labor costing

If you would go out of your way to argue how easy it is for capital to automate away jobs when labor costs become too high, then you should probably know that you’re giving all kinds of credibility to those of us who advocate fully-automated luxury communism. I mean, think about it: you’re arguing that so much of human labor ISN’T NECESSARY because said jobs can be done by machines, and yet you STILL want the bulk of humanity to pointlessly scrape by laboring for the capitalist class, receiving meager wages to buy the shit they helped generate in the first place. The above billboard is a THREAT. Let’s not mince words – that billboard is bourgeois propaganda designed to turn the working class against each other and against the broader goals of resource democratization. “If you fight for a basic livable wage, just know that you’re easily replaceable, peon!”

This is what leftists mean when they say that capitalism is an economic system filled to the brim with tensions and contradictions; it’s also what they mean when they say that capitalism inevitably produces its own gravediggers. Automation is one of those gravediggers, and it’s a major one at that. As more and more jobs become automated in the coming decades, the working class will face widespread dispossession, ramping up revolutionary class consciousness in the process. At that point, capitalism will either focus on generating more superfluous jobs for people to work or set about instituting a universal basic income – regardless, the point is to keep enough scraps flowing downward so that people don’t call for a broader system change. In this way, capitalism’s ruling class can maintain control over the wealth-producing means of production and imperialist capital accumulation can continue unrestrained.

For these reasons, “more jobs” and universal basic incomes are not enough. We need to democratize the broader social infrastructure and eliminate the profit system. If you recognize how possible it is to automate away human labor, then you should defenestrate yourself out of the Overton Window and use some political imagination – cut out the unnecessary jobs, automate all the labor you can, produce for human need rather than elite profit, and you end up with drastically reduced working hours and bountiful leisure time. This is the essence of fully-automated luxury communism – the natural conclusion of the conditions that capitalism set in motion.

Be wary of automation in the present climate, but always trace it back to the class struggle. Robots taking our jobs SHOULD be cause for celebration; why should we treat these potential liberators as harbingers of dispossession? Technological advancements are pushing us exponentially towards a de facto post-scarcity world, where everyone’s needs can be comfortably met alongside their desires for community and leisure and entertainment, and yet we’re held back by Empire’s insistence on keeping the means of production hoarded under the command of a superfluous ruling class. As long as we are divided into capitalists and workers, humanity will never know full liberation.

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The Republican Tax Sham

Watch your wallets. Republicans are pushing a new corporate tax plan that will end up costing most of you a bundle. Here’s what you should know about the so-called “border adjustment tax." 

The U.S. imports about $2.7 trillion worth of goods a year. Many imports are cheap because labor costs are much lower in places like Southeast Asia.

Our current tax code taxes corporations on their profits. So, for example, when Wal-Mart buys t-shirts from Vietnam for $10 and sells them for $13, Wal-Mart is only taxed on that $3 of profit.

But under the new Republican tax plan, Wal-Mart would be taxed on the full price of imported items, so in this case the full $13 sale price of that t-shirt. As a result of this tax, Wall Street analysts expect retail prices in the U.S. to rise as much as 15 percent.

The plan would also cut taxes on companies that export from the United States. This is intended to encourage companies to locate production here in the United States. 

But it wouldn’t reverse the tide of automation that’s rapidly eliminating jobs even  from American factories.

The worst thing about it the plan is it’s a hidden upward redistribution.  

Its burden will fall mainly on the poor and middle class because they already spend almost all of their incomes, so they’ll feel the greatest pain from higher retail prices.

The benefits will go to companies that export and their shareholders, who will benefit from the tax cuts in the form of higher profits – and higher share prices.  Shareholders, who are mostly upper-income people, don’t need this windfall.

Republicans claim that the U.S. dollar would rise in response to higher taxes on imports, effectively wiping out the tax burden. But as a practical matter, no one knows if this will happen.

Bottom line: The tax plan is dressed up as a way to make America more competitive. But underneath it’s just a typical Republican plan that redistributes from the poor and middle class to corporations and the wealthy.

