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Marx's "coat theory"

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Can anyone explain Marx's "coat equivlence" theory in terms that make more sense?

To me, it seems that Marx is arguing that despite 2 commodities having 2 physically different forms, and different utility, that the value is equivalent if the labor is equivalent, no matter the difference in utility/physical form. Is that a valid interpretation, or am I missing something?
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>>297369
Gib source for the specific section of text you're asking about plz?
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>>297369
use-values are incommensurable
exchange-values are commensurable

for a social relationship mediated through a thing or service to possess value, that relationship must both have a use-value in the sense that it will be realisable by sale, and have an exchange-value in the sense that it is a product of realisable [socially-average necessary] labour power
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Say you have two dildos. One is a dragon dildo designed for your asshole which ejaculates fake semen. The other is a vibrator made after a horse penis and it glows in the dark.

If both have the same labor put into it both have the same value even though they are used for very different things.

Only a greedy capitalism would charge more for the dragon dildo than the horse vibrator!
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>>297489
How do you quantify labor input?
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>>297590
value of labour power paid for
which is the value of the labour power's reproduction
This is all in Capital 1.
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>>297595
>value of labour power paid for

please explain. you make no sense
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>>297369
This is labor including the willingness of labor.

He's saying the jeweler should not get paid more for doing a cushier job than the miner slaving away to extract the diamonds out of the earth. The problem is that the jeweler is in a more privileged (check it) position, and gets more pay, for less work. Marx thinks the distribution of profits should be proportional to work. If being a miner is more difficult, and less desirable, the miner should get paid more for his labor, not less because he is in a worse social position.

Not, surfer bum worked really hard all day surfing so he should get paid as much as a a biotech engineer curing cancer.
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>>297489
>even though they are used for very different things.

No I'm pretty sure they're both used for the same thing
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>>297632
This. He's basically saying earn your big paycheck.
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>>297489
I mean, we know this to empirically not reflect reality. Why is this still taken seriously?
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>>297632
>The problem is that the jeweler is in a more privileged (check it) position, and gets more pay, for less work.

No, wages are ultimately determined by the market. Blame the consumer. Besides, miners get bank because the work is dangerous.
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>>297625
From the view point of the capitalist:

M—C…P…C'—M'

Where: M is value in the money form, C in the commodity form P in the act of production, prime ( ') being a changed, ie: enlarged value.


C = lp + mp where lp = labour power and mp = means of production.

The capitalist buys potential labour, labour power, with wages. The waged worker expends their wages on reproducing their capacity to exert labour power.

Labour power inputs are quantified as wage cost which is directly equivalent to the value or price of commodities embodied in them.

Unlike every other commodity, however, labour power needs to be converted into actual labour by human beings exerting themselves. And you can get 0-24 hours out of a human for the same input costs of potatos and playstations.
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>>297872
South African diamonds miners in the 1980s would beg to differ with you. The cost of labour, the bundle of commodities used to buy it for a certain number of hours, is not determined by a market but by class struggle.
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>>297872
>No, wages are ultimately determined by the market
A market perverted by power. All things being equal, very few people would choose the labor of being a diamond miner over being a jeweler, which would lead to lots of low wage jewelers (or whatever) and few highly compensated miners. But this isn't the case. The obvious answer is there are forces counteracting market forces.

>Blame the consumer.
The consumer values the piece of jewelry, not so much the means of distribution or the labor involved in making it. The distribution of profits between financier, retailer, distributor, management, retailer, etc. is pretty much not up to the consumer to decide.

>Besides, miners get bank because the work is dangerous.
Only in highly industrialized societies, which pretty much meant coal, not diamonds, which are notorious for using what amounts to near slave like conditions.
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Marx is referring to the price that 'society' pays to make that item, the price of the labor and materials. In capitalism, this price differs from what the product will actually sell for because of things like supply and demand.
He's saying there is no good reason that two coats that both used $10 worth of materials and took $20 worth of labor to make should not cost the same price.
I would argue that supply and demand is a pretty damn good reason by itself, and he also seems to be discounting things like ascetics and craftsmanship, things that can make one coat more useful than the other despite taking the same time to make and using the same materials.

