Exploração do Trabalho no Capitalismo Contemporâneo e Desigualdade
Rogério Nagamine Costanzi
Capitalism has suffered deeper transformation since the Marx`s classic work on theexploitation of labour by capital, which proposed the clear duality among capitalists,on one side, and the homogeneous mass of workers, on the other side. Currently, onecan observe a very heterogeneous group of workers, not only for their productivecharacteristics but also for the way they are part of the capitalist way of production.The mass of workers is no long homogeneous because they turned out to competeamong themselves in order to gain professional and financial ascension.In this new circumstances, labour markets have become real lotteries or casinoswhere workers make bet on investments on human capital with a view to becomewinners. The investments on human capital are like tickets of this lottery or tokens ofthis casino. However, just like in a lottery or casino, there will be necessarily winnersand losers due to reasons which transcend the economic logic. In these conditions,workers with poor qualification or low human capital are, a priori, losers, since they areexcluded from the lottery.As a result of this new structure of the capitalist labour market in which winnersappropriate the labour of losers, a new form of labour exploitation arises with humancapital as instrument and this is similar to the way the traditional form of labourexploitation instrumentalises physical capital. This new form of exploitation, inassociation with the traditional exploitation of capital as described by Marx, reinforcesthe intrinsic tendency of the capitalist economic system and of the labour market ingenerating inequalities.From the point of view of public policy, this situation imposes limitations to thedemocratisation of the investment on human capital as a form of fighting againstinequalities, since the labour market is structured by reasons which transcend theeconomic questions, so that there are winners and losers. The fight against inequality isnot a mere problem of democratisation of education, being to some extent a resultwhich is intrinsec to the capitalist economy. Despite the fact that democratisation ofhuman capital is necessary to reduce inequality, it is surely insufficient. This structureof capitalist labour market reinforces the macroeconomic trade-off between efficiencyand equality, which is the result of the pursuit of professional and finacial success byindividual agents. The microeconomic incentive for efficiency is inequality.From this point of view, the fight against inequality demands a new structure oflabour markets. The change of relationship between macroeconomic growth andmicroeconomic equality demands transformations on individual behavior that motivatessuch growth.
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