The average yearly wage in China is about 9,000 dollars. By contrast, the MINIMUM wage here would net a person working full time, 40 hours a week, a little less than 14,000 dollars. Amazing.

The products from China are cheaper because of labor costs over there being so low and I honestly don’t know how we can compete with that on a level playing field.

Elizabeth Freeman was a slave in the late 1700s in Massachusetts. But Freeman, better known by the name Mum Bett, didn’t let that title define her life. In 1781, Bett sued for her freedom, and that’s exactly what she got. Cue the standing ovation.

…Around the time of the shovel incident, Bett learned of the language that was used in Massachusetts’ new state constitution. She believed that the idea that “all men are born free and equal” applied to her and to all slaves in the state. Lawyer Theodore Sedgewick agreed with her, and helped Bett argue her case in court. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling found slavery to be inconsistent with the 1780 Massachusetts State Constitution, and Bett won her freedom (plus thirty shillings and cost of labor) from Ashley. The other slaves in Massachusetts won too. Bett’s court case ultimately led to the abolition of slavery statewide.

Commodity

One of the most essential terms with regard to Marx and Marxist theory that often comes up in conversation and tumblr discussions is the word “commodity”. While a commodity, most simply put, is a product of labor – either a good or service – that can be bought, sold, or exchanged in a market, it is important to break down the meaning of “commodity” as a concept.

First, a commodity is produced by a worker’s labor (or the labor of many workers). Under capitalism, commodities are consumed – purchased and used – but first must be produced. Workers, whose labor is exploited under capitalism, produce commodities, while those who control the means of production – the bourgeoisie – aim to make maximum profit from the sale of such commodities primarily by lowering the cost of labor and creating surplus value in the form of underpaid labor. Workers sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in order to get paid so they can secure for themselves food, water, shelter, and other basic means of survival. When labor is sold, it becomes a commodity, and becomes alienated from the worker because the labor no longer belongs to the worker; it belongs to the factory owner. 

Culture can also be a commodity, as we see in the current phenomenon of gentrification – wealthy (typically white) individuals spend extra money to live in a city neighborhood in order to “consume” the idea of “other cultures” or the cultural value created by the presence of artists and community gardens, while at the same time pushing out longtime residents who cannot afford increasing rent prices. This is just one example of how culture is a commodity – going to a movie, buying music, and paying to see art are also forms of “consuming culture”.

It is important to remember that a commodity is not just something that is tangible, that can be held in your hand (like an iPhone), but can also take the form of workers’ labor and culture. There are many forms of consumption that parallel the many forms of commodities, and a Marxist perspective on consumer culture emphasizes the endless nature of production, the exploitation of workers, and the irony that we are all workers, but are also forced to consume the goods we produce.

Mod E

I’m the sort of fucker who will sit there and explain how the price of me letting you eat my pb&j that one time actually cost more then you could imagine. See it costs money to grow the individual ingredients to make the bread, peanut butter, and jelly, all of which then need to be shipped to the factory in which that are made, which then need to be shipped again to the store, where they are then put on the shelf followed by me buying them. Now if we calculate the added labor costs of the farmers, factory workers, truck drivers, food 4 less employees, and me since I bought and made the sandwich, as well as the cost of gas that the Truck drivers spent along with what I spent, the total of that Pb&j is well over the price of that crystal wing so hand it over.

DARK Daily: Medical Laboratories and Pathology Groups Face Greater Risks When Cutting Costs to Balance Budgets; One Solution is to Identify and Correct Recurring Sources of Bad Quality in Clinical Lab Testing

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Cost-cutting is a priority at every clinical laboratory and anatomic pathology practice across the U.S., as hospitals continue to decrease lab budgets and payers relentlessly reimburse less money for lab tests.

Confronted with shrinking budgets and falling revenue, lab managers are doing the rational thing by putting more resources into cutting costs, improving staff productivity, and reducing errors. But many approaches to reducing a lab’s cost are just temporary ‘solutions’ to deeper problems that cost the lab big dollars, and which go unrecognized and unmeasured.

