1.What is the distinction that Reading 4.3 makes between owners and employees? Give an example of each.
The difference is not publicly believed to be the difference in the amount of wealth. The real difference is the means they have to obtain wealth. The owners own capitals and assets like stocks, real-estates, bonds, etc. The assets they have essentially make money for them. Their ownership of certain assets allows them to take the wealth that their employees created. On the other hand, the employees create wealth but not for themself, the majority of the wealth they created goes to the owner of the particular business. Only a portion goes to employees’ pockets called wages. The employees’ means of obtaining wealth is to receive wages from their employers.
2. How do you understand the quote by Adam Smith on pg. 28? What is it saying about labor?
Adam Smith stated the only standard for the value of certain commodities is the labor that goes into them. In my understanding by this standard, the wage workers receive should measure up to the wealth they created. For example, if a car sells for $30,000 on the market. At least the majority if not all of its value should be distributed among the workers that contributed labor that built this car. The designer who designed the car, the worker assembled the parts, the salesmen who convinced the buyer to purchased the car, the list goes on. By this standard, labor should be fundamental for the economy. And they ought to be rewarded as such.
3. What are your thoughts on the main argument of Reading 4.4 that class is NOT an identity?
I support the argument that class is not an identity. Identity is a social label unlike someone’s racial identity, class is fluent. One’s education, income, assets, environment are all subjects to change over time. That being said, someone can definitely be identified by all of those qualities above.
4. How do you understand the argument Reading 4.4. makes when stating that “class structures are built around a close form of dependency”? What is this close form of dependency, and can you think of an example?
The class structure we have is a form of symbiosis and competitive relationship. This contradiction is easy to be understood when we look at how capitalists need workers to create wealth for them but also look into exploit workers’ surplus-value to maximize their profit. While workers need the wage they earn from the capitalists to survive while consistently looking for more appreciation from the labor they provide.