Remploy

John Eden

I finished my last blog, which was on the threatened closure of Remploy with the line, “The argument about saving Remploy should be about creating wealth and not about making a profit” unfortunately the line of defence of Remploy by some trade union and Labour Party leaders is that they can be made profitable, this could only happen if you employed only the least disabled workers there, in which case it would be better for those workers to be working alongside able bodied workers. Making a profit in the capitalist sense, would mean excluding most disabled workers, because production time is where the profit is made. I remember going into a Remploy factory where they made PVC double glazed windows, the end product was the same in quality as any other manufacturer ,if you had put them amongst other windows in a large wholesalers mixed them up you would not be able to distinguish who made them, and if you were buying one you would not be bothered if they serve the same purpose Even if the articles produced in a Remploy factory are identical to that of any other factory it will sell for the same price on the open market, but the profit will be different, if the wages are the same for both sets of workers, which means that the wages of disabled workers must be less to make the same profit, yet the cost of living to disabled worker is often higher than others. If the articles are produced are on a piecework system, then in a capitalist system the factories like Remploy have no chance of being profitable, unless they are given government subsidies.

Lets look at what happens to identical articles produced at the two different types of  factories mentioned, in a capitalist market, the produced articles that is commodities, are usually bought up by a wholesaler, if the wages are the same at the two factories, he is going to get more, say PVC windows for his money at a abled bodied factory, because the owner of that type of factory is in a position to  sell for less to the wholesaler and still make a profit compared to the other type of factory, so the wholesaler when he or she sells on, their profit will be greater. If the two factories decide to sell direct to the public, the disabled factory is at a great disadvantage, unless the workers accept lower wages, a profit can still be made but they won’t see it, which of cause is the same for both sets of workers, but one set earns more than the other.

Under Socialist system and a socialist market there would be no individual or collective middle wholesaler or capitalist, the commodities would enter the market as equally useful articles of equal quality, therefore of equal price, because the time taken to produce them which is the ultimate determinate of price, is not manifest in their appearance.

The windows produced would go into a general pool of products, money from their sale would be divided equally,  or to use the Marxist term “each according to their ability to each according to their need”

This is not a present panacea, but is a struggle communists and socialists have long fought for, but to reduce the argument of saving Remploy to it,s ability to make a profit will inevitably mean their closure, there are bankers who are making billions in bonuses, and proposed tax breaks for the wealthy, the money is there to subsides these factories.

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