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Soda for Food Stamps

#1 Jan 23 2013 at 5:37 PM Rating: Default
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Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
Oh so you believe people who don't work should get paid more.


I believe that's the wrong way to look at it. The value of what someone does is based on the benefit it provides to others, not the cost to the person doing it. You (and many people) have this strange idea that it's the other way around. If I could save 1 million people from hunger by pushing a button, would that minimal amount of work not be just as valuable as a host of relief workers handing out food? If the outcome is identical, then the "value" is the same.

How hard someone works is irrelevant to the equation. That sort of thinking is what leads some people to think that we can create economic growth by employing people just for the sake of creating jobs rather than for the value of what their labor produces. They think if we just increase wages for the same labor that this will magically improve people's economic fortunes. They think that the value of a executive signing papers in his office is less than that of a worker in his factory. Those are all grossly false assumptions though.

Dollars of wealth represent savings of past value assessment of labor. If I work for 20 years and save up a million dollars, when I invest that million dollars, I'm not doing "no work", I'm investing the fruits of a whole lot of work I already did and for which I've received nothing in return. While the action of investing it may not seem like it's something I should earn money on, that's because you're failing to see the whole picture. You're failing to see that in order to have the money to invest in the first place, I had to provide a million dollars more in value to others than I took for myself first. Also, in order to earn anything off that investment, the thing I invested in has to also increase in value (again to others) equal to the amount my investment grows. It's not magic. I only make money on investments if the value of the investment grows. This means that someone else has to be willing to pay more money for the thing after I invested in it, than they would have paid for it prior to my investment.

There's also a risk factor. The employee working a shift at his job doesn't risk anything. It's a straight exchange of labor for pay. The investor is risking past pay to invest. That's a choice. He could have taken that past pay and simply bought stuff for himself to enjoy. This is a choice anyone can make, but many simply choose to benefit themselves directly instead. That's also their choice. But don't suggest that the person who decided to invest is somehow cheating the system. He's not. The returns on his investment are as fairly earned as if he'd sweated at some labor. Again, the value is based on the benefit to others, not the cost to oneself. Thinking otherwise is completely backwards and will lead you to some bizarre and unworkable outcomes.
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