Talk:Wage labour

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Needs Briefest Historical Overview[edit]

Did the Sumerians pay wages? The Ancient Egyptians? The Bablylonians? Ancient Chinese? Ancient Greeks? Romans?

The article is confusing because it leaves out any sense as to whether and to what degree that pre-capitalist societies made use of wage work. Sure, "salt" (and "salary") is mentioned... but without real context.

Coins were developed at some point. I also remember reading that the Chinese were the first to develop paper money. Were these paid to workers, or only exchanged within the elite upper classes???

This article needs some filling in. I came to it for info, and since this is not a specialty area of mine, I cannot supply what's obviously missing. I hope somebody does.

Yeah, all it says is: "Wage labour has existed in one form or another for thousands of years in many different kinds of societies." That's not telling us much. Is this an encyclopedia article??

Removed pending citation[edit]

This concept is most often used by anti-capitalists, including socialists and most anarchists, to describe the socio-economic relationship between an employer and an employee in capitalism. This relationship creates a labour market, in which the worker sells their labour power and the employer buys it.

- FrancisTyers 21:52, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Cited. [1] - FrancisTyers 22:10, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Infinity0, I understand your point that "wage labour" is a term used by non-Marxists, but it is a term of Marxist theory, as is "mode of production". You'll note that in that article, it is clearly contextualized. Or do you claim that non-Marxist economists also use the terms in the same way? I am also surprised that you deleted the reference to the working class, which is pretty much synonymous with wage labour (as the name of a class) in Marxist theory, if I'm not mistaken. --Macrakis 19:18, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

OK, you have a point. I'll go reword it. I removed the reference to the working class because the class itself is not the definition of wage labour. -- infinity0 19:53, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether Marx came up with the concept though. I'll leave the intro for now, but I'll rewrite some of the other parts. -- infinity0 19:56, 26 March 2006 (UTC)


The system of wage labour is defined this way. It's not just the labour the employer buys, but the contract of continued labour from the employee too. It's not just used by Marxists, but by anarchists as well, as is shown by one of the sources. -- infinity0 19:07, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't know of any formal definitions of wage labour apart from the one used in anti-capitalist critique. That definition points out that what is being sold is not only labour but liberty (eg anarchists) and/or labour power (eg Marxists). In any case, what is being sold isn't just "labour". Are there any other definitions which differ from this view? -- infinity0 19:14, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, when is wage labour not implemented via a labour market? -- infinity0 19:15, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

The article states the critique of capitalist exploitation of wage labor by Marxists and Anarchists, yet does not state the support it enjoys from those who are in favor of the exchange. Perhaps by citing those who support such an exchange you can further your argument of the negative impact of wage labor. Tswold (talk) 12:30, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


What is being sold? Labour or the contract of labour? Most criticisms would say that the contract of labour, and other things such as time and liberty, not just the labour, is being sold. -- infinity0 20:11, 28 March 2006 (UTC)


Wage labour is different from wage - just read the intro. Unless a reason is given, I'm taking the notice down. -- infinity0 14:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion to merge this with wages[edit]

This article and wages should be merged. Wages for labor and wage labor are the same thing. (Good luck on finding a source that says they're not the same thing). RJII 17:01, 29 March 2006 (UTC) This article should not be merged because such an action would constitute a shift in bias of the afformentioned page. That page (should) be bais free, whereas obviously a page such as this on explicit marxist terminology referrs to the ideas uniquly of marxists.

Proudhon, Marx, blah blah, blah, ALL cited in the article, plus the first source of the article which is a book from a non-anti-capitalist author.

The emergence of a 'labour market' in industrial societies implies not just greater competition and increased mobility of economic resources, but also the specific form of the work relationship which is described by the idea of wage labour and its legal expression, the contract of employment.

