Responding to the Question: "Do Owners Deserve Compensation?"
Part II of the question, "What do business owners deserve?"
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This is Part II of my response to the question, “Do business owners deserve profit or compensation for providing the means of production?” Part I of this series examined the question, “Do owners deserve profit for providing the means of production?”, as well as how Capitalism contradicts human nature by giving it to them. Part II wraps up the discussion by examining “Do owners deserve compensation for providing the means of production?” along with some thoughts on how Socialism is transitory in nature.
Do Owners Deserve Compensation?
It should be noted that many defenders of the Capitalist system (purposefully or ignorantly) conflate “compensation” with “profit.” They argue that the owners are providing a necessary ingredient to the formula of production, as without tools, factories, and computers, the workers could not produce anything. But as we covered in Part I, just because they provide something does not mean they should be entitled to everything.
Think of it like this: just as a business (either Capitalist or Worker-Controlled) pays auxiliary businesses, such as material suppliers or the cleaning crew that cleans the office at night, the person who provides the tools for workers to use should be paid as well. But this is entirely different from giving owners profit, which is the legal right to everything workers produce.
Returning to the hypothetical Joe’s Shoe Co., imagine Joe contracted with an independent delivery driver to bring the shoes from the factory to the shoe stores that sold them. Obviously, this delivery driver would expect a fee for his service. But if he were to ask for everything left over once the workers have been paid, he’d be considered a madman. It is the same with the person who provides the tools, in this case, the owner, Joe.
So if owners do not deserve profits (the unlimited products of labor) but arguably deserve some form of compensation, that raises the question of, “How much do owners deserve to be compensated?”
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