>>297632
This completely discounts the substantially larger investment it takes to become a jeweler over becoming a miner. A miner needs to only be of able body and sound mind in order to pick up equipment (provided by the company he is working for) and walk to the mine. A jeweler needs not only a substantial period of education and training, but also money to purchase the jewels he is selling (because miners don't work for nothing) and a place to do business. The investment required is substantially higher, and so are the returns.
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>>297964
>there are forces counteracting market forces

This is the dumbest thing I've read all day. Market forces are the result of forces in general acting on the market. You could say though that government intervention in the market is illegitimate force or artificial force, but that's about it.
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>>297980
>This completely discounts the substantially larger investment it takes to become a jeweler over becoming a miner. A miner needs to only be of able body and sound mind in order to pick up equipment (provided by the company he is working for) and walk to the mine. A jeweler needs not only a substantial period of education and training
I said including the willingness to work. That includes things like time and training investment.

> but also money to purchase the jewels he is selling (because miners don't work for nothing) and a place to do business. The investment required is substantially higher, and so are the returns.
Yes, and that's exactly Marx's point about capital. Having capital puts you in a better position. He thinks there's a problem with that. If someone with the same training and education (obviously provided for by the state) wanted to be a jewler, but had no capital, and was thus forced to become a miner, that's a perversion of market supply and demand forces, because it's not just the supply of labor, it's also the supply of capital in question. Marx doesn't in the capital element. If someone can do the same work, just as well, it should not matter if they have capital or not. Capital just becomes a barrier to entry perverting the market and leading to inefficiency by reducing competition and putting inefficient people in jobs they are not well suited for. Just suited enough to maintain their capital privileged.
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>>297993
>Market forces are the result of forces in general acting on the market.
The idealized market forces that found in a perfect market free of distortion. In other words, the specific forces that allow the fair distribution of goods and services in accordance with supply and demand, not based on artificial scarcity.

>You could say though that government intervention in the market is illegitimate force or artificial force, but that's about it.
So is any other anti-competitive force employed by those with capital or wealth if a perfect market is meant.
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>>298028
>So is any other anti-competitive force employed by those with capital or wealth if a perfect market is meant.

The existence of such practices is dubious, some would deny that they exist at all.
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>>298012
This is why you have universal access to education. It's not a panacea, but there's not much you can do about these sorts of things, that is, unless you believe in the delusion of socialism.
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>>298059
Pretty much every mainstream economist admits they exist, some just insist government intervention and regulation is even worse.

>>298065
I'm not saying that I support socialism. I'm not even Marxist. But as Marx points out, that's the problem with capital. Even if you are given the asset of education, you still don't have the asset of capital. Sure, you could get capital from investors, but that just strengthens his point about those with capital not having to compete on fair terms with those without capital. It's people with capital that are winners.

The real solutions are big inheritance taxes, so you can not have generations and generations of do-nothings who simply exist because they have capital but not labor, they at least have to maintain some kind of productivity with their wealth, and progressive taxes which counteract the natural concentration of power and wealth.

And also, at that point, it doesn't really matter how much of each additional dollar you keep, because most filthy rich people just end up getting involved in pissing contests and buying Veblen luxury goods, so most likely they'd still be trying to make more money even if they got less of it to keep, because they're pissing against other people with the same handicap.

I mean unless you're Rothschilds, and you see capital as a means to simply control others and generate more capital, but most people agree that's pretty much being the scum of society.
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>>297625
It's LTV. Marx was a classical economist.
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>>298104
Investors are going to invest in whatever they think will make the most money (what is most valued) in order to make money and protect his wealth. They, like producers, are subservient to the will of consumers.

Inheritance taxes discourage money making. And the sedentary rich are very very few, especially today. And they do spend that money anyways.
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>>297632
fuckloads of people are qualified to be a miners, very few to be jewelers. The price of each job gives signals of where and what's the level of scarcity of types of labor. If you get rid of this system, your economy goes blind.
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>>298118
Well, except Marx's LTV is a Socially Necessary (realised at market), Social Productivity Average (ie: the social universal worker), Labour Power potential, Theory of Value
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>>297980
>I would argue that supply and demand is a pretty damn good reason by itself, and he also seems to be discounting things like ascetics and craftsmanship, things that can make one coat more useful than the other despite taking the same time to make and using the same materials.
Then the market should shift so that so that two coats that both used $10 worth of materials and took $20 worth of labor to make should cost the same price, because if competition were at work that's what should happen.
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>>297625
http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Marxism.html

tl;dr Way back when economics had the Labor Theory of Value which said that the value of a good is directly related to the amount of labor done to make it. Marx took this to it's logical conclusion.

Of course the LTV has been thoroughly discredited and falsified and as such so is Marx's conclusions, but that's neither here nor there.
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>>298158
>Of course the LTV has been thoroughly discredited and falsified

People keep insisting this, but nobody ever shows it
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>>298156
There are more dimensions to a product than the cost of the materials and the cost of the labor.
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>>298162
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_the_labour_theory_of_value

Have fun.
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>>298166
Yes, the depreciating costs of the fixed capital, and "ancillaries" which are consumed by the fixed capital but don't go physically into the material body of the commodity.