Wage labour is a contract. Wage is a payment. -- infinity0 17:06, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it is your flawed "original research" that wages paid for labor and wage labor are two different things. Wages are paid under contract -- you and someone else agree that you'll do an hour of work for a certain amount of money. Wage/wage labor --same thing. RJII 17:18, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Wage labour is the term given to this contract and the relationship it creates. It's very specific, and certainly a clear, separate concept from "wage". -- infinity0 17:23, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Find a source that says wages and wage labor are two different things. RJII 17:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

"the specific form of the work relationship which is described by the idea of wage labour" - wage labour is a work relationship, not a method of payment. -- infinity0 17:36, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Jesus Christ, RJII, you didn't even have to scroll the page to read it. -- infinity0 17:36, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Provide a source that says wages paid for labor and wage labor are not the same thing. RJII 17:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
They are indeed two different things. "Wage" is economics, "wage-labour" is political science. Just like "Human" would be primarily biology; and "humanity" would be sociology or history. •Jim62sch• 17:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Concept of Wage Labour[edit]

This artical has numerous flaws in its strurcutre. To Start the article cites wage labour as; the socioeconomic relationship between a worker and an employer in which the worker sells labour under a contract (employment), and the employer buys it, often in a labour market.[1]

This does not only apply to wage labour but to any type of employment in a capitalist economy. Employees on a salary in most cases will be bound to a contract stating what the salary is. Secondly a source used The Law of the Labour Market provides a link to a book review.????!??? Are we to beleive that the author has read this book?

What about the fact that Hiring Method is included under "Types of Wage Labour"? Is this a type of wage labour? No. This is jargon that obscures the subject matter of the topic. But then again what is that subject matter of this very article? There is a brief outline as to how capitalism is shaping the labour market (in that there is a large percentage of workers who are paid by wage as opposed to other forms) but then there is no explanation as to the value of wage labour under a capatilist economy. Only sketchy fragments of anarchist or marxist theory which are not at all comprehensive.

And where are the sources for these bold statements? The most common form of wage labour nowadays is a contract in which a free worker sells his labour for a predetermined time (e.g. a few months or a year), in return for a money-wage or salary. Wage labour has existed in one form or another for thousands of years in many different kinds of societies.

This is the kind of stuff that a 14 year old puts in their homework.

OK, I changed "types" to forms". Deleting it doesn't seem to be the right approach. If you know a lot, why don't you add to the article instead of deleting a whole paragraph (which you haven't justified) and changing a few words? And why did you remove "labour power" which is the concept used in Marxism? -- infinity0 18:09, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Also, I don't think 14 year olds learn about wage labour. -- infinity0 18:10, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

M&Ms: My basic intention in posting this comment was that there is not enough explanation of the concept. I do not think you have demonstrated the use of wage labour under a capitalist economy. In fact the use of the concept has not been given muchthought by any form of economics other than socialist or communist theory. And on that note neither have you provided a comprehensive explanation to the opposition to wage labour (or critisisms should i say)which you would find in communist or socialist litrature.

Contract assumes that there is some negotiation, as well as redress for failure of either party to perform to the terms of the contract. Perhaps there is the distinction between wage labor and wages, with money or whatever in hand, you have no recourse after being paid. As a party to a contract you need have some method of being made 'whole' should the other party fail to abide by the terms of the contract. What obligation does 'Capitalism' have after the payment of wages? Tswold (talk) 11:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Since many "real slaves" were paid, & able to buy their own "freedom", someone should explain at what point is a "wage worker" not a slave? Is it $10,000 a year, or $200,000 a year, or $.01 in their lifetime, etc? Please explain. Sundiii (talk) 17:31, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


Both employee and employer can be working and thus both can be called "workers". So, in my opinion, term "worker" should be replaced by "employee". -- Vision Thing -- 22:22, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Source for definition[edit]

