Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Word from Adam*

(*Adam Smith, that is)
“LABOUR, it must always be remembered, and NOT any particular commodity or set of commodities, IS the real measure of the value both of silver and of all other commodities” [The Wealth of Nations, Bk 1, Ch. XI, Part III, p. 214; capital and bold emphasis added].
So why do we:
▪ attempt to minimize wages—the real measure of value?
▪ enhance quarterly profits by firing/laying off workers?
▪ list employees as liabilities on balance-sheets?
▪ marginalize/destroy unions—the advocates of labor?
▪ idealize investment wealth that too often accrues, not from labor, but from insider trading, manipulation of supply and demand, rumor-mongering, ethics violations, a host of “bottom-line” violations, doing nothing but waiting for money to make money (the practice of many shareholders), etc.?
▪ etc.?
How many of our current practices are just déjà vu versions of the Greeks, the Romans, the British, earlier Americans, (et al.), who built much of their elite wealth on the backs of slave-labor—the sweat of others, filling privileged coffers of silver and gold?

Isn’t it past time to reinstate the real value of labor? Without labor, there would be no corporations. There would be no CEOs. There would be no excess for unequal accumulation.

The Word to that other Adam was “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Old Testament Genesis 3:19) See also: “AND it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.” (Pearl of Great Price Moses 5:1; bold emphasis added.)
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