- The distinction made between owners and employee is the ability to make money by working versus having others work for you. Reading 4.3 highlights the how owners tend to amass fortunes and grow and maintain wealth by relying on the labor of many employees and investing. Employees on the other hand usually rely on a single income from a labor-based income.
An example would be Amazon. Over 1 million Amazon employees serve the company. Each being paid a specific wage, workers are paid based on how many hours worked which would heavily cap their income levels due to limited physical strength. Workers, like anyone else has living expenses so a good chunk of their income goes to bills — further eating into their ability to build wealth.
The CEO of Amazon, on the other hand, benefits immensely from the labor of Amazon’s many employees. Their labor generates an exponential amount of money in small windows of time. For example, Amazon generates a reported $283,000 every minute (C. Dunne, 2021)! Imagine how much is generated annually. So the workers are allocated their same hourly wages and the CEO rakes in their nearly 2 million annual income from Amazon alone plus whatever other investments. But let’s remember, this all wouldn’t be possible without the low-wage workers who quickly and efficiently fulfill these Amazon orders.
2. I understand this quote as referring to labor as the thing that actually determined the commercial worth of a product or service. Referring the ending of my answer to the first question, those Amazon workers fulfilling order so quickly and efficiently is a large reason of why Amazon’s sales continue to stay afloat. It’s not just the product or even the price it’s quality of service too.
3. I agree, to an extent, that class is not an identity. Social class is just social construct made up to categorize people and just make sense of their attributes pertaining often to material things such as income, residential zip codes, education levels. It for sure is not define that person, just gives socio-economic profile.
4. I understand class structures being built around dependency as simply seeing the class levels and business-laborer relationships as an business ecosystem. Businesses rely on workers to mass produce and deliver consistent results to bring revenue, workers depend on business to continue running and being able to pay them. The upper class relies on the lower classes and vice versa.
One example of this is a restaurant owner. This could be a 5 star restaurant. Because of the hard work of mainly the employees — hostess, waiters, bartenders, cashiers, cleaners, stockers, often lower wage employees (+tips) this business possibly brings in 100k+ per month. With The owner bringing home around 155k annually, put him/her in the upper-middle class at worst. It’s possible the workers are working to middle class at best. But the owners needs their employees for their business to survive and the employees need their jobs to survive, until they find another one.