The definition in the article is sourced to "The Law of the Labour Market, Oxford University Press, 2005" I have a feeling this was just pulled off of the review of the book in the Amazon link. Can we get a quote from the book defining it that way, and a page number? RJII 03:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

infinity citing non-credible sources[edit]

infinity, stop adding non-credible sources. Wikipedia policy says "A personal website (either operated by one individual or a group of individuals) or blog may be used only as a primary source, i.e., when we are writing about the owner of the website or the website itself. But even then we should proceed with great caution and should avoid relying on information from the website as a sole source. This is particularly true when the subject is controversial, and the self-publisher has no professional or academic standing. WP:V says: "Self-published sources... may be used only as sources of information on themselves, and only in articles about them. For example, the Stormfront website may be used as a source of information on itself in an article about Stormfront, so long as the information is notable, not unduly self-aggrandizing, and not contradicted by reliable, third-party published sources. Self-published sources may never be used as sources of information on another person or topic." RJII 16:06, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The FAQ is a credible source, since it is being published by AK Press. -- infinity0 16:13, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
It has not been published, and according to you they emailed you back when you asked them and said: " Hopefully we'll see it in the next couple years but until then you'll have to read it online." "Going to be published" is not good enough. Obviously, it's not in a state that's ready to be published according to AK's standards. Abide by the Wikipedia sourcing policy. RJII 16:18, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
It is not the sole source. The glossary agrees with it. -- infinity0 16:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Read the policy. You can only cite these things "only in articles about them." You cannot cite these online self-published sources in any other Wikipedia articles. You can cite "An Anarchist FAQ" in An Anarchist FAQ and you can site in That's it. RJII 16:26, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
They are not personal websites. You are mis-citing policy. -- infinity0 16:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Whether you want to call it a "personal website" or not is irrelevant. WP:V says that self-published sources are not good enough for Wikipedia. Obey the policy. RJII 16:31, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

"Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, and then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources. Exceptions may be when a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist, has produced self-published material. In some cases, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has been previously published by credible, third-party publications. However, exercise caution: if the information on the professional researcher's blog is really worth reporting, someone else will have done so." "Self-published sources, and published sources of dubious reliability, may be used only as sources of information on themselves, and only in articles about them. For example, the Stormfront website may be used as a source of information on itself in an article about Stormfront, so long as the information is notable, not unduly self-aggrandizing, and not contradicted by reliable, third-party published sources. Self-published sources may never be used as sources of information on another person or topic." Review the WP:V policy, learn it, and obey it. RJII 16:33, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

You're twisting the policy to suit yourself. Are you really suggesting is non-credible? The site cites Marx. So why are you deleting that part? Also, why are you deleting the second paragraph? It says "most criticism" then cites one piece of criticim as a primary source. -- infinity0 16:41, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Of course is a non-credible source according to Wikipedia standards. To cite it as a primary source, on Wikipedia, means citing in an aritcle about The policy is clear. Obey it. RJII 16:43, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The page cites Marx directly. And why are you deleting the second paragraph? -- infinity0 16:48, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

If cites Marx directly then why don't you just cite Marx directly? I deleted the second paragraph because it was sourced by the FAQ. RJII 16:53, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I just read those paragraphs again. What are you talking about, RJII? Those paragraphs use those sources as primary sources. "They see wage labour as blah, [cite what they think]". "Most criticims centres around, [cite example of criticism]." -- infinity0 16:55, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

You're giving the opinons of and "An Anarchist FAQ". They have to be left out entirely. You can cite the original sources that they talk about, of course, but you can't use any of their editorial or arguments and the primary sources that you cite better be pretty explicitly reflective of your editorial. RJII 17:00, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

That is what the sentence in the article says is being done. "They think" and "Most criticisms centre around". They are being used as primary sources. -- infinity0 17:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