It is like none of you cunts have actually read Capital.
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>>298155
That's a useless specification, Marx's LTV is the only extant LTV. The rest are firmly in the realm of the history of economics.
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>>298148
>Investors are going to invest in whatever they think will make the most money (what is most valued) in order to make money and protect his wealth.
And they still have a big advantage over people without capital, even if their labor is the same.

>They, like producers, are subservient to the will of consumers.
And consumers are subservient to what it available to purchase and usually maximizing personal utility, even at the expense of societal utility.

>Inheritance taxes discourage money making.
Citation needed. If anything, they encourage spending, discourage the long term accumulation of wealth, any may very well put money in the hands of people with better multipliers by decentralizing the wealth.

>And the sedentary rich are very very few, especially today.
Which is a good thing.

>And they do spend that money anyways.
On Veblen or investments. Investments exist simply to increase capital for the sake of capital. Veblen is Veblen.

>>298154
>fuckloads of people are qualified to be a miners, very few to be jewelers.
Yes, and that's because of capital. Assuming education and training are either provided by the state, or you need capital to get education and training.

>The price of each job gives signals of where and what's the level of scarcity of types of labor.
But the scarcity isn't because of lack of willingness to do the labor. It's a scarcity of people with the assets of capital and education (training, connections, anything not willingness to do that same labor, etc)

>If you get rid of this system, your economy goes blind.
I'm not Stalin, so I'm not advocating the removal of markets or a command economy.

Simply that Marx had a point, it's not just about the supply and demand of goods/services and labor. There's also the supply and demand of capital and such.
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>>297369
Commodities embody a socially necessary labour time for production. Labour-power is a commodity under capitalism purchased by competing capitalists. Price formation of commodities is the result of competition amongst producers [according to Marx as opposed to the subjective psychological demand theories], use-value and exchange-value equilibrate this way. Two commodities are "equivalent" if their market price (exchange-value) is equal. Use-value is accused of being "metaphysical" because you can't directly see it like market price but it's necessary for price formation.
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>>298166
>There are more dimensions to a product than the cost of the materials and the cost of the labor.
And in a perfectly competitive commodity market, the coat maker that made shitty coats that had the same production costs but less profits would shift over production to making the more profitable coat until an equilibrium was reached, in order to maximize profits. Clearly that's not happening because that's an oversimplification of the markets.
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>>298184
>that's because of capital.
no, it's because mining is a much simpler job.

if capitalists could pay jewelers the same amount as they pay miners, they would.
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>>297632
This is competently wrong. Marx wasn't advocating modifying the law of value to "fix" capitalism, that's Proudhon and the anarchists. The first couple chapters of capital are about describing the process of price formation.
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>>298171
>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticisms_of_the_labour_theory_of_value

Each criticism listed there comes with a counterargument comrade

>>298184
>And consumers are subservient to what it available to purchase and usually maximizing personal utility, even at the expense of societal utility.

There's also that capital can also be "the consumer" consider for how for an ad supported website we are the product, and for so called "digital rights management"

Especially DRM where the small consumer is effectively outvoted in the classic two wolves and a sheep voting on who's for dinner
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>>298184
>put money in the hands of people with better multipliers by decentralizing the wealth.

If that's going to be based on an inheritance tax it's not going to be very sustainable.
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>>298196
>no, it's because mining is a much simpler job.
I'd like to see a jeweler pick up a pick axe and do a good job of mining.

Being a jeweler is a more complex job, not a more difficult job, and the complexity (such as the need for an education or the need to raise capital) keeps people out of it.

>if capitalists could pay jewelers the same amount as they pay miners, they would.
It's because jewelers are capitalists.
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>>298184
>And consumers are subservient to what it available to purchase and usually maximizing personal utility, even at the expense of societal utility.

But they are the ones deciding what will be produced and available for purchase.

>social utility

No.
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>>298214
Well I'm not a Marxist, so I don't actually agree with his solutions. I just think some of the problems he pointed out are actually problems.

>>298224
>If that's going to be based on an inheritance tax it's not going to be very sustainable.
If they have better multipliers, it's more sustainable than letting the rich people keep it.
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>>298245
>But they are the ones deciding what will be produced and available for purchase.
No, they're the ones who decide what to purchase from what's available to purchase, most likely using some form of utility maximization as criteria. Not that it matters, because it's still the person with capital that comes out as the winner on average.

