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Jan26-11, 04:18 PM
P: 1,117
Quote Quote by thephysicsman View Post
Making money involves productive work. If this is not heroic, what is?
There are all these people who insist that money is the measure of work-productivity, but I think if you look more closely the two aren't the same. Some work produces great value but makes relatively little money, e.g. changing the oil in car regularly to get more miles out of the engine than if you rarely change it. Other work makes a lot of money but doesn't produce much tangible economic value, e.g. decorating retail displays, tearing ticket stubs, etc. Of course these tasks all have a function within the system they are embedded, but in a larger scheme they do not produce economic value the way things like farm-labor and construction do. So when more people could be producing more building materials so the price of building materials could be low enough for poor people to afford, but they are working in jobs to manage and market building materials at as high a price possible to increase profits, is this work really heroic for the poor? Yes, I'm aware of the argument that by pushing the price for building materials up, it stimulates more production of those products which ultimately results in a more abundant availability and the surplus trickles down, but I don't know that it really always does as efficiently as it could or should.