“Sources of recurring bad quality can eat between 8% and 15% of a lab’s labor costs—day in and day out,” said Robert L. Michel, Editor-In-Chief of The Dark Report. “This is because most lab teams lack training in two essential skills: how to recognize recurring bad quality, and how to permanently correct those problems.”

The urgent need for smart cost-cutting is why it is timely for all lab managers to gain proficiency in recognizing recurring bad quality, along with the steps needed to eliminate its sources in the daily operation of their labs. This knowledge, plus vital techniques and tools for implementation will be presented in a new webinar entitled, “Reality Check on the True Cost of Recurring Bad Quality in Your Lab—How to Find It, Fix It, and Sustain Major Cost Savings.” The Dark Report and Dark Daily will present this webinar Tuesday, February 21, at 1 pm EST.

Listeners will hear from two leading experts in laboratory operational improvement and quality management solutions, as they discuss the reality of recurring bad quality in the laboratory, and how to identify it, correct it, and achieve dramatic cost savings. Topics covered will include:

  • Mastering effective ways to identify the sources of recurring bad quality in the lab
  • Understanding how to accurately measure sources of recurring bad quality, and calculating potential savings from fixing those problems
  • Identifying and correcting systemic failures external to the lab that generate waste and cause ongoing errors
  • Why the lab budget does not have a “failure costs” category and how those expenses are added to the current operational budget and lab performance
  • The four primary sources of bad quality costs in the lab, along with key activities associated with each source
  • Calculating both failure and quality costs, and how to use that data to remove sources of bad quality

At the conclusion of the presentation there will be a Q&A period during which participants can submit their own specific questions to the panel. For more information about “Reality Check on the True Cost of Recurring Bad Quality in Your Lab—How to Find It, Fix It, and Sustain Major Cost Savings,” and to view webinar details including presenter biographies and pricing, click here.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170217005446/en/

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Commissions?

Kinda looking to get a rough estimate on how many people would be interested.

Would people be interested in commissioning me? What kind of commissions would you like to see? Props? Weapons?
What is the price range you’re willing to pay? $1-$20? $20-$50? $50-$75? More?
Are you willing to pay material cost, on top of labor cost?

We’re currently in the need of a new car and I’m just trying to help out with some income. So curious about commissions. Wondering if it would be profitable in any way…

So please, take a look at some of my work above and tell me if you’d consider me for commissions! Please share this around!!
Send me a note or ask me about it~

You can also check out my FB page for more of my work!

Why Trump's plan to tax cars built in Mexico is un-American

(The legendary VW Beetle, new version.Matthew DeBord/BI)
President Donald Trump has espoused an “America first” manufacturing policy and pushed it hard on the US auto industry.

Both Ford and General Motors have endured attacks from Trump about their operations in Mexico, where automakers from around the world have established factories to export vehicles to both the US and other markets.

Trump wants a build-it-here-sell-it-here approach because he stands to benefit from hiring and manufacturing in battleground states such as Ohio as well as in Michigan, a state he unexpectedly carried in the election. These are states he has to win in 2020 — he must make good on his promises to blue-collar workers or face blowback.

Mexico’s lower labor costs and growing auto sector have made it attractive to carmakers. But it’s not as if the auto industry just discovered that it’s a good idea to build cars and trucks south of the US border.

Major automakers have operated plants in Mexico since the 1930s, with companies such as Ford and Volkswagen later adding factories that have been around since the 1960s. The business logic is compelling: By manufacturing vehicles in Mexico, carmakers can both serve that market and export vehicles to the US, depending on demand.

Remember the VW Bug

A classic example is the legendary VW Beetle. According to Ryan Beene and Christoph Rauwald of Bloomberg:

“Much of Volkswagen’s North American output comes from its sprawling Puebla plant in central Mexico. The factory opened in the 1960s to produce Beetles and is the company’s biggest outside of its hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany. Puebla has capacity to build about 600,000 Jettas, Golfs and Beetles a year.”

Beene and Rauwald noted that this level of commitment to Mexico is awful for VW’s business in the event that the Trump administration implements a border tax on imports.

But there’s a deeper problem, and it goes to the heart of why the US auto market is the most competitive in the world.