You can't use them as primary sources here. To use them as primary sources means to use them in the articles An Anarchist FAQ and This article is about wage labor, not An Anarchist FAQ and RJII 17:15, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing stating where a source can be used as a primary source. The section is about criticism and the subject of that particular sentence is the criticisers - hence, primary source usage. Please, just let this one go and stop being difficult. -- infinity0 17:17, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Why won't you read the policy? "Self-published sources, and published sources of dubious reliability, may be used only as sources of information on themselves, and only in articles about them. For example, the Stormfront website may be used as a source of information on itself in an article about Stormfront, so long as the information is notable, not unduly self-aggrandizing, and not contradicted by reliable, third-party published sources. Self-published sources may never be used as sources of information on another person or topic." RJII 17:18, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, that seems very strange. I'll go take that up on the talk page. -- infinity0 17:20, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

The is of course a totally relevant & citable site on Wikipedia when discussing "wage labour", that is a Marxist topic. Please don't bend the rules. Santa Sangre 21:16, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

An Anarchist FAQ[edit]

"An Anarchist FAQ" can't be used as a source on Wikipedia. WP:V says: "Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, and then claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason, self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not acceptable as sources. Exceptions may be when a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist, has produced self-published material. In some cases, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has been previously published by credible, third-party publications." Infinity, is trying to include it on the basis that he says it was cited by someone. But, even it it was cited, it's not written by "a well-known, professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known professional journalist." So, I'm deleting it. RJII 01:22, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

If it's relevant here, it can. Stop playing ideological games, please. Santa Sangre 21:16, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

He walks the long road.[edit]

I would like to address the following problems with this sentence ; "Wage labour under capitalism is often criticised, such as by socialists and most anarchists. They see wage labour as a major, if not defining, aspect of capitalism."

Firstly the word "most" would imply a number greater than 50% AT LEAST!!!! does the author of this article know that AT LEAST over 50% of anarchists criticise wage labour as it is the defining aspect of wage labour. Perhaps it is. I would not know. For one reason I am not a reader of socialist, communist or anarchist litrature. But think of my surprise when I actually attempt to get involved in these genres and I find writing such as this!!!!!!!!! It needs references or at least to have a less robust description.

The above is undated but presume to be late '06. Wage labour itself is neutral in as much as it is simply measuring the value of work over time. Only with fully realized class relations, as in those obtaining currently in Late Capitalism does it become overloaded with meanings other than the mathematical ones. A great diversity of opinion and no real consensus can be expected as far as positions of far left thinkers on how concretely the overthrow of class relations affects the basic concept. There is a general consensus I think and not limited to socialist or left thinkers that the standard work day, the time portion of the concept, is grossly distorted under capitalist relations from what the worker would need in terms of the means to reproduce his labor and that if these were eliminated and the worker was both working at maximum efficiency (in terms of his effort and the overall application of labor in society) and not to satisfy a profit interest, somewhere around half as much time on average would be required of each individual. (talk) 17:13, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


What are the alternatives to wage labour? 10:17, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

First, I didn't write that excellent question. Second, I'll work on something about that in the book by David C. Korten called "When Corporations Rule the World" where he mentions a guaranteed income. Sundiiiiii 16:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
As my response to the prior thread makes clear, there is no need for an alternative to a basic measurement concept, merely a need to use it wisely or at least intelligently. The alternative to capitalism, is generally socialism, but its (capitalism's) antithetical partner is communism. So for example a simple system where every able bodied citoyen was obligated to provide 20 hours of socially useful labor per week 44 weeks a year would be one such alternative which while still in effect a unit wage (price for what gotten from society/others in general) it makes no assumption about production outside the basket of commonly produced goods and services, about who is in control of decision making generally, etc. (in the way late capitalism does make these determinations, for example). (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:52, 26 July 2010 (UTC).

