Thorsmitersaw wrote:Well to be completely honest I do not really care for what Tucker or you declare is labor or worth compensation and what is not, no offense meant. Whatever is valued by people in so far as to warrant them voluntarily entering into contract for payment of that service or labor is fine with me. My eyebrow raises a bit whenever I hear discussion of what someone considers a legitimate laborer or significant contribution.
You misunderstand the point. It's not a normative concept. It's the concept of marginal economics, i.e. Austrians. It's simple empirical math.
Product = Capital + Land + Labor not Product = Capital + Capitalist + Land + Labor.
The capitalist as a person is not a necessary condition for the product. It's just a fact not a judgment. I also support people making contracts for what they want but not contracts that are fraudulent, i.e. they don't reflect real facts. At that point, it's a voluntary choice to accept the outcome by rewriting the contract to be fulfillable or backing out and getting back what one originally put in. The only problem for capitalist is the only fulfillable contract that gets them the product legitimately is to rent or sell their capital and then but the product from labor.
Well this is something now that I had been talking to Franc before about. The ownership of the product of ones labor. To my knowledge, this homesteading principle applies to the appropriation of unowned resources. In the example of a field owned by plough renter Joe, He owns the field and not the plow and is renting the use of the plow... unless he was strange enough to contract some other crop agreement as payment, which I say he is perfectly free to do if he pleases. But I think it pretty obvious that the plough is being rented as a tool in the process and of which the end result is not a part of.
Then you are saying what I'm saying. The plough owner doesn't earn any rights to the crop. But it doesn't matter that the plough didn't become "part of" the product. If I rent flour from you to make a cake, you don't own the cake. Rental is rental and capital is capital.
Then there is a case of a baker in Joe's bakery making cakes. He does not own the eggs, nor does he own the milk the flour the sugar the oven. None of these. In fact the ground upon which they are used is not even his, it is Joe's. Maybe even his funny little white hat and apron are the property of the Joe the baker here. Nothing he is using is actually his.
Nor does it need to be. Ownership of the used-up inputs only need determine to whom the liability for their use is owed.
Homesteading/mixing of labor/etc does not apply in this situation to make the product his because the principle applies to UNOWNED matter.
I don't base my point on homesteading principles. Locke is not my master in every word. I refer to the juridical imputation principle that says that contracts, to be valid, must reflect reality. But the situations involved in capitalist employment contracts don't. And since it doesn't, the contracts are invalid.
The person responsible for both using up inputs and for exerting labor appropriates the product. This much Locke knew. But what if the inputs are owned by someone else? Well, unless they in fact are the ones using them up, then they have actually loaned them out despite what the contract says. So the only normative principle here is that contracts should not lie about reality. Saying that you are the one responsible for using up the inputs and labor doesn't make it so. If I make a contract with you to sell you a widget, then give you a pseudo-widget instead, I can't claim I gave you a real widget just because the contract said I did.
When you use inputs that are someone else's you still appropriate the result being responsible for it but unlike unowned inputs you also appropriate a liability to the owner for the used up inputs. This is what was meant my whole product (not just the positive but the negative aspects of it). If the owner of inputs had to acquire part of the product, i.e. it was the fact that they used-up the inputs, then rental would not work the way you know it does. That's why we can rent things without fear of losing our work to someone else by some natural principle of fact. You can contract all day long and arrive at just about any end result. But the contract has to reflect de facto reality to be valid under challenge. Our employment contracts today are valid under challenge because our system is inconsistent and unlibertarian.
The responsibility of humans (which means that capitalist can't claim they used them as instruments) is is seen clearly if the action turns out to be criminal. The non-laboring capitalist would quickly acknowledge that all along the responsibility was the employee's and that he was indeed more than an instrument. The laborer appropriates the whole product which is both the positive output and the liability for used up inputs. In other words, all capital would be rationally sold or rented to labor knowing that responsibility isn't alienable otherwise you would be creating a contract that wouldn't be defensible if it were ever challenge in a free court that correctly recognizes that people can't be things (i.e. libertarian courts).
If this principle applied to owned property as well then a man could very well paint your house in the middle of the night and claim it his the next morn. I could dig a hole in your driveway and declare it mine. I could, while you are on holiday, reseed an entire field you labored on and proclaim it my own.
If you consistently use your plough example, then the house, driveway and field are not actually in the product (a shell of paint, a hole, a crop). So they aren't used up inputs. They would then never really be part of the loan to the worker. It's only when inputs are used-up that they would induce the next step of the analysis: the negative product, i.e. a liability for the used-up inputs. Ignoring that is the number one mistake in analysis by both capitalists and Marxist socialists. Not to mention is was done without voluntary agreement, leaving the perp open to defensive action.
I find no normative sense in which the Joe the baker owes our baker in question anything beyond which he contracts with Joe for.
It's a descriptive, not normative fact that you can't alienate responsibility for a result. Contracts can be invalid when they don't match descriptive facts. I highly suspect you believe that. That would mean supporting fraud. Now that is normative but it's a normative view that most libertarians share with mutualists: that contracts should reflect the facts. Crazy idea, I know.
Nor do I think it necessary to hold such a principle considering with freedom to contract and compete would invariably drive the wage or payment towards the worker towards the marginal revenue of his own product. Profit over the cost eats itself down close to cost through free entry of competing bakeries.
The net income would indeed be the same in a freed market. But net income isn't all that matters. It also matter that the contract is fulfillable in fact. To be fulfillable, capital would need to be rented or sold to labor and labor would have to manage the project. If the capitalist wants to run the show, he can do so as a worker, sharing in a partnership with the others. That's a separate "hat" from the capitalist one and would involve sharing decision-making power with them again as a rational choice that reflects people's desire not to enter into contracts that aren't defensible (except in today's state legal environment).
If you are interested it reading more, check out the book linked through "this" in my sig.