>No.
Aggregate utility across society, however vague that concept sounds, there's obvious examples of where an individual will put their needs first at the expense of everyone else's. If you want to say it's hard to pragmatically gauge social utility without markets, that's fair.
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>>298012
>If someone with the same training and education (obviously provided for by the state) wanted to be a jeweler, but had no capital, and was thus forced to become a miner, that's a perversion of market supply and demand forces
The system has built in methods of acquiring additional capital though. It's called employment. If someone can do the same work, just as well as any other jeweler, then they should have no trouble finding a job in a capitalist society assuming there are any available. If there are none available, then this demand is already being filled sufficiently by another entity, and this person is not needed as a jeweler. His personal desires to be one doesn't matter to everyone else, and there is no good reason that anyone should be forced to accommodate him. If there is an unexploited market (there are no jewelry stores in town), then it is going to require a building,which require men and materials to make, and inventory, which require men and materials to mine and refine. This is called capital. It is not a fictional entity. It is not an artificial necessity. It directly represents material and labor. That is its purpose in the system. Capital not gained through labor is almost always gained through material investment and vise-versa. The medium of the market distorts this heavily for people who don't understand it, but that is, ultimately, the way the system works.
>Capital just becomes a barrier to entry perverting the market and leading to inefficiency by reducing competition and putting inefficient people in jobs they are not well suited for.
If they are suitable enough that the business continues to make a sustainable profit, then that business is still performing whatever service it provides to that society at a proficient level. Mismanagement and shoddy workmanship has a definite level it can reach before it results in an automatic repercussions in capitalism. We call it bankruptcy.
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>>298270
>No, they're the ones who decide what to purchase from what's available to purchase, most likely using some form of utility maximization as criteria. Not that it matters, because it's still the person with capital that comes out as the winner on average.

Every purchase is a vote. The more consumers spend on something, the more will be made. If a business wants to make money it needs to serve the desires of the consumer, and competition ensures that this happens.

>Aggregate utility across society, however vague that concept sounds, there's obvious examples of where an individual will put their needs first at the expense of everyone else's. If you want to say it's hard to pragmatically gauge social utility without markets, that's fair.
>at the expense of everyone else's

That sounds like it would fall into the realm of illegality.
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>>298276
You're not disagreeing nearly as much as you think you are, although you are glossing over some points with "should" when the entire issue is that things "should" happen but they don't. The "should" relies on certain levels of competition and other measures of "fairness" that may or may not exist for various reasons.

>The medium of the market distorts this heavily for people who don't understand it, but that is, ultimately, the way the system works.
And not everyone thinks the status quo is a good thing.

>If they are suitable enough that the business continues to make a sustainable profit, then that business is still performing whatever service it provides to that society at a proficient level. Mismanagement and shoddy workmanship has a definite level it can reach before it results in an automatic repercussions in capitalism. We call it bankruptcy.
And some people would set the benchmark higher, because a monopoly still fits that criteria, and so does a bailed out bank.
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>>298307
>Every purchase is a vote. The more consumers spend on something, the more will be made. If a business wants to make money it needs to serve the desires of the consumer, and competition ensures that this happens.

Not them but care to explain "Digital Rights Management" etc >>298222


>That sounds like it would fall into the realm of illegality.

Look up antibiotics use in livestock raising and cry bitter bitter tears of rage at the stupidity
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>>298307
>Every purchase is a vote. The more consumers spend on something, the more will be made.
But it has to be made first. Unless it's kickstarter, people aren't buying things that aren't made, and with kickstarter, they're buying into a design or a promise or something.

>If a business wants to make money it needs to serve the desires of the consumer, and competition ensures that this happens.
This is assuming competition. And it's still the person with the capital that comes out on top, even if they're catering to the needs of the many.

>That sounds like it would fall into the realm of illegality.
But it's not, because there's no general laws about it. All the laws concerning externalities are very specific, which is not entirely unfair because things can have unintended consequences, and therefore not all decisions can be perfectly rational.
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>>298335
>But it has to be made first.

I'm setting up the point that capitalism is a democracy.

>Unless it's kickstarter, people aren't buying things that aren't made, and with kickstarter, they're buying into a design or a promise or something.

Businesses anticipate trends and or try to design something people would want to buy.

>This is assuming competition.

In an open and accessible free market you basically have a guarantee of competition.

>And it's still the person with the capital that comes out on top, even if they're catering to the needs of the many.

This is not just irrelevant, but a nonproblem.

>But it's not, because there's no general laws about it.

