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 10:
For example, suppose a worker on a production line producing shoes adds $500 a week in new value to the shoes on which he or she works. That comes to $100 a day for five days. And further suppose the worker receives $300 a week in wages to live on. But the worker has added labor to the shoes worth $300 in value in just three days. The money equivalent of value produced for the rest of the week -- $200 for the last two days -- goes into the boss's pocket once the shoes are sold. The worker has given two free days of labor to the boss. The wage form of payment conceals the fact that only part of the workday represents paid labor; the rest is unpaid. That is the secret, uncovered by Marx, that has concealed the real nature of capitalist exploitation. Because of the form of capitalist production and the wage system -- whether the pay or salary is calculated hourly, weekly or monthly -- workers are led to believe that they are being paid for the entire time that they work. They may get high wages, middle wages or low wages, but whatever their pay, the capitalist myth is that the workers are getting paid for the entire day, week or month, as the case may be.
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.

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