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Posts tagged ‘collective’

(How) Does capitalism incentivize? Part II

Cross-posted from The Prindle Post.

My last post discussed the bifurcated incentivization structure of capitalism: owners profit while workers become disempowered by working harder.  In this post, I want to address an accompanying myth to the myth that capitalism compensates you better for working harder which is that collective ownership divests individuals of motivation to work.

People say that the problem with collective ownership in producing an incentive to work is that no one takes responsibility.  If you don’t own it, you won’t care to maintain it.  But the incentive in capitalism isn’t that you work on a thing because you own it, you work because otherwise, you will starve.  The ideology here is that we are working on our own thing and that we have more investment because it is ours.  This is the case in capitalism for the self-employed and small business owners–the middle class–but the middle class has shrunk considerably. A 2011 Pew Charitable Trust study shows that a third of those raised in the middle class (earning between 30 and 70% of their state’s average income) fall out of it in adulthood.  A recent article on The Washington Post on the cost of college shows that it isn’t college costs that have risen but the purchasing power of the middle class that has shrunk. Read more