Workers wage not in proportion to productivity - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14580526
Capitalism does not function according to moralistic norms. Instead, it functions according to amoral market mechanisms. Employers will therefore pay their workers just enough money to ensure that they continue turning up for work every morning. Why would - or should - they pay them more than that?
#14580530
Because we shouldn't foster social inequality among the working class, so they all should receive more or less the same wage in spite of how much they produce. I don't know why a comrade would want to destroy the brotherhood and friendship among workers by stimulating greediness and jealousy.
#14580547
Average Voter wrote:I have noticed that workers who produce ten times the product of their peers only make three to four times as much as their peers. Is this expected in capitalism? Why does this happen?

This is expected in any economic system. It is impossible to measure the exact productivity of a worker. Many workers produce a product that is not measurable. And even if we can measure someone's productivity, it is hard to determine what caused this productivity. Maybe the worker was lucky or unlucky or some other circumstance that is beyond the control of the worker. Therefore, firms rely on average productivity to determine wages and try to adapt this using evaluation schemes which are always flawed or subjective.
#14580555
The real answer lies in individual situations. For example.

In large companies wages are often established higher up and far away. These "position driven" wages seek to establish and one-size-fits-all pay scales based on complicated job descriptions and comparable pay surveys. The results are sometimes bizarre. HR types are not known as the brain trust in a large company. They are the very archetypal bean-counters. I remember seeing a job ad once for a large corporation CFO. (A headhunter who was chasing me showed it to me.) This was probably a half million dollar a year job. The published job description included graduation from a top-tier business school, a decade of executive level (vice-president or higher) experience at a Fortune 500 company and national recognition in the field. To these qualifications some idiot HR type had added...."must know how to use Lotus Notes and common business machines including copiers and fax machines".

The point is that very frequently worker (as opposed to senior management) wages are not controlled by those who see the worker everyday. They are an afterthought to senior management and left entirely to the HR types. Mouth-breathers to a man.

Sometimes wages are driven by local economies. I know one person who was transferred from San Francisco to Arizona and allowed to keep her San Francisco wages. She earns about four times what the Arizona hires earn. For now anyway.

In small businesses the decision is close and personal to the people who actually supervise employees. These leaders can offer small increases only. So the employee who really wants to excel may do far better than the supervisor's ability to extend rewards. This does not mean that the additional productivity is not "worth it" to the employee. If one is earning $12.50 an hour and doing four times the work of another employee, it will never happen that the reward will be $50.00 per hour. What is possible is that this good employee might get a raise to $16.00 per hour. Though it is nothing like real recognition of their level of productivity it is still a enormous 28% raise! (And probably way more than the employee should expect.)

Anyway. The short answer is that most wages are driven by job description and prevailing wages rather than productivity. In mid to large companies, the only people likely to know that an employee is surpassingly productive are unable or extremely limited in their ability to offer a raise.

One more problem. It is likely that a production worker who is so productive that they stand out to management will be offered a job in supervision or management as a reward. In this the company descends to very bad management. Here is what happesL

They promote the superstar production worker to supervision.

They lose the 4 to one productivity of an exceptional worker.

They expect this worker to motivate his/her fellow workers to perform like he/she did.

They fail to give the new supervisors the tools necessary to reward the extra work.

When the new supervisor fails, they shrug and say, "well I guess he/she was just not management material".

This happens with commission salesmen all of the time. They make a boat-load of money on commission and get promoted to management where they not only take a cut in pay, but have no clue how to train and motivate others to do what they did.

Anyway. Management of workers these days has little to do with the tenants of capitalism.
#14580569
I remember seeing a job ad once for a large corporation CFO. (A headhunter who was chasing me showed it to me.) This was probably a half million dollar a year job. The published job description included graduation from a top-tier business school, a decade of executive level (vice-president or higher) experience at a Fortune 500 company and national recognition in the field. To these qualifications some idiot HR type had added...."must know how to use Lotus Notes and common business machines including copiers and fax machines".



Anyway. Management of workers these days has little to do with the tenants of capitalism.

Tenets. The word is 'tenets', Drlee. I'm sorry, but this is something of a bugbear of mine.

By the way, what do you believe these suppose tenets of capitalism to be, Drlee?
#14580591
Average Voter wrote:I have noticed that workers who produce ten times the product of their peers only make three to four times as much as their peers. Is this expected in capitalism? Why does this happen?

That's odd. I've noticed that top executives who might produce little or nothing, or even destroy a firm's productive capacity, can make 100 or even 1000 times as much as the worker.
#14580595
Because we shouldn't foster social inequality among the working class, so they all should receive more or less the same wage in spite of how much they produce. I don't know why a comrade would want to destroy the brotherhood and friendship among workers by stimulating greediness and jealousy.


This. Why should I get paid less than other people just because I spend as much of my working day as possible sitting on my arse? Managers do nothing all day and earn loads. Why should be any different for me?
#14580598
This. Why should I get paid less than other people just because I spend as much of my working day as possible sitting on my arse? Managers do nothing all day and earn loads. Why should be any different for me?

You were born out of your time, Decky. Your true spiritual home is Britain in the 1970s.
#14580603
Indeed. I was bought up on tales from British industries glory days. In the car plants in Birmingham some workers used to bring their sleeping bags along when they were on the night shift.

What once was can be again, will be again if I have anything to do with it!
Last edited by Decky on 10 Jul 2015 19:02, edited 1 time in total.
#14580608
Potemkin wrote:Tenets. The word is 'tenets', Drlee. I'm sorry, but this is something of a bugbear of mine.

By the way, what do you believe these suppose tenets of capitalism to be, Drlee?


We are all tenants of capitalism, Potemkin.
#14580665
Anyway. Management of workers these days has little to do with the tenants of capitalism.
Potemkin wrote:Tenets. The word is 'tenets', Drlee. I'm sorry, but this is something of a bugbear of mine.
You are the Stannis Baratheon of PoFo Potemkin and I mean that as a compliment. I presume you've seen and approve of this.
#14580670
You are the Stannis Baratheon of PoFo Potemkin and I mean that as a compliment.

And of course I take it as a compliment, Rich. Stannis is (or rather, was) my favourite character in Game of Thrones.

I presume you've seen and approve of this.

Indeed. It is vitally important to maintain a high standard of English grammar, even at the expense of human life if necessary. A message must be sent.
#14580683
Littlefinger is clever, but rather too sleazy and untrustworthy for my liking. I'm a Stannis man all the way - he is a harsh and inflexible man, but with a strong sense of justice. It is this sense of justice, of course, which makes him such a terrifying figure to everyone else. For most people, there is nothing more terrible in this world than justice, mercilessly delivered. Apart from having one's grammar corrected, of course.
#14580693
An interesting analysis. Personally, I could never get past the incessant whinging when things wouldn't go his way. "Right of birth and blood", my arse.

It is true that Stannis lacked stoicism. All human life ends in grief and loss; why should his life be any different? But that lack of stoical acceptance of fate was his only character flaw.
#14580695
Why on earth should we accept fate and not fight? Even if the fight is futile. The fight to live is equally futile, we will all eventually die anyway, yet we fight on.

I am not a fan of stoicism, it's like looking at the decision of whether to live or to commit suicide and deciding to do both.
#14580697
Tenets. The word is 'tenets', Drlee. I'm sorry, but this is something of a bugbear of mine.


You have forgotten to make allowances for my advanced age. There was a time when tenents.......anyway. Good catch. I am properly chastened.

I accuse Quetzalcoatl of piling on.

I know nothing of capitalism. I am too embarrassed to Google an answer.
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