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Inequality is a question only about two things. About ownership and privileges. That is the way it is today and that's the way it has been in history. The one who only has his/hers labour to sell is poor, the people with property and privileges are wealthy.
It is really only about one thing: the difference between earned and unearned incomes. Wages and profits from production of goods and services vs. rents and monopoly rights. This is not a complicated issue.
by kjr63 on Mon May 3rd, 2010 at 06:44:34 AM EST
Nice theory. Interestingly, my grandfather according to this theory, is partially rich: He does not have to sell his labour anymore to get his income.

In practice, in the real world, I suppose some extra complexity kicks in.

by t-------------- on Mon May 3rd, 2010 at 01:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In practice, in the real world, I suppose some extra complexity kicks in.

Sure. Like Vilfredo Pareto said, A-class should make B-class to believe, A-class earns their money. So "complexity," provided by media, historians, "sociologists" and economists is very much welcomed.

by kjr63 on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 05:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you suggest that the quality of life of a 500€/month earner is the same as a 3000€/earner?

Yes, I know that in theory they are both wage slaves.

But, if there is a need to cut, are they in the same class?

I would argue that, what is currently bought with 3000€/month makes that said salary unsustainable from a planet-wide perspective (resources).

If everybody made 3000€/month and had the ability to acquire resources equivalent to it, we would need probably 5 or 6 planets.

You seem to be fixated in the word "teacher". I seem to be fixated in an income difference (and job security is also qualitatively different) of 6x.

It in fact happens in the teaching profession in Portugal: rules that feel very good for part of the class, are pretty bad for another part.

While that black and white view of oppressors and oppressed seems to make sense, it does not preclude a complementary view that things can be a bit more complex than that.

by t-------------- on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 04:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you suggest that the quality of life of a 500€/month earner is the same as a 3000€/earner?
Yes, I know that in theory they are both wage slaves.

It depends what are their living costs. How much they have to use for basics and how much they can afford to spend.


But, if there is a need to cut, are they in the same class?

Neither needs a cut. But obviously the former needs a rise and the latter enjoys privileges the former does not. But both are small fish.


I would argue that, what is currently bought with 3000€/month makes that said salary unsustainable from a planet-wide perspective (resources).

That salary planet-wide for teacher is not unsustainable. The value created by labour is no less sustainable in the form of wages as it is in the form of rentier incomes.


If everybody made 3000€/month and had the ability to acquire resources equivalent to it, we would need probably 5 or 6 planets.

With such average incomes, wage earners would collect (and would have collected a long time ago) so much savings, that the supply of labour would diminish. And so would production. The more there are "workers" the more there is production and consumption.


You seem to be fixated in the word "teacher". I seem to be fixated in an income difference (and job security is also qualitatively different) of 6x.

I am also fixated in income differences. The problem only is that it is fruitless to focus just on wage earners. Why is it that they are bickering with each other? The mice are fighting for scraps. Job security comes from functioning markets and social justice. IMO there is no shortcut.


It in fact happens in the teaching profession in Portugal: rules that feel very good for part of the class, are pretty bad for another part.

Yes. In Finland Unions protect mostly just labour market "insiders." Outsiders they kick in the face.


While that black and white view of oppressors and oppressed seems to make sense, it does not preclude a complementary view that things can be a bit more complex than that.

They are not complex economically. But politically.

by kjr63 on Wed May 5th, 2010 at 06:35:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pensions are more or less deferred payments on selling labor. I think the expenses for childhood and education should be viewed accordingly.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 08:16:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Contractual or optional pensions from employers, sure its deferred payment for labor.

Social insurance pensions? Not so much.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue May 4th, 2010 at 11:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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