Somebody asked: Can a company pay its employees what they are worth and make money at the same time?

The question was voted down (not by me), and two participants asked the OP to edit the question to define "what [employees] are worth". Barely few seconds after I posted my answer, the post (and consequently my answer) was deleted by Community. As the reasoning in my answer reflects, it wasn't necessary to define "what they are worