What do you think about labor-vouchers? And how we can pay the fair amount of labor-vouchers according to each job?

What do you think about labor-vouchers? And how we can pay the fair amount of labor-vouchers according to each job?

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Workers should own the companies in which they work and whatever they democratically choose to be the wage for each job should not be interfered with.
Jk oligarchical collectivism is the way to go. State bureaucrat elites know better than dumb proles.

Labor vouchers are mostly relevant to luxuries. Basic necessities can be produced post-scarcity right now but they're kept scarce because scarcity is necessary for a market to function. Honestly I would prefer that people volunteer for basics like food production or construction as a sort of public duty and a way of cementing a bond with the community. But for "luxury items" they might be pretty useful so here's the gist of how you'd make it work. What I present is an oversimplification but covers the basic concept and math.

In a given period, say a month, you could calculate the value put into a given product and the amount generated. X widgets got produced with Y hours of labor. That gives you the average value of the widget (Y/X). Then you look at how many widgets a given worker produced (Z) and multiply that by the average labor value of the widget (Z*Y/X). The tension here is between slacking off (increasing the Y without increasing the X increases the Y/X, making less work pay more) and people trying to produce more efficiently so that they personally can earn more vouchers (decreasing Y/X but increasing their personal Z more). There's also the issue of workers wanting to affect each others' productivity. Hard workers need lazybones if they want to make more vouchers (otherwise the value of the widget decreases and aren't as rewarding to make). Lazybones want everyone to be lazy so the value of the widget remains high and workers can earn as much as possible on as little work as possible. This is a flaw with the law of value generally, but these forces should typically arrive at an equilibrium while technical innovations makes production more efficient, leading to…

As the labor producing some widget gets more efficient, it should approach post-scarcity (and with the capitalist drive to continue selling commodities gone, all products should be built to last as long as possible so that once post-scarcity is accomplished, labor on that product can drop to a level needed to handle the lowest possible failure/replacement rate). As more and more products get produced with near-zero labor, that opens up time for workers to find new things to produce instead that increase quality of life, like useful inventions/innovations or art/philosophy. The only people who would be needed to produce or maintain some post-scarcity product are the people who are truly dedicated and would want to work on that thing even if there was no need.

The other big thing to consider is minimum income. Anything produced post-scarcity would be freely available, but there's still the question of whether someone's labor could be worth too little within the labor voucher economy. Maybe I'm nuts but I think the main issue here is that under capitalism, businesses have sought the cheapest labor possible and actually made production much less efficient in doing so. Having to ship partially completed products around the world to the cheapest labor pools makes for a lot of waste. If we instated a minimum income for 1 hour of labor, then that would create a pressure to restructure production around efficiency of production. If it costs too much to have poor people across the country pick fruit for you then suddenly there's an incentive to localize food production (for instance). Each city might have an orchard where people go to pick their own fruit, also tended by the people from that city. Stuff that doesn't grow natively might still get shipped in, but there's plenty that would grow natively in most places (or in a climate-controlled greenhouse).

TL;DR even in a scenario where they'd get implemented, they'd just be a temporary measure.

Absolutely based
A labour voucher is by definition an amount of labour.
So one hour for an hour.

Different labor is worth different amounts though. Someone who produces 1 box per hour does less labor than someone who produces 2 boxes per hour. If you treat 1 hour as equal to 1 hour then the right-winger muh incentive argument actually applies.

The right wing incentive argument only applies if you think it actually happens in a real life, modern job that people just "produce twice as much".
Automated work has a certain set pace, its all pretty uniform, and the vast vast vast vast vast majority of work is not directly measurable to the person, as it requires many people doing different unique tasks to create a product.

Also I am pretty sure OP was talking about what kinds of jobs should get paid what, not the performance differences between people doing the exact same job. A doctors hour is worth just as much as a bricklayers hour.

