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January 26, 2023 

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JUST PRICE: A somewhat archaic term developed by St. Thomas Aquinas that the price of a good should equal the worth generally agreed to by society. This is based on a notion of justice and fairness that goods should only be exchange for something of equal value or worth. For example, if ice cream readily sells for a dollar a scoop throughout the city, but one vendor charges two dollars, then this higher price would not be considered a just price. This view of a just price is relies on the view that each good has an intrinsic value which is inconsistent with modern views of markets, prices, and subjective values.

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EXPLOITATION:

The notion that capital owners and entrepreneurs of the second estate "take advantage" of workers of the third estate by paying them less than their contributions to production.
From a purely theoretical perspective, exploitation occurs if labor is paid a wage less, usually substantially less, than its contribution to production. While other inputs can, in principle, be subject to exploitation, concern is primarily directed toward labor because: (1) wages are the primary source of income for many workers and (2) other inputs, in practice, are less likely to encounter exploitation. As such, if anyone is likely to suffer from exploitation, it is someone whose main source of income is wages earned from the sale of labor services.

As part of the ongoing battle between the employees of second estate and employers of the third estate, exploitation is a politically charged term. In some circumstances it is bandied about without justification. In other circumstances, the charge is justified.

For instance, during the U. S. industrial revolution in the late 1800s and earlier 1900s labor was typically overworked, underpaid, and subject to hazardous working conditions. The labor union movement that emerged in the United States at this time was a direct response to this exploitation.

Similar working conditions in England in the early 1800s contributed to Karl Marx's critique of capitalism in his Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and which gave ammunition to revolutionaries who brought communist/socialist economic systems to the Soviet Union and China.

Monopsony is a handy theoretical model often used to analyze exploitation. In a market with a single buyer of labor services, the price (or wage) paid is less than in a competitive market. Moreover, this price (or wage) is also less than the marginal revenue product (that is, the contribution to production), hence labor is exploited.

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EXPLOITATION, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, http://www.AmosWEB.com, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2023. [Accessed: January 26, 2023].


Check Out These Related Terms...

     | third estate | second estate | contributive standard | distribution standards |


Or For A Little Background...

     | four estates | equity | communism | socialism | political views |


And For Further Study...

     | economic goals | economic system | capital | entrepreneurship | labor | three questions of allocation | competitive market | marginal productivity theory | monopsony | monopsony, efficiency | monopsony financial market analysis | marginal revenue product |


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