Americans for decades have benefitted from the highest level of choice for carbuyers of any country. The VW Beetle is representative: When it first went on sale in the US in significant numbers in the 1960s, Germany’s World War II defeat was little more than a decade old. The country urgently needed to rebuild itself as a manufacturing power, and the little “people’s car” fit the bill perfectly. With American roads full of huge sedans, the Beetle was a surprise hit, going on to sell millions and validating the concept of a small, affordable vehicle.

(The original Beetle sold millions and did service as a dune-buggy racer, among many other things.Devkotlan Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

Eventually, Japanese automakers, also recovering from the war, would follow VW’s lead.

American consumers benefitted immeasurably from this. For 40 years, we’ve been able to buy small cars, big cars, and everything in between. Relentless competition has hurt Detroit’s big-three automakers, but there’s no question that Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have vastly upped their game. And Mexico has played an integral role in that process, particularly since the mid-1990s.

Preserving choice

The main argument for the US carmakers that now want to send some production to Mexico is that they can’t profitably produce small vehicles at their US factories, given that Americans are buying more SUVs, crossovers, and pickups. But the big three — and the so-called foreign “transplants” in the US from Germany, Japan, and South Korea — are reluctant to bail on small cars, having learned a hard lesson when gas prices spiked toward $5 a gallon less than 10 years ago.

Mexico presents them with the ideal safety valve.

Sadly for Trump, the automakers aren’t going to build any additional factories or commit to major hiring in the US because the market here is running at a peak sales level. Adding additional capacity would be reckless — the factories would be idled or canceled when the sales downturn comes, and any new workers would be laid off.

(Trump has threatened a border tax on car imports from Mexico.Evan Vucci/AP)

Hiring in the US and building in the US just to appease the president, with the full knowledge that such actions are unstable, isn’t very American. Detroit doesn’t want to set up workers for a fall.

And the industry overall doesn’t want to reduce the number of choices that American consumers have when it’s time to buy a car. It wants to capture the customer who wants the compact sedan as well as the buyers who need a full-size pickup truck.

Consumer choice defines the US auto market. Mexico plays a critical role. So if Americans want to retain what they’ve come to expect when it’s time to buy or lease a vehicle, they’ll think twice about whether “America First” makes sense.

NOW WATCH: ‘I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe’: Trump team disputes reports of bizarre behavior in the White House



More From Business Insider

This picture has been going around a lot lately, and I would like to respond to it.  The entire spirituality surrounding “No meat on Fridays in Lent” is to better conform ourselves to the poor.

Think about it.  In older times, livestock required a great deal of land and labor to produce.  The poor obviously didn’t own land in old times.  As such, meat was a luxury and delicacy, especially to the poor.  Fish on the other hand were considered a poor mans food.  Anyone can go to a river, lake, or ocean, throw out a line, and catch a fish.  Fish don’t need the land and labor costs the livestock requires.

Now this is tricky to us because at the moment in the US, meat is generally cheaper than fish.  In older times though, the Church banning meat on certain days was directed at the rich in order to remind them of the poor.  In other words, “You shall eat like the poor eat.

Now on to the beaver.  The beaver and the capybara are traditionally eaten by the poor.  The Church allowed them to be eaten on days when meat was restricted because to not do so would harm the poor.  Remember the spirituality of the practice is to conform the rich to the poor, not to punish the poor.  The Church doesn’t subscribe to ignorant zoology.  Just that for the purposes of penitential disciplines, those animals could be eaten without breaking the fast.

Where does this leave us today?  Because meat is often cheaper in the US than fish, we have to keep the spirituality in mind on Lenten Fridays.  This means that giving up a burger to go eat at a fancy lobster restaurant shouldn’t fly with you.  The poor aren’t eating at fancy lobster restaurants, and neither should you.  Eat something simple.  Eat tuna sandwiches, make a tuna helper, go to your parish fish fry.  The point of the day is to conform ourselves to the poor.

I hope this is found helpful as Lent approaches.