The End of Work[edit]

May I add this web link: And add a paragraph about the idea of the end of work? Sundiiiiii 16:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Could I please add this link to this article? It ties in with "the end of work", don't you think? * Bertrand Russell, In Praise of Idleness 06:16, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

There should be something said about the children of wage slaves: that there has always been a severe shortage of child care & its getting worse since there are more & more people having babies but fewer jobs. The number of hours per day child care is needed (9-12); the number of children who go to & from school alone because parents work long hours, that child care costs twice as much as wages being paid, the hardships it causes, etc. Sundiii (talk) 20:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Critique of wage labour Section[edit]

I do not have the experience with either the topic or Wikipeida to make any changes.
And I could be way off with my comments.. play nice :P

I can barely keep track of where I am reading in those big blobs of text

Bias POV etc
This section seems more like a personal blog rant then a encyclopedic entry.
It is far more pro-Socialist/con-Capitalist then it is con-Wage Labour.
I came out of this article wanting to abolish Capitalism O_O
It does not come close to shouting NPOV to me.

Missing Sources
"In the United States the richest 1% of the population (the wealthy capitalist class) owns more wealth than the bottom 95% of the population combined"

"The average American worker works around 50 hours a week"
So thats why American friends are always grumpy!

"The fact that there have been some improvements in the standard of living under capitalism does not justify capitalism."
Who's opinion is this?
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Ishamael2 (talkcontribs) 02:16, 16 May 2007 (UTC).

Let's explore this

I have to say I tend to agree with RJII in the citing of web sites which are self-serving or intended to influence views. While the article does seem rather loose with extrapolations of wealth and work, value and worth, yet I believe it needs to be explored. Wage labor is an evolving thought at this stage. If there are differences, albeit subtle, in wage labor versus wages, the point should be made in the article. Additionally, it might be that the concept is beneath notice of most economists. Again one might consider the new entrepenuer who capitalizes upon a new idea or product, without the benefit of previous 'profit' earned through capitalist endeavors, and at what point does he become free from his wage labor 'wages.' While he is working 70 hours a week to produce and market his product is he a capitalist or a wage labor seller? Are those who are buying his products his employers or his customers? Does he become a capitalist with the first issue of his labor? Or when he hires his first wage laborer? Or his fiftyth? Or is it a subtle as a mindset? Tswold (talk) 10:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

From Modernity back to Antiquity[edit]

M&Ms says: You have realy done it this time infinity. What is this?:

The libertarian socialist view of states and corporations (and private ownership of the means of production more generally) is similar to St Augustin of Hippo's view of kingdoms:

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a leader, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, "What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.

In an encyclopedia one does not reference grandiose litrature as if one were writing a novel. Of course if such an article was to be written about St Augustin then within the right context it could be mentioned. Why don't you chuck in the soliloquay of Kurtz from Apocalypse Now when he describes the "horrors". Then you would have a lead into Heart of Darkness, and speak about the narrators observations on the slave trade. Personally I would then conclude with an Adam Smith (ECONOMIST)quote: Trade which is without force or constraint is benefial for all nations. And there you would have it. The perfect farce - though you are quite adept at that I see by reading your thesis.

You seem to want to bind the world in one big bow of wonderful insight and point the finger at the culprit who has kept us ignorant and chained. However, you have hidden your secret discovery under the guise of a poorly written article. I call it the Infinity-Zero Code.

As a corrollary to my diatribe I say this: You are ill-disciplined in composing. Go and write a manifesto if you like, I won't judge. Do not, however, place such content on a website that I am sure children/young adults have access to. They have to learn about the world but they cannot from this. This is pornography.

Capitalist property is based on the coercion of the state, since any attempt by the majority of workers to take over the factories to run them democratically, will be met by state (or hired mercenary) violence, which is used to protect capitalist property rights. Libertarian socialists advocate worker's control of industry and elimination of autocratic institutions-- to create a society where power (and the responsibility that comes with it) is more decentralized. By relinquishing their role as subservient, unthinking and insentient cogs in a machine, people would feel more responsible and more aware of their actions; they wouldn't be indoctrinated by centers of power, and would become appalled by behavior that now is condoned within the hierarchical institutional structures. Decentralization would encourage the kind of checks and balances and self-examination that are now lacking--bringing the more positive values of human nature to the fore. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

M&Ms asks: Is this a response to my comment? I was only critising the prose saying that it is un-scholarly. POV basically to insert a passage (written a few thousand years before Marx I'd imagine) that has no connection except for the subjective interpretation of the author.

