“Zero Marginal Product” — For Whom?

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson

“The marginal productivity of any factor, including labor, is what its remuneration adds to the value of the finished good or service. But the payment of the different categories of labor within a firm — whether hourly workers engaged in the direct production process, or technical and managerial salaried employees — reflects their value to the people running that firm. And that value is determined by the interests — the pecuniary interests, and the individual and collective power interests — of those same people in control of the firm. So in fact the ‘productivity’ of various forms of labor within the enterprise is assigned not according to some objective or immaculate standard, but according to how they serve the power interests of those who dominate the institutional structure.” (05/24/23)