MustangGT wrote:If I spend all day long loaning out capital to everyone, I am laboring. Investors are workers. Investing is their job.
Yes it's labor in the context of an investment business producing the service of investing. But not from the perspective of the product that the capital is going towards. I make this distinction because I'm assuming your point was to get the capitalist rolled into the pool of labors in the firm thus destroying the distinction and killing socialist arguments. Was that not your point? If not, this is all moot. But if it was then...
Start with something produced:
Product = Capital + Land + Labor
What you are trying to claim is that
Product = Capital + Land + Labor1 (employees) + Labor2 (capitalist exertion in moving his capital around)
But the flaw in this is that Labor2 contributes no marginal value to Product. It may have happened, but it's not necessary when describing what is takes to produce Product.
. Any action performed to get capital to labor is circumstantial from the point of view of any calculation involving production. It's an unnecessary term in the equation. It simply drops out as far as Product is concerned. If the investor wants to make money for his work, charge a fee/commission for the effort
. Duh! See that's a perfect example of what I call the "capitalist slight-of-hand". Rather than getting paid properly for the effort they exert like every one else (read Tucker's argument about selling the plough), they try to reassign some other thing as the proper wage (e.g. the product eventually produced by their capital) like magic. "Hey quick look over there!" If it takes effort to write the check, charge someone for doing it. This isn't rocket science.
He is not a marginal input to the Product and thus isn't part of big-L Labor and is not a factor of production. No matter how hard he tries, he can never prove any marginal value for that effort (his capital does but he doesn't) and thus that effort is part of a completely separate enterprise (a job that moves money around...like UPS moves packages) with it's own product equation and they don't overlap. The product in this case being the full delivery of the capital. No matter how the investment process changes on the spectrum of streamlined to massively difficult, it doesn't change Product. Only capital itself does.
Does the consumer become part of the firm when they buy something? Of course not. Imagine I work hard renting cars out. Then you rent a car from me and then go to a business meeting where you work on a new multi-million dollar idea. Do I now have a share in that idea? Of course not. Our business transaction involves a separate equation: the equation of the car rental business. You get a fee for your service and the tie extends no further. Now if the investor also happens to own the capital that he is investing (as opposed to someone else's capital), that is purely coincidental
. Interest comes to him in his role as owner of the capital but it does not magically fuse the equation of the Product and the equation of his investing business. That's the fallacy in any argument of the capitalist as laborer in the firm.
EDIT: Oh yeah, and I dont care what capitalists believe. Im not a capitalist.
Ok, time to clarify terms so we can communicate better. What do you
mean when you say "capitalist"?
Loaning capital doesn't [u]1) produce wealth and 2) involve human exertion in the process of producing it (it may involve exertion in writing the check but that's not productive exertion as the factor of capital isn't added to production until the check is written).
Labor need not "produce wealth" to be labor. There is plenty of labor that results in a reduction of wealth. And yes, writing a check or delivering gold in a truck or throwing dollars out of your 100-story office window would all count as labor.
You are mixing the economic sense of the term with the common sense of the term. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that economic labor doesn't produce economic wealth. Economic labor is also sometimes called productive labor for that reason. It's the big-L Labor that goes into equations like the one above. And what is wealth? It's an increase in the level of overall use-value in the world.
As for the truck driver, she should be paid the market rate for her service of driving. But her driving, unless it adds marginal value to the product that the gold was going to produce (thus producing an increase in use-value in the world), she is not part of the big-L Labor in the equation. The same for writing the check (charge a free for it!) or throwing the money out the window (charge a fee for it then see a doctor!).