Depends very much on the doctor and bricklayer. Some bricklayers work harder than some doctors and vice versa.
Depends on the work. A lot of factory work is like this, but you gave bricklayer and doctor as examples. Those are much more flexible. Some people might get work done a lot faster than others. I've had doctors who were to the point and quick and also doctors who took forever because they spent too much time on (poor) bedside manner. With more individualistic work, there's also questions of quality. Someone laying bricks or doing construction of some other type might take a bit more time to make sure the job is done right, while someone else may take as much extra time just to have breaks, while a third person may be able to work without breaks and with a slightly lower build quality.
The numbers are arbitrary. They could just as easily be 9 and 10 as 1 and 2. The point is to illustrate the mathematical concept, not to imply these are the actual values involved.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Everyone gets paid the same, with some getting paid more per hour for particularly stressful or dangerous jobs.

The problem with that is large centralized projects like do you really want each supplier and operator of a O'Neil Cylinder to have total autonomy? It gets worse for a K2 civilization where you have workers (even if remotely) extracting resources from the sun while other maintaining super computers on ice world to give the civilization most its computing power to take advantage of the natural cooling. Remember we are talking in a post surplus capital economy where it is impossible for firms to generate profits as their revenues have to match their expenses.

But the problem i see in paying for hour, is the speed that each takes to produce. I mean, if i take an hour to produce a box, i don't want to get payid less than a guy that produces the same box in three hours.
My solution is pay for production. I don't get payid for the time i work, but for how much i produce.

It's called piece work and I'm not sure if you want it considering its history of abuse.

Some stuff like engineering different people produce different amounts of value though. One hour might be fifty minutes an hour of an hour and ten minutes. Read Cookshoot.

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The labour voucher is calculated for how much time it takes for the average person working at a moderate speed (not someone spending 59 minutes sleeping and the last minute working and not someone who's a lightning fast work horse) to produce something. Its based on averages, not how long you personally do it. Which means if you work extra fast, you get the voucher quicker and thus have more time.

In the abstract you massive autist. The avarage brickworkers hour is worth the same as the avarage doctors hour.
How hard a doctor works is immesearuable, because it is a service job, not a production job. And similarly a bricklaying job can be more difficult depending on where it is, making it impossible to compare two bricklayers properly.
Exactly, so how do you measure the "worth" of their labour then? You cannot.
It is not measurable because life is not a right wing abstraction where everything is directly comparable.

Cockshott actually says that most jobs are immeasurable, and the only way you could have different payment is by making voluntary catagories of "I work hard" or "I dont work hard" and let social pressure within the company do the work of making people pick the right one. Apart from that you can only compare whole groups as a whole to find outliers, which you can then investigate to find out how they make more or less than avarage.
Read him yourself.

Labour vouchers are a terrifically stupid idea which Marx should have known better to offer even as a theoretical. Either have money, you fucking bourg, or don't.

I don't have all that much disagreement with you, fam. I'm trying to explain the concept in a simple and neutral way though. You're glossing over the actual ideas behind labor vouchers which do exist and merit consideration even if they're flawed.

Labour vouchers aren't money. They are a rationing card with requirements.

The primary distinguishing characteristic of labor vouchers is that they self-destruct upon use, so they can't be used as a medium of exchange.

No, being destructed upon use prevents it from being accumulated as well as also having expiry dates serves this purpose too. Being non-transferable makes them unusable as a medium of exchange.

Proudhon and Bakunin were onto something and Marx' (and people of that era in general) critique of other socialist currents did more harm in retrospect than good.

Imagine if mutualism, anarcho-syndicalism and Marxist democratic socialism all plowed forward in cooperation in the 10s and 20s without any Leninist opportunism. We might've arrived at communism at this point. The bourgeoisie sure as hell didn't have any great counter at that point. Nazism was largely a reaction to Leninism and Liberal corporatism was largely a reaction to both Leninism/Stalinism and Nazism/Fascism.

We're in such deep shit at this point in time.

Give me one good argument why we should pay people arbatrary different wages? Why is one job worth more than the other.
Hard mode: Appealing to feels is not allowed
Super hard mode: Appealing to scarcity is not allowed

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"Where does Kultural Bolshevismus come from"
"what was Hitler's opinion on the USSR"
"what did the USSR want to do with Germany"

If you honestly think nazism was a reaction to muh communism you are neck deep in nazi propaganda which places nazism as the saviour from communism. Fascism is caused by economic decay, not by the commie boogeyman.

