but I would be wrong though.