Re: Value theory of Labor (was Re: IT Union)

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 17:35:23 -0500

Michael M. Butler wrote:

> I believe the view of compensation as recently discussed is incomplete in
> another way; permit me to include both figure *and* ground:
> Because my productivity is likely to plateau (or worse!) after 40 hours
> *AND* because my time is all I have, it is a good use of prices as signals
> for me as an individual to set my over-40-hrs rate higher. Either in
> dollars, or in other compensation.
> This doesn't mean that the Gummit should step in, but collective bargaining
> is not against free market principles. If the competent labor pool is in
> short supply, the purchasers of my services will have to meet my terms or
> do without me. Couldn't be fairer.

Several years ago, when I was debating this subject as a subset of a debate on the
usefulness of a mass transit system in Seattle (the debate was on the EICBBS, run
by Bonneville Power and the Washington State Energy Office), these gov't boobs
claimed that the government values your personal time (ie. any time you are not
working one of your 40 hours a week) as worth absolutely nothing. I was claiming
that since the mass transit system proposed would actually INCREASE the average
transit time by 15 minutes, that this was a negative net economic value. I also
used this to debate the merits of recycling, whether it was better for the
resident to sort his or her own trash, or have it done automatically by the
garbage company. These bozos just don't value your personal time as worth
anything. It was rather amazing that these supposedly intelligent people could
make such idiotic statements.

> At 11:00 PM 2/27/98 -0800, you wrote:
> >
> >
> >James Rogers wrote:
> >
> >> Why does a person's labor become suddenly more valuable after 40hrs/week?
> >> As far as I can tell, it doesn't and therefore should not receive
> >> compensation above the usual. If at some point you feel that your work is
> >> not being fairly compensated, you can complain, stop working, or quit.
> >> Making unusual compensation compulsory after a certain number of hours is
> >> unwarranted interference.
> >
> >I think your missing a very important point here. Regardless of what is fair
> >compensation or not, the fact remains that the company has *taken away* money
> >from a more a powerful group. Because companies need IT workers more than IT
> >workers need that company, why haven't IT workers realized that they are the
> >ones who really have the power? You would think, that based on the IT
> shortage
> >trends, that IT workers would counter any company plot to exploit them.
> Those
> >with the testicles in their hands control those who own those testicles. It
> >just makes plain economic and political sense.
> >
> >Paul Hughes
> >
> >
> >
> "The highest love [is] uniquely human,
> the product of compassion and liberty;
> not one at the expense of the other."
> -- L. A. Chu and M. M. Butler
> (RU a bot? If not, be advised *s are flagged as 'net address ERRORS;
> MY address is thus munged. Kindly hyphenate. "Go team, beat SP*M.")

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?