The problem I have with this saying is that to class unconscious ears this might come of as an advocacy for fascism.

I fail to see how they're different from money.

the only difference seems to be that they can expire, hence it's impossible to accumulate them, but otherwise they're basically just money

Vouchers don't circulate or accumulate as they disappear on use. Kind of like gift cards. Also cant be traded between people as they are assigned to an individual. In a non-digital society that would mean each paper voucher would be marked with a personal number or name assigned to a particular person. In modern society vouchers would only exist digitally and used with a payment card and it would be impossible to give someone your vouchers digitally.

Mutualism is a retarded utopianism that was on its way out and "democratic socialism" is pretty much a codeword for election-loving reformists.
With such "socialists" we wouldn't be any nearer communism than in our timeline.

For everyone interested I recommend a pretty good essay that deals with the subject of labour vouchers and early stage of socialist society as envisioned by Marx, it should be a sufficient answer for much of the questions ITT.

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Kuruma is correct there. This should be obvious for anybody who knows Critique of the Gotha Programme. Also recall what Marx said early on in Capital Volume 1 about different societies, and that a new society with means of production held in common could in a certain way still do what Robinson Crusoe would do, that is planning in labor time, and that it could also ration individual consumption according to labor time (with some deductions for the elderly etc, see the Gotha Programe commentary).
Wrong. Especially in long-term planning, the specialized skillful work has to be considered as something which is created as an accumulation of more simple actions. And when considering big groups, over- and underperformers cancel out.

The writing is really tedious and Tsushima spends a lot of space criticizing colleagues nobody outside of Japan has ever heard about. Tsushima goes on repeating a claim by Marx and Engels about Proudhon advocating fixing prices according to labor time while retaining markets, which is unworkable, but as far as I know Proudhon never actually advocated for fixing prices according to labor time.

Nice strawman that I'll turn on its head - communists know better than fascists and liberals.


Very sceptical of it. During Marx time, 95% of labor was truly unskilled, today it's much less, and disregarding the qualitative aspect of labor seems to ruin incentives. Brezhnev tried it out with very egalitarian wages and productivity went down the shitter.

So unless we reach a communist mode of production with free association and all barriers to the means of production removed, accounting compensation in money seems to be the better and more flexible way to go.

Are you fooking serious m8? Different pay scales are needed so we can properly incentive people to take up jobs that no one else wants to study for/do. If I can get the same amount cleaning trash from the sidewalk as a fucking neurosurgeon why would I want to be a neurosurgeon?

Give me statistical proof of this.
Hard mode: "Because I don't want to do x job" is not a valid response.

Le doctors
Cuba has the most doctors in the world per capita, they dont make tons of money. Almost every doctor, without exception, did it because they wanted to help people, not for the money. Neurosurgery is hard as fuck to do, high stress, takes several decades of study and costs tons of money to learn. If you wanted a job for easy money, becoming a highly skilled doctor is not the right choice, especially outside of the US. Go study economics and get into bussiness, much easier.

Even Cuba uses different pay scales. Doctors make more than factory workers. They don't pay everyone the same in Cuba.

And less than taxi drivers, yet people still want to be doctors.

You can still have pay scales with a labour credit system, the important aspect isn't equal income but rather the non-circulating nature of it. If you permit normal money to exist you also permit capital accumulation and corruption (which existed in spades in the later years of the soviet union). The only reason for money to exist is if you haven't yet abolished commodity production, and if commodity production is being abolished you're not creating a socialist society.