The hostility of capitalism toward tradition is clear enough in its reduction of all social issues to economic ones. Moreover, like communism, capitalism is based on an essential egalitarianism that refuses to distinguish between one consumer’s dollar and another. The reductionism and egalitarianism inherent in capitalism explains its destructive impact on social institutions. On the issue of immigration, capitalism is notorious for demanding cheap labor to undercut the cost of native workers. But it is not only in America that it has done so.
—  Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005).
Why Trump's plan to tax cars built in Mexico is un-American

(The legendary VW Beetle, new version.Matthew DeBord/BI)
President Donald Trump has espoused an “America first” manufacturing policy and pushed it hard on the US auto industry.

Both Ford and General Motors have endured attacks from Trump about their operations in Mexico, where automakers from around the world have established factories to export vehicles both to the US and other markets.

Trump wants a build-it-here-sell-it-here approach because he stands to benefit from hiring and manufacturing in battleground states such as Ohio, as well as in Michigan, a state he unexpectedly carried in the election. These are states he has to win in 2020 — he must make good on his promises to blue-collar workers or face blowback.

Mexico’s lower labor costs and growing auto sector have made it attractive to carmakers. But it’s not as if the auto industry just discovered that it’s a good idea to built cars and trucks south of the US border.

Major automakers have operated plants in Mexico since the 1930s, with companies such as Ford and Volkswagen later adding factories that have been around since the 1960s. The business logic is compelling: by manufacturing vehicles in Mexico, carmakers can serve that market and export vehicles to the US, depending on demand.

Remember the VW Bug

A classic example is the legendary VW Beetle. According the Bloomberg's Ryan Beene and Christoph Rauwald:

Much of Volkswagen’s North American output comes from its sprawling Puebla plant in central Mexico. The factory opened in the 1960s to produce Beetles and is the company’s biggest outside of its hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany. Puebla has capacity to build about 600,000 Jettas, Golfs and Beetles a year.

Beene and Rauwald noted that this level of commitment to Mexico is awful for VW’s business in the event that the Trump administration implements a border tax on imports.

But there’s a deeper problem, and it goes to the heart of why the US auto market is the most competitive in the world.

Literally, for decades, Americans have benefitted from the highest level of choice for car buyers anywhere on earth. The VW Beetle is representative: when it first went on sale in the US in significant numbers in the 1960s, Germany’s World War II defeat was little more than a decade old. The country urgently needed to rebuild itself as a manufacturing power, and the little “people’s car” fit the bill perfectly. With American roads full of huge sedans, the Beetle was a surprise hit, going on to sell millions and validating the concept of a small, affordable vehicle. 

(The original Beetle sold millions and did service as a dune-buggy racer, among many other things.Devkotlan Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

Eventually, Japanese automakers, also recovering from the war, would follow VW’s lead. 

American consumers benefitted immeasurably from this. For forty years, we’ve been able to buy small cars, big cars, and everything in between. Relentless competition has hurt the Detroit Big Three, but there’s no question that Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have vastly upped their games. And Mexico has played an integral role in that process, particularly since the mid-1990s.

Preserving choice

The main argument for the US carmakers who now want to send some production to Mexico is that they can’t profitably produce small vehicles at their US factories, given that Americans are buying more SUVs, crossovers, and pickups. But the Big Three — and the so-called foreign “transplants” in the US from Germany, Japan, and South Korea — are reluctant to bail out on small cars, having learned a hard lesson when gas prices spiked toward $5 a gallon less than ten years ago.

Mexico presents them with the ideal safety valve.

Sadly for Trump, the automakers aren’t going to build any additional factories or commit to major hiring in the US because the market here is currently running at a peak sales level. Adding additional capacity would be reckless — the factories would either be idled or canceled when the sales downturn comes, and any new workers would be laid off.

(Trump has threatened a border tax on car imports from Mexico.Evan Vucci/AP)

Hiring in the US and building in the US just to appease the President, with the full knowledge that such actions are unstable, isn’t very American. Detroit doesn’t want to set up workers for a fall.

And the industry overall doesn’t want to reduce the number of choices that American consumers have when it’s time to buy a car. They want to capture the customer who wants the compact sedan as well as the buyers who need a full-size pickup truck.

