Re: [OPE-L] the working class and the informal sector

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Tue Dec 14 2004 - 21:44:41 EST

> > You seem
> > prepared to accept someone who is unemployed as part of the working
> > class.
> > So, does that person leave the working class when she gets some money
> > eg., from a family member) or some credit (high interest rate) to
> > purchase
> > some shirts from a capitalist firm that she can sell on the street?
> > Recognizing  that this person would much prefer to be getting a regular
> > wage (even a  piece-wage) for selling the shirts, to be covered by the
> > law,  be eligible for pensions, medical care, etc rather than bear the
> > risk.
> Is this person part of the proletariat?

Michael  L,

You're not filling-in many of the details, are you?

It's interesting to note, for instance, that in your hypothetical instance
the person does not own means of production.

To answer your question:

If the scale of the activity is small, if  she/he does not employ (and
exploit) anyone,  *and*  if this is a SHORT-TERM, TEMPORARY
way to make ends meet then, yes,  she/he would remain within the
working class.

Now you can answer a question of mine:

If  someone in the informal sector borrows money to produce
(obviously with means of production and labor) and sell shirts
to working-class families,  does not consider her- or himself to
be a worker (but rather a poor, self-employed person), has
never been a wage-worker, doesn't expect to become a wage-
worker, relates to wage-workers as consumers, and has done
this activity (along with her or his children and, now, grandchildren)
for the last 50 years, is she or he a member of the working-class?
If so, why?

In solidarity, Jerry

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