1.Two key concepts in this video are the means of production and labor. In your comment, explain how you understand the means of production and labor. Give an example of each.
The means of production are the tools, materials, and facilities used to produce a commodity. Labor is the effort that a worker puts into a product and labor is what gives a product value. To give an example, let’s say this homework I’m doing is a commodity and the score I will receive is the value. The computer setup I have from the monitor to my keyboard and the electricity is the means of production. The effort that I put into typing all the answers and the brainstorm I had when I think about the answer is the labor.
2. Another important concept in understanding social class is value. Based on the ideas presented in Video 5.1, what is value? What give “value” to value, what makes something valuable?
Continuing the example I gave for the last question. Since the effort that I put into the answer is labor. The better I worded my answer, the more meticulously I think about my answer. The better grade shall I receive, hence the value. A more powerful computer setup might speed up my work. But it doesn’t help to make my homework better. At the end of the day, is the labor that goes into the product makes it valuable.
3. How are labor and value related? What’s the relationship/connection between the two?
The labor of the work and the value of the product is proportional. If you put into more labor to make something, the value of said item should be more valuable.
4. How do you understand the difference between labor and labor power? Hint: this is a key difference, give it your best shot based on what the video says about it, and your own ideas. We’ll clarify and develop it in our discussions, and in my video comments.
Labor determines the among of the work, labor power is the level of ability to work. Loading trucks takes a lot labor, but it doesn’t require too much labor power other than physical strength to load the truck. Graphic design is not as labor intensive as loading trucks. But it takes years of training, skills, and experience to qualify for the job. That skill and experience is labor power.
5. Surplus Value: what is it? Why is it important to know about, in our study of social classes? Think about an example of surplus value?
The surplus value is the value a worker created beyond what the value their work worth. In the perfect world a worker should earn exactly how much wealth they created. In reality, workers almost always create more value than how much they get, and that amount of value is kept in the capitalist’s pockets.