Monday, November 28, 2011

Lincoln: Capital vs. Labor

Since I'm on the topic of populist messages by great Presidents, I came across this quote by Lincoln:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital.
Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. 

Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights." 

I would take issued with the last line of the quote in the text, though. I don't think that an conceptual tool like 'capital' should be considered to have rights at all, as individuals or groups of people do.
...that's like saying that computer software has rights.

It could also be argued that capital can be created from sources not normally considered "labor".

The creation of intellectual property can be considered a form of labor, if it leads to further production of goods & services.

What is definitely NOT productive labor? Financial schemes that do nothing but extract value from the economy, for the benefit of manipulative firms & their executives.

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