Surplus Wealth - 1. What about the middle-class? The...

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Surplus Wealth How does inequality occur in the first place? The workers produce surplus wealth. Workers transform raw material into finished products. The value of the finished product is greater than the cost of the worker's labor and the cost of raw material. The workers, however, do not enjoy the surplus which they have created. The owners of the means of production (factories) are able to seize the surplus for their own benefits. Robertson (1989:172) contends that "this, in Marx's view, is the essence of exploitation, and the main source of conflict between the classes throughout history." Marx would argue that in an ideal economy, the workers would keep the surplus they have created as they transform raw material into finished products. C. Critiques of Marx Several features of advanced capitalist society have thrown doubt on Marx's predictions.
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Unformatted text preview: 1. What about the middle-class? The existence of the middle class is problematic for Marx. Not only are the middle-class a large and wellto-do class, they generally do not work for the owners of the means of production. They often work for their fellow citizen (as state bureaucrats) or they are self-employed. 2. Large Corporations Marx also did not predict the rise of large corporations which are owned by thousands of people and which are controlled by salaried managers. Ownership and control of the means of production are no longer the same thing. 3. Men and Women of Knowledge In post industrial society ownership may not be the most important asset in the economy. Knowledge of how the system works may be more important. Status accrues to people with knowledge....
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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