Why does them being 'non-transferable' make them an unusable medium of exchange?
1) Products are marked with labour content
2)I labour to be given the necessary labour vouchers
3)use labour vouchers to gain ownership of product whereby the labour vouchers are destroyed

They don't necessarily have to expire. in fact I'd argue against the idea that they should. People should be perfectly allowed to work to save for the future. You could even use the unused materials (as x amount of materials weren't needed to buy products as the person is saving them) in expanding productive power.
This would incentivize people not to consume as much as possible and results in their labour vouchers 'gaining interest' as 1 labour voucher 10 years ago is equivalent to say 3 due to increased productive capacity of society.
read Cockshott

Because the only exchange that takes place is a kind of pseudo-exchange between the individual and society as a whole. It's impossible to use them to engage in private transactions. I can't use the labour vouchers I've earned to pay someone to work for me, nor do the public outlets that I can "spend" them at actually save them after the transaction is complete. They're simply proof of work done mixed with a ration ticket. It's not really any more of an exchange than a ticket inspector punching a hole in a train ticket.

Should be: and if commodity production is not being abolished you're not creating a socialist society.

Sage for correction.

What are you saying? That with labor vouchers you aren't producing commodities? Isn't that a stretch? If not, what's the reasoning?

There are still some defects, but money in the USSR wasn't accumulated as it was only spend on light consumer products, The black market did exist, but was that really a problem of accumulation? I don't think so. Another problem I see with labor vouchers is that you can't save them up as they have an expiration date - luxury products like a car could not have been properly distributed in the USSR if citizens didn't have the chance to save up.

In terms of pay scales for skilled labor in labor vouchers system - this is still a departure from the orthodox idea of labor vouchers which account only for labor time. You'd need some qualitative accounting of labor, which preferably doesn't go by exchange value.

The third and last problem I see is that labor vouchers push the whole "he who does not work shall not eat" thing to the extreme - what accounts for example for domestic labor for housewives? I can see this enforcing very patriarchal family structures as vouchers aren't transferable. How will welfare systems work? Honestly you need even more bureaucracy than the USSR had to make such a system happen. I think we have the means to have money without the money-form (accumulation, valorization, etc.), in a planned economy, which is an innovation the Soviets came up with, and work from there.

never been a fan of labour vouchers, it's like how would they be spent, because the whole point is that they're not transferable, so you're not engaging with other producers but some entity which decides how much something is worth, it just seems to make more sense to keep money for direct transfer between producers and consumers

Im critical of labor vouchers myself as you can read ITT but holy shit read Marx. The whole point is that there is no exchange in socialism between producers and consumers but rather distribution so there is no MCM' cycle.

The central authority you talk about exists in a money economy as well, although of different nature depending on whether you not you talk about a capitalist or a socialist state. It's called the central bank. The "central bank" of labor vouchers would just control that you get exactly the amount of labor out of the means of consumption you put in. Basically you are getting roughly the same price as if the goods were commodities but this time without market distortions.

that's the problem, how is this calculated and by who, would prefer it if producers and consumers settled on a price themselves

Labor time

so there's no accounting for individual productivity?

How do you measure individual productivity in modern society?
Explain these three:
Software engineer
Retail worker

Well yeah, that's why I think labor vouchers won't work (check out any attempt of implementing equality of outcome in an industrial society). So yeah, there would need to be an institution measuring each individual productivity, which is impossible, as points out. The idea of labor vouchers of different "pay grades" sounds extremly bureaucratic.

That's why I say we should stick to non-accumulatative money like the Soviet model, so all the state needs to do is to set prices and regulate the amount of the money in the (planned) economy, and put a 100% sales tax on businesses.

Non sequitur. The issue of how to estimate what the productivity of a teacher is supposed to be does not hinge on whether there are labour vouchers. The USSR had a huge clusterfuck of norms about setting incomes, I don't see at all how having LVs would have made that more convoluted.

idk what exactly they do but presumably there are like lead coders and stuff

wouldn't think it unreasonable that a teacher who works with like preschoolers is paid less than one who works with at-risk teenagers

again, there's a pretty wide variety in what a "retail worker" does

why does it have to be some institution, why can't it be producers and consumers directly engaging with each other

which was a bit more than price controls and monetary policy, it's not that i reject some kind of government entirely, it's that its involvement in the economy should be restricted to preventing unfair practice, and generally just enforcing basic rights