In response to yourr comment howeveer I have this to say:

This "coercion of the state" (should it not be by the state?) from the view of "capitalists" (a loose term but stay with me) is enforcement of property rights, which are looked on as a bundle of contract rights. The right to regulate use, transfer ownership, etc. For someone to have a right there needs to be an authority to codify laws and enforce them. The same would happen if the workers took control and ownership was decentralised. They would still need rights to protect their property. This would be somewhere between commons and anti-commons. This "coercion" is simply enforcement of rights.

Now I understand you would want the decentalisation of these rights. What you do not address however is how such a firm would operate. The workers willnot agree on everything. And what about taking this idea out of the factory setting. Lets say a strategy department within a bank. In this setting you will have people who specialise in certain areas such as cashflow, interest rates, forex and all their skills have to be brougt together. While I'm sure each has an idea as to what the other does, they may not be able to give their to the same aspect of a project and therefore do their own work. Back in the factory they don (have to go finished work) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:57, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Janitor wanted: Non-Bulls*****r preferred.[edit]

M&Ms says: Hello!

Is there anybody who is willing to clean this stuff up? I know, I know I can't ask a question like that if I am not willing to do the work myself. As a compromise I will say that I am aware of my incredulity.

Seriously though; Infinity has abandoned us (hooray)! He says he is studying mathematics in Cambridge and I for one am glad that someone who may have a bit of potential (though mostly misguided) is studying math. He will be kept away from any activities not involving quantitative issues.

If there is one thing to be learned from the war in Iraq, it is we cannot leave a mess.

This was infinitys' "solo" project. Almost a lover if you will, and someone has to either delete it (all in favour say: aye) or rehabilitiate it. Get the old girl back on the market so to speak.

I'm sure it is obvious that the intellectual demands of defining wage-labour (you know a set amount for time or productivity) crushed infinity but if we just stand as one, spread ourselves out on this bed of nails, then who is to say this cannot be something of worth?

We cannot leave this uranium sit idley and say that the chances of it effecting/affecting anything due to willy-nilly searches are effectivley infinite. It needs to be dealt with.

Damn you infinity! Word butcherer. Grammar demon. Reader and quoter of the book of lies that satan binds himself! Rebel to relevance and humility!! You stay away. Devil be gone! When we (or whoever wants to do this as it won't be me) finish you wont even recognise her. She will sparkle, regain her virginity and speak fact from well read lips. She is going to be too good for you!

Men......get your mops and wordpads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:57, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Piece of crap[edit]

Sorry for the wording, but fact is that the entire article is full of misleading and false information. Out of the blue:

«The worker is then usually in a worse situation than the capitalist because the capitalist is wealthy and can weather such a situation much easier than those on lower levels of the hierarchy. In addition, many jobs entail risks to workers' life or limb, whereas investment does not.»

The worker is worse off? He got paid, while the entrepreneur either lost his savings or is in debt. If getting a business started wasn't so risky, why wouldn't the "workers" do so?

And yes, some people may be willing to work for a startup for no pay and without demanding part ownership. They are called illegal immigrants. :P —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Possible Employment project/subproject[edit]

There is now a proposed WikiProject or subproject to deal with wikipedia's content relating to employment, including the articles on the various professions and jobs, at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Employment. Any interested parties should indicate as much there. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 14:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Really bad POV problem[edit]

I haven't seen an article this POV in a very long time. I mean, seriously, this is downright insulting. Any small business owner could be considered a "capitalist", so insinuating that "capitalists" don't work for the money the make is patently false. Try telling that to any restaurant owner, or a partner at a small law firm, and see what kind of response you get. --Eastlaw (talk) 01:52, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

