ON LOW-WAGE CAPITALISM, PART 8…

Good morning. I'm away on my annual Wildacres Writer's Retreat atop Pompeii's Point in North Carolina. I've been reading Fred Goldstein's Low-Wage Capitalism and thought his "Why the bosses need Walmart" is instructive. Enjoy Part 8:
Of course workers can benefit from lower prices for the necessities of life, but only if their wages do not go down at the same time. But workers in the U.S. are getting poorer. The truth is that tens of millions of workers who shop at Walmart cannot pay the higher prices at declining wage levels. Life is getting harder. Yet, Walmart's low prices are saving money. Where is all that money going, if everyone is still poor? Marx's analysis of wages explains that the real beneficiary of Walmart's low prices is the capitalist class as a whole. In Marx's explanation of the bosses' drive to increase their surplus value, i.e., to increase the unpaid labor of the worker and thus increase profits, he showed the different ways the capitalists go about it. One way to get more profits from the workers is to simply make them work longer hours without increasing their pay. This elongation of the workday Marx called absolute surplus value. (Walmart used this method by making workers work off the clock.)
Previously... Yes, I realize that Goldstein as leader and member of the secretariat of the Workers World Party has a point of view anathema to the majority of people in the United States, but he consistently raises points that I think important and worthy of deep discussion concerning our present economic hierarchy in general and Walmart in particular. I sincerely hope that when I return from my retreat I'll find the beginning of discussion that brings a thoughtful, large and varied voice to The Writing On The Wal. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

One Response to “ON LOW-WAGE CAPITALISM, PART 8…”

  1. […] ON LOW-WAGE CAPITALISM, PART 8… Of course workers can benefit from lower prices for the necessities of life, but only if their wages do not go down at the same time. But workers in the U.S. are getting poorer. Keep reading… […]

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