Consumer choice defines the US auto market. Mexico plays a critical role. So if Americans want to retain what they’ve come to expect when it’s time to buy or lease a vehicle, they’ll think twice about whether “America first” makes sense.

NOW WATCH: ‘I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe’: Trump team disputes reports of bizarre behavior in the White House



More From Business Insider
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If you’re into “slow food” — the ethical response to “fast food” — you probably want to know how the animals were treated or whether pesticides were used on your vegetables. Now, the “slow fashion” movement is in the same spirit.

“It’s about understanding the process or the origins of how things are made,” says Soraya Darabi, co-founder of the clothing line Zady. “Where our products come from, how they’re constructed and by whom. Slow fashion is really indicative of a movement of people who want to literally slow down.”

The Zady “slow fashion” t-shirt is made entirely in the U.S. by companies that Bédat says try to be eco- and labor friendly. It costs $36.

Slow Fashion Shows Consumers What It’s Made Of

Photo Credit: Zady

Notes on Marx’s 1849 “Wage Labor and Capital”

Workers’ Labor:

  • Belongs to the capitalist class broadly, is sold by the worker to the capitalist individually
  • Is, therefore, a commodity which is bought and sold like any other
  • A worker’s “life-activity” is converted to labor which is used to buy a means of subsistence
  • “The existence of a class which possesses nothing but its capacity to labour is necessary prerequisite of capital”

Wages:

  • Determined by the cost of production of labor
    • Cost of production of labor= “the cost required for maintaining the worker as a worker and of developing him into a worker,” or the cost of the worker’s continued existence and any training to make him work-ready
    • Cost of production of simple labor= cost of existence and reproduction of the worker
  • Wage minimum= cost of production of labor, the minimum amount a worker can be paid if he is to continue to work
  • Are consumed by both capitalist and worker. The worker consumes them immediately and unproductively- he buys, for example, food with it, which is gone as soon as he eats it. The capitalist consumes the cost of wages when he pays them, but consumes them productively- he receives the product of the worker’s work, which is worth much more than the worker’s wage. The capitalist can then pour this money into another worker’s wage, which again he gets back twofold or more.

Capital:

  • Defined by Marx as a “social relation of production,” or a result of very specific social circumstances which themselves are the result of a very specific mode of production
  • Capital= a sum of material products as well as exchange values, is entirely made of commodities such as
    • Exchange values are expressed as price in money
    • All exchange values are sums of exchange values- a house is worth all the parts of it, as well as the labor that went into its building, as well as the labor/creative activity of turning the raw materials into a house
  • Commodities (things which can be bought and sold) become capital by multiplying themselves

Competition:

  • Among capitalists, competition drives profits lower, in what is called “the tendency of the rate of profit to fall”
    • A capitalist buys a powerful machine which cuts down production costs —> other capitalists do the same —>  the cost of producing the product dips below cost of production —> capitalists must sell more and more, and more cheaply, to stay afloat
  • Among workers, competition drives wages lower
    • New machines kick workers out of jobs by doing more work than workers can —-> skills become useless —-> workers must perform more and more work for the same wage (if the machine does the work of 2 people, they must do the work of more to merit being paid) —> competition increases because work requires fewer skills, wages lower
businessinsider.com
Millennials' hatred of 'dealing with people' is a major threat to fast-food workers
Now with the millennial generation aging, restaurants will face added pressure to automate the ordering process.
By Hayley Peterson

Many millennials hate interacting with people, according to a new survey.

Nearly a third of people 18 to 24 prefer ordering from the drive-thru at restaurants because “they don’t feel like dealing with people,” according to a study by Ohio-based Frisch’s Restaurants, which owns and franchises 120 Big Boy Restaurants.

That’s bad news for fast-food employees.

It gives restaurant chains an added incentive to invest in automation technology, such as digital tablets that allow customers to buy food without human interaction.

Many restaurant chains, such as McDonald’s and Panera Bread, are already heavily invested in automation. Both have rolled out digital tablets at restaurants nationwide.

The technology has been praised for helping to improve customer-service speed and accuracy. But it also threatens to eventually replace human workers — especially as labor costs rise, according to analysts and labor activists.