Karl Marx and Wal-Mart Wage Caps
Karl Marx Is a recognized theorist for his views on the capitalist system, and the inequality that occurs between the capitalist as well as with the wageworkers. Prior to his theory it was never as easily recognized the corruption that was bound to happen between the hard working people striving to survive. Wal-Mart is one of the most publicized companies for there recent decisions made to favor the capitalist class.
Karl Marx believed before any of the economic downfalls took place that it was going to happen from the structure of capitalism. A factor that he finds contributes to the structure of capitalism is the Mode Of Production. Marx states that this is defined as meeting the needs of our existence and it plays a large roll on the organization of society. In the capitalist society there are two different classifications of mankind, the Bourgeoisie and proletariat. The Bourgeoisie are capitalists, also the wealthiest people; while the proletariat are the working class striving to survive. Generally the bourgeoisie have control over the proletariats. They both have a type of species being which they supply to the capitalist society, which is known as their means of existence (Dillon 33-40). In the capitalist society the only concerns are producing capital to increase profit of companies toward the capitalists. The Bourgeoisie looks to the proletariats for their use-value and how productive that one person can be in producing capital (Dillon 44). In the capitalist society many people would say that all workers are free, but it is more a system of labor exploitation. Wageworkers are all marked with a value from both experience and what their means of production is. These factors along with others influence the cost of production. New workers of the same or different race will replace those of higher experience that are getting worn out. These new workers will work for a lower wage, and also more efficiently because of ones will to survive. Those in the capitalist class push proletariats to their highest ability every day, leading them to work underpaid for the demands they are required to meet. A fine line runs between the surplus value and the exchange value which workers receive . Each wageworker has a production cost which they need to meet to become equal with the amount that they are being paid by the capitalist. That amount generally tends to be half of the work that they actually do in the time period that they are working. For example a person may only have to make 12 pizzas during their shift to level out the cost but they actually make 48. This causes the company to have a surplus value, which is only received by the capitalist. This surplus value is one of the leading factors to the production of capitalism. The United States has a high population of illegal immigrants who have come over to find jobs and earn money for their families. In utter desperation for jobs these workers are undocumented and simply increase the surplus value of the capitalist (Dillon 49-51).
Because of the structure of capitalism and the high demand of wageworkers to constantly be available it makes it difficult for people to take advantage of the opportunities life throws at you. Capitalism confines you to mostly only having time to participate in activities that you have the most use-value for, to make capital. In each field of production a person chooses they are automatically alienated. People alienate them selves to be specialized in a specific field where they can have a higher means of production. Each worker is alienated simply as the creator of a product, which a different person sells and disposes to make capital. While the workers makes a product they are alienated to their specific area of production that they specialize in, and this skill they have mastered is labeled as their means of existence (Dillon 52-55). Their existence is labeled into creating capital rather than having...
Cited: Dillon, Michele. Introduction to Sociological Theory: Theorists, Concepts, and Their Applicability to the Twenty-first Century. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Print.
Greenhouse, Steven, and Michael Barbaro. "Wal-Mart to Add Wage Caps and Part-Timers." New York Times 02 Oct. 2006: n. pag. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document