You need to specify what you're talking about.
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>>298314
It's just that none of these problems seems to justify to me the necessity of redesigning our entire system of resource distribution, and all of the unknowable side effects it will cause, when we can simply patch the system we have to address them. We are still a society governed by popular law. Things are, as a whole, continuing to get better for everyone. It may not be as fast as everyone wants, but it never will be.
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>>298181
So why are so many of the questions in these threads answered if people actually read Marx's category in Capital 1 correctly and note that it requires realisation on a market and is the result of socially average abstract labour power, not "labour" in the Smithian sense.

For fucks sake, the rest are firmly in the realm of undergraduate shitposters on imageboards.
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>>298469
Because Smith was the Freud of economics. He pioneered a new field of thought and his terminology was easily popularized because it (more or less) was built from scratch.
As any field expands and develops, its ideas and terminologies become less easily understood by the laypeople, while the original understanding remains memetic amongst them.
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>>298446
>It's just that none of these problems seems to justify to me the necessity of redesigning our entire system of resource distribution
I'm not a Marxist though, so strawmanning that you're arguing against command economies or whatever doesn't really make your points valid. Marx saw some fucked up things. He came up with a fucked up solution.

>>298384
>I'm setting up the point that capitalism is a democracy.
And democracies are infallible?

>Businesses anticipate trends and or try to design something people would want to buy.
That's certainly more accurate than what you were claiming before.

>In an open and accessible free market you basically have a guarantee of competition.
In an open and accessible free market, yes. You can debate what makes a market open and accessible. Clearly the market is not very open or accessible to people without capital for instance.

>This is not just irrelevant, but a nonproblem.
That's your opinion. I mean, it's literally an opinion because whether or not capitalists winning because they have capital being right or wrong is a subjective judgement.

>You need to specify what you're talking about.
Is it really that hard to google externality? This is a basic economic concept. It's not something I should have to prove the existence of.
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>>298518
>implying anyone actually reads smith
The majority of the time Smith's name is invoked, it's done to justify something he would have opposed literally because "free market" and "invisible hand" are so memetic and have lost his original meaning.
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>>298531
Way to miss the entire point of my post.
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>>298534
I'm saying the original understanding isn't even memetic. Half of what people say about Smith is wrong because half of what is said about Smith is a radical reinterpretation of what he said.
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>>298531
I don't even know how you read my post that way. I explicitly stated that it was his terminology that was popularly memeticized, and the connection to Freud was intentional as I doubt the people who talk about people having daddy issues, mommy issues, obsession with phallic objects etc have actually read Freud.

>>298519
I'm not sure how market externalities play into talks of barriers to entry. When I read your original post about "social utility" I assumed you were talking about pareto optimality, which could have made more sense. But I'm also not really part of this conversation anyway.
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>>298519
>And democracies are infallible?

No. The point of production is consumption. So we have the consumers decide what to produce. How else would we decide what to make?

>That's certainly more accurate than what you were claiming before.

Well, I hoped that you had the capacity to understand that.

>Clearly the market is not very open or accessible to people without capital for instance.

Investors.

>Is it really that hard to google externality? This is a basic economic concept. It's not something I should have to prove the existence of.

I know what an externality is. We have and ought to have laws for them. But I don't know what you are arguing about them.
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>>298562
>No. The point of production is consumption. So we have the consumers decide what to produce. How else would we decide what to make?

Who decided to have DRM, the consumer?
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>>298608
>implying I'm going to defend shitty intellectual property laws and whatnot
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>>298012
You seem to imply it is impossible to increase your capital. Capitalism has invented this cool little thing, called a loan. Gives you capital, companies make a little (or a lot) of money off said loan, and you get the education you so desire. The increased pay from the inherent complexity of the job is what allows you to pay off said loan.

Paying everyone an equal wage, regardless of the complexity of the job, is a disincentive for most people. Why the fuck would you bother with going through the 10-15 years of education and experience if you knew you were going to be paid the same as the guy who's digging the rocks out of the ground, who didn't go through any education or formal training?
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>>299058
It's obvious you've never been "the guy who's digging the rocks out of the ground."
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>>299058
>Capitalism has invented this cool little thing, called a loan.
Dealt with fully in Volume 3.
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>>299218
Oh really? What tells you that? I've worked construction, which is just as bad. Nice personal attack, instead of responding to the argument though.
>>
>labor theory of value
>in 2015
>labor theory of value
>in 2015
I cannot repeat this enough
>>
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labor.png
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>>301015
Marxists are literally this retarded. Unbelievable.
Thread posts: 67
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