Under the capitalist economy in the United States, the means of production is largely privately owned. The private owners operate factories, mines, transport, banks, and the resources or raw materials required in the industries. The private owners need labor for their factories and industries. This means that those who work are the working class because they have no land and do not have the means of production and so they sell their labor to the private owners. In capitalism, work is compensated by having the worker do the actual labor of generating goods and services and the capitalist sells these goods or services to gain surplus value. The worker is compensated lower wages than the value of the goods and services because the capitalist has to make a profit.
In regards to the product of labor, the worker produces it but is alienated from it because it belongs to the capitalist. The capitalist (private owner) expropriates the produce from the labor and sells it to obtain a profit or value. The worker’s role is to generate the goods and services that the capitalist needs to enhance profits. Further, in a capitalist economy, the land is owned by the capitalist because anyone who owns a given asset gets the power to determine how this asset is used. In reality, anyone with ownership to private property has the right to the value that is associated with the particular property. This means the right to both the inherent value, as well as any value obtained by making use of the property.
The classes in the capitalist economy are bourgeoisie and proletariat. The bourgeoisie is determined by having ownership and having the ability to exploit labor to generate a surplus or expand the capital one possesses. Being wealthy does not make one a bourgeoisie or a capitalist, but the capacity to make use of this wealth to ensure it is self-expansive ensures that one is bourgeoisie. On the other hand, the proletariat is the class with the ability to work because they have no resources of their own. The proletarians are “free” to make the decision to be exploited for labor by the capitalist. Given that, they have no property; proletarians have to seek employment to obtain income necessary to survive in a capitalist economy.
In a capitalist economy, people work under the terms and conditions of the owners. The owners have the sole decision to distribute work and plan for the workers or employees when they need to work. Despite the fact that a worker is “free” to decide whether to work for a capitalist or not, the need for survival through obtaining income means that workers have to adhere to the demands of the owners. Further, owners decide what workers or employees will use in the work and where they are supposed to work with the tools provided. The owners decide the number of workers they need and the work they need to accomplish to obtain the objectives of the owners, which is the generation of profits.
The workers also work under the conditions set by the owners. However, today, through government influence and other organizations, there are requirements needed for the owners to ensure that the working conditions of the employees are safe and humane. This means that workers or employees get the opportunity to protest when the working conditions are not conducive.
I would organize work and ownership in a fair economy to be the direct opposite of a those in the capitalist economy. In this fair economy, production would be owned equitably and democratically. The workers would earn dignified wages because they would have the right to share in the profits and have a hand in organizing their labor. The government would own the land and would use it to promote the greater common good, ensuring equity and sustainability. This equity would eliminate classes since everyone would be afforded equal opportunities. There would be a level of democracy and inclusion in the division of labor. The worker would set their own working conditions in a fair economy setup.