Marx wage-labour

There are three main economic conditions, which created the capitalist class. The first condition is the relationship between wage-labour to capital, slavery of workers, and the rule of capitalists. The second condition is the destruction of the middle class. The third condition is the exploitation of workers by the market.

Marx believes that capitalists do not buy a worker’s labour, but their labour-power. Labour-power is a commodity that the worker exchanges for another commodity, such as money. The amount of money or another commodity given to the worker is determined by the amount of time the labour-power is used. The exchanged is called an exchange-value. The exchange-value of the commodity in terms of money is the price. The capitalist purchases the labour-power from the worker the same way the capitalist buys the materials needed for the product. To the capitalist the worker’s labour-power is another material for the means of production. The work done by the worker is what the worker sells to another person in order to secure a wage in means of survival. The money is the worker’s goal, not the finished product. The product belongs to the capitalist. Free-labour is also known as slavery. In slavery, the worker and his labour-power are for sale as a package. The slave is the commodity and the slave does not own their labour-power. 

The price of a commodity is determined by competition, and supply and demand in the market. The buyers want to get a product as cheaply as possible and the seller wants to make the highest profit possible. When there is a large supply and little demand, prices are low.  When there is a low supply and high demand, prices are high. A high supply and low prices is more common than low supply and high prices.  A profit is determined by the production costs of the commodities that are being exchanged. A high profit is made when the cost of production of the commodity being received was higher than the cost of production of the commodity being given in exchange. The price of a commodity is above or below the cost of production. The rise and fall of the price balance each other, matching the cost of production in a type of industry, not individual products.

Wages rise and fall based on competition, and supply and demand.  Wages are determined by the time need for production, and the training of the worker. The less time its takes a worker to complete the task, the lower the wage. The wage is also determined by the cost of taking care of the worker’s basic needs, so they can continue to work. But, when a worker is no longer able to work, like a piece of machinery, new workers replace them.  The large supply of workers leads to workers being paid a minimum wage.


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