It's unclear what your point is Eastlaw. That the individual roles you mention are those of agents of Capitalism seems to be a given so assume it's a simpleminded splitting of the universe of relevant persons into "workers" the victims of the Capitalist, and the Capitalist herself who does no work, on the model of the system from which it, Capitalism, emerged, i.e. in the manner of a Manor born princess. Our hypothetical Mildred Pierce or law firm partner is unquestionably a worker and an elite one at that. I can't say what POV prevailed in the article when you made your comment but have cleaned up the lede and the first part of the exposition §§. That petty entrepreneurs or highly paid professional workers (as opposed to say athletes, artists, and others who are not engaged in socially necessary labor but are paid by society to play) are workers is not, generally at issue. While Mildred's origins were solidly working class, there are plenty of princesses left that do command labor simply from a basis of capital without dirtying themselves in production and one's class origins do not necessarily reflect current relations. What is at issue is the class relations. Those between Mildred and her employees, between the partners themselves at the law firm and the bulk of the law firm staff who presumably are not partners, and between these groupings and the larger society in which they operate. (talk) 14:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Removed Editorial Content[edit]

As was commented before, this article has a very bad POV problem. The majority of the critique sub-section was a rant against the capitalist economic system in general, and many points were only tangentially related to wage labor. There was no attempt at neutrality, or even an impersonal tone. The first two paragraphs of the critique section are fine because they relate directly to Marx's theories of wage labor, instead of original research. Therefore I removed the majority of the section, leaving Marx's critique intact. If a writer would like to include an anarchist view of wage labor, I would advise putting a simple description paraphrasing anarchist thought on the subject, instead of a personal essay filled with proscriptives and sloganeering. --Unpaginated ([User talk:Unpaginated|talk]]) —Preceding comment was added at 21:25, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Lede Rewrite[edit]

I rewrote the Lede, possibly addressing some issues above and went a little into the body of the article. Besides the confusion about class assignments vs. functional terms, the major distortion and in fact ... well will characterize it after naming it - is the assertion that ordinary "full-time" or "direct" employment is a contract. Of course this an equivocation on "contract" where the term covers everything where there is some kind of agreement, implicit or explicit. In fact as I and others have noted in the discussion on Employment, the regular employee of a standard capitalist enterprise, whether for profit or otherwise, is such in as much as he or she stands in apposition to the contract worker. There is generally no employment contract except for senior level employees other than that implicit by local or national jurisdictions, (e.g.: W2 in the United States, T4 in Canada, etc.) so the regular employee is the antithesis of the contract employee.

So how to characterize this assertion which is diametrically the opposite of the actual fact? Well first it is an expression of the human mind to make sense of language and the realities of its particular application here. That the implicit contract is, in effect, often a codified social contract embodied in legislation is also a factor. But mainly, as ever, it is a simple failure of informed and critical thinking and perhaps also based on a lack of work/life experience, together with the standard presumption of "capitalist reality", if you will, delivered with the standard appearance of a low level of intellect generally. In any case, cleaned up the confusion here to reflect the actual state of affairs and consensus usage in the Anglosphere and elsewhere. Lycurgus (talk) 12:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Connotes? Connotes!!!!!!!!![edit]

M&Ms connotes:

Does 'Infinity0' have a child? It's like some people were convinced that burning witches was actually stupid because it's better to burn cats (Tonight in Salem - Feline Bonfire!! Bring the Kids!!!) . This article does not need editing: it needs to be sent down the rabbit hole with Alice to Connote Land. It belongs on that Island with the talking animals that play football in Bedknobs & Broomsticks. Or perhaps with the Star Child of Kubricks '2001...'. Not here though. Not on earth, not in the clouds, nor on the beaches.

Could the author please look up (or to use 'connote' speak - investigate) the definition of 'connote'. This is an ENCYCLOPEDIA. One does not connote in the first 'connoting' sentence. (talk) 21:26, 15 July 2011 (UTC)