- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Piece work

Posted by: bill on October 25, 1999 at 22:24:33:

In Reply to: No, Barry. Stalin did. posted by Stuart Gort on October 25, 1999 at 16:03:08:

:So why is piecework a terrible thing if the person makes money well in excess of industry standards?

Piecework is of couse quite common. Most farmworkers are paid in this fashion. In terms of production it is quite profitable in that it rewards the most "productive". The "ideal" situation for a boss would be the highest possible productivity from the smallest possible workforce (especially if things like healthcare costs of workforce are factored into product costs). What tends to happen is that under this imposed "meritocracy" the pay received per unit of goods becomes standardized downward to where only the most proficient (productive), working harder and faster, can "earn" a decent living. Not only is there the competition (in spite of all the hype of "work at your own pace" propaganda) of worker against worker, there is the competition of producer against producer. You may be paying "above industry standards"...for now. Your competitors (unless you are a monopoly) will be able to produce similar units for less cost.

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