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From “The Wage System”
"In the capitalist system the workingman cannot work for himself, as in the old days. He cannot compete with the big manufacturers. So, if you are a workman, you must find an employer. You work for him; that is, you give him your labor for so and so many hours a day or week, and he pays you for it. You sell him your labor power and he pays you wages.
In the capitalist system the whole working class sells its labor power to the employing class. The workers build factories, make machinery and tools, and produce goods. The employers keep the factories, the machinery, tools and goods for themselves as their profit. The workers get only wages. This arrangement is called the wage system. Learned men have figured out that the worker receives as his wage only about one- tenth of what he produces. The other nine-tenths are divided among the landlord, the manufacturer, the railroad company, the wholesaler, the jobber, and other middlemen.
It means this: Though the workers, as a class, have built the factories, a slice of their daily labor is taken from them for the privilege of using those factories. That’s the landlord’s profit. Though the workers have made the tools and the machinery, another slice of their daily labor is taken from them for the privilege of using those tools and machinery. That’s the manufacturer’s profit. Though the workers built the railroads and are running them, another slice of their daily labor is taken from them for the transportation of the goods they make. That’s the railroad’s profit. And so on, including the banker who lends the manufacturer other people’s money, the wholesaler, the jobber, and other middlemen, all of whom get their slice of the worker’s toil.
What is left then - one-tenth of the real worth of the worker’s labor-is his share, his wage. Can you guess now why the wise Proudhon said that the possessions of the rich are stolen property? Stolen from the producer, the worker."
By South Utsire