Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada has called for Canada’s retailers to exploit workers more than they already are. An article in the November 3rd edition of the Toronto Star detailed the claim by Mark Carney that retail prices in Canada are higher than the United States because of “a lack of competition.”
Carney said that there is a lack of competition because in Canada the four top retailers control 28% of the market as opposed to only 12% in the US. The reason we have so little competition is because we have a lower population than the US, thus less people purchasing goods. There are not enough purchases being made in order to support more retailers. Carney did mention “lower population density” as a side cause, not the main one.
The main cause according to Carney is “productivity”, which is another word for “efficiency”. He says that, “productivity has lagged that of the US.” He went on to explain what he meant by “efficiency”: “Canadian retailers also employ more staff than American retailers do.” In addition to this Carney also points to higher wage rates.
The claim by Carney here is clear, the workers are not exploited enough. According to him they make too much money and do not do enough work. With already high unemployment caused by the failure of the capitalist system to pull us out of the global economic collapse, and the decline in real wages during the last few decades; the only way out in their eyes is further exploitation and a greater impoverishment of the working class.
Carney’s suggestions are perfectly predictable with Marx’s Labour Theory of Value. The capitalist, the owner of the means of production, has two kinds of capital: constant capital and variable capital. Constant capital is machinery, raw materials, use of utilities. The productiveness cannot be altered. Variable capital is the productive power of the worker, which does differ from person to person, and can be altered by various means.
Marx said that capitalists cannot raise the rate of exploitation on constant capital, it is invariably the worker itself that must be exploited more in competition. Any production technique or source of raw material can always be obtained or used by more than one capitalist firm. The only thing they really can change is the degree to which workers can be exploited. Increased production quotas, wage reductions or a decrease in staff expected to do more work.
This is why living standards and real earnings have decreased over the past few decades and why Mr. Carney is calling for it.