Monday, February 7, 2011

Marx would be happy

More information here.

This reminds me:

There is no such thing as an equal exchange. At the point of exchange, both buyer and seller consider themselves to be better off as a result of the exchange. In a system of extensive specialization and division of labor, most goods are produced for exchange. Specialized producers have little, if any, direct use for the goods they have produced; under the principle of diminishing marginal utility, the marginal utility of a unit of production is virtually zero as far as they are concerned. They place a higher valuation on the money that they can get for their goods. On the other hand, consumers or buyers value the goods obtained more highly than the money spent to acquire them. Exchanges can occur only when there are differences between the subjective valuations expressed by the parties of the exchanges.
        The failure to consider this subjective orientation led to the unfortunate notion of the "economic man," which depicted every participant in the market economy as relentlessly seeking at every turn to maximize his monetary position. This idea is unrealistic because what people actually seek in every action is a maximum psychic or subjective profit.
        There are numerous examples of people forgoing additional monetary wealth because they deem the "cost" to be greater than its worth. There are investors who resist monetarily rewarding investments in industries whose products they find objectionable. Marketers have recognized that consumers sometimes consider factors besides the purchasable good and its related price. The availability of parking, the courtesy of clerks, and "store personality" now receive attention in discussions of merchandising. Wealthy entrepreneurs who continue to involve themselves in profit making even in their old age are undoubtedly motivated in many cases by something besides money. People often consider factors in addition to wages in deciding on a career or particular job.
        The point of these examples is to demonstrate that people are not "economic men" in the classical sense and that money is not the ultimate basis of valuation. Even when dealing with money matters, people do not calculate monetarily in utmost detail every step and decision. They maximize subjectively but not monetarily, because monetary calculation must be sacrificed when its requirements on time and energy are recognized. 
Big Surprise: Fair Coffee is a Scam
Fairness with Your Coffee?
The Fairness of "Unequal" Exchange

I also find it fascinating that even though it’s presumably “worker-owned”, it still needs a board of directors (with outside members).

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