: Surplus labor is extracted from working people only because the 'free contracts' they enter into with capitalists overwhelmingly favor capitalists.
: Possessing a monopoly on the means of production forces the worker to submit to the 'free contract.' The worker can take it or leave it---but the penalty is starvation. Workers cannot walk away from the 'free contract.'
: Profits are value produced by the worker that the worker does not receive.
: The worker submits because the alternative is starvation.
: If workers could access some of the means of production, they would never enter into 'free contracts' with capitalists, they would simply work for themselves.
: : The numbers do not change. The interpretation, however, does. If college give out such hefty scholarships to people who cannot regularly afford to attend it changes the demographics of who attends colleges quite a bit. As a result of these scholarships you see middle to lower class children being able to go to better schools and consequently get better jobs. Social mobility, it is called. Not matter how you cut it, people are becoming better educated, are getting richer, and are enjoying luxuries undreamt of 20 or 30 years ago.
If that is the way you look at it than I cannot argue with you. It is all how you look at it. I personally think that even in this era of so called "wage slavery" and "economic coercion" people are far better off when it was that each man was an island responsible for his or her own needs.
: No matter how you cut it, only a quarter of American jobs require a level of skill above a high school public education. AND 'since the early 1970s, a rising share of university-educated workers have wound up with high school level jobs' (Business Week, 6 October 1997, p. 30). Social mobility has been curtailed since the 1970s (see the New York Times, 5 September 1999, sec. A, p. 14).
: Besides, luxuries is not entirely the point. How people spend their working days is very important. And most people have low-skill monotonous jobs that they wouldn't dream of doing unless STARVATION compelled them to.
Keep in mind, however, that people who make $8.60 an hour usually have shorter work days, allowing them more leisure time. What they do with that time is up to them. They can pursue writing, painting, sculpting, or just sit and watch T.V.
: : Gosh, I really like to read Wired, I find it very witty and entertaining. Certainly it focuses a lot on wealth silicon valley entrepreneurs who have 10s of millions in stock options. I say good for them! I doubt they are wage enslaving anyone.
: But they are! Who are assembling the computer parts? Who transports these products? Who stands behind a cash register selling these products?
: No capitalist is an island.
What about internet companies? Surely they do not wage enslave that many!
: : So long as my statements are built on the foundations of liberty and justice I will never cease to doubt their validity.
: Spoken like Richard Nixon after a couple of hi-balls. You just don't get it---and I expect you never will.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.