by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
Despite right wing lies and distortions, it was Adam Smith --a 'conservative' --who espoused a LABOR THEORY of VALUE not unlike that of KARL MARX who is a favorite target of wingnuts and morons. We should not be surprised that a 'class' that supported Ronald Reagan et al would revere Smith while demonizing Marx. Not surprisingly, the GOP have completely misunderstood Smith. Smith and Marx both subscribed to a 'Labor Theory of Value'.Here's what the conserative's 'darling' (Smith) had to say asbout the Labor Theory of Value:
"The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it. What every thing is really worth to the man who has acquired it, and who wants to dispose of it or exchange it for something else, is the toil and trouble which it can save to himself, and which it can impose upon other people.In other words, what would it cost a person who wished to have a ditch if he were required to dig it himself? What would it cost a person who wished to furnish his home with chairs, a sofa, et al if he were required to make them himself? What is the value of any commodity but the cost that would be incurred should it be necessary to hire the labor to do it?
--Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations Book 1, chapter V
Being Forced to Work for Someone for Free is Called 'Slavery'
But having to work for a 'ruling elite' which conspires to suppress the value of labor is, at the very least, a form of slavery itself. When an elite controls the means of production and distribution and --at the same time and in various ways --depresses wages and worker rights, the effect is indistinguishable from slavery.
Adam Smith clearly states that the value of a 'thing' produced is equal to the 'toil and trouble' that, say, a capitalist might have expended himself had he not hired someone to do it for him. Or --had he not enslaved someone to do it! Or --had he not depressed wages to do it! Ergo: those who enrich themselves, claiming for themselves all profits as well as special and/or unfair taxation or --worse--NO taxation whatsoever for themselves are, in effect, demanding that others work for them for free.
In a modern, industrial society the only way to address the PRIVILEGES that 'capital' now claims for itself is by TAXING them fairly. After all, there is NO production without labor of any sort. A society in which just 1 percent alone has benefited form the labors of millions is a one-legged man and will fall! We are witnessing that fall right now.Subscribe
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