Thoughts on Overtime, Unemployment, and Salary

At first, I just thought that companies require employees to work overtime in order to make them do the work of two people for only 1.5 times the salary, in order to achieve cost reduction and efficiency improvement. But recently, I have been thinking about the deeper relationship involved and realized that the problem is not so simple.

The uniqueness of grain prices#

Let's talk about grain prices first. The quantity and storage location of the country's reserve grain and meat are confidential, because the significance of reserve grain is not only to prevent "natural disasters" such as natural disasters, but also to prevent "man-made disasters" such as malicious acquisition and manipulation of grain prices by capital.

Grain prices have a certain uniqueness. Once there is a situation of supply shortage in the market, the price increase is much higher than that of general commodities. This special supply-demand relationship is because grain is a basic necessity for human survival. Once there are 10 people in the market who need to eat, but only 9 people's worth of grain is available, no one wants to starve, so the price of grain will rise to the highest price that the poorest person among the 10 people can afford.

Self-exploitation in wages#

Similarly, wages have similar characteristics. If 10 laborers have to enter the labor market to find work, but there are only 9 positions available, no one wants to be unemployed, which will lead to a decrease in wages to the minimum wage that the person with the lowest demand among the 10 people can tolerate, thus achieving the laborers' active self-exploitation in wages.

Overtime work and unemployment#

The most intuitive idea for companies is, of course, as mentioned at the beginning, to achieve 2 times the labor output with only 1.5 times the salary. However, this operation also leads to a labor supply that is much greater than the number of positions the market can provide. Although there are means such as expanding enrollment in higher education institutions to buffer this unemployment phenomenon, in the end, it will still be reflected in the unemployment rate in the labor market. Of course, companies hope to maintain a certain level of unemployment in society, as long as it does not significantly affect the sales of goods, a certain level of unemployment will greatly reduce the company's labor costs.

Decrease in birth rate#

The self-adjustment ability of a market economy will certainly react to such misconduct by companies. Since there is an "excess" of labor, the market will reduce the number of laborers through the "invisible hand".

In "Capital", it is pointed out that the value of wages, which is the value of labor, is equal to the laborer's cost of maintaining their own life + the laborer's cost of education + the cost of maintaining the replacement of labor (family members)'s life. And based on this, it successfully explains the huge difference in wage prices in different regions due to the different cost of living for laborers.

It seems that this definition sets the price of labor in a particularly precise range, but in reality, establishing a family, giving birth to and raising children is not a basic necessity for everyone like filling one's stomach. Therefore, the self-exploitation of laborers in wages caused by the unemployment rate is so cruel that many laborers give up the third component of wages.

In other words, as long as one person can eat enough and the whole family is not hungry, they can use a lower wage to meet their living needs and ensure that they have a job to do. In this way, they will not and cannot start a family, naturally leading to a rapid decrease in the birth rate.

The common enemy of companies and laborers - housing prices#

Housing prices and rental costs are essentially a form of indirect taxation.
In a modern industrial society, houses are no different from farmland in agricultural societies. They are extremely important and basic means of production, and landlords are equivalent to landowners. The rental cost of housing is essentially the use of wealth accumulated earlier in time by the rich to occupy and exploit the labor results of later comers. Landlords can receive the labor income of laborers without engaging in production, just as investors can divide corporate profits through capital circulation. The latter at least has the role of promoting capital flow and amplifying market regulatory capacity, while the former has no difference from landlords.

The rapid formation of such an exploitative relationship is facilitated by the government. The government spends a large amount of funds on investing in education, medical care, and infrastructure construction in cities, providing a business environment for companies, which is often difficult to compensate for through direct value-added tax and income tax. However, the construction of "developed cities" attracts a large influx of population, and then vigorously developing real estate can obtain a large amount of funds from the real estate tax, forming an indirect tax.

Compared with the "robbing the rich to help the poor" direct tax, this indirect tax has a significant negative impact. Because it is not possible to avoid being levied indirect taxes by not buying houses, as the high or low housing prices are also the cost of living for other laborers. For example, the wages of the workers employed by the noodle shop downstairs are directly affected by the housing prices. Therefore, such indirect taxes have long been integrated into every consumption of yours.

After the soaring of employee living costs caused by the increase in housing prices, the company's labor costs also rise. Naturally, it forces companies to "reduce costs and increase efficiency" more severely, thereby exacerbating overtime work and the resulting unemployment.

Therefore, the current "real estate game" is the root cause of all problems.

This article only expresses personal opinions, experiences, and thoughts. For any errors, infringement, etc. mentioned in the article, please contact me for correction.
The article is not the final draft, and I apologize for the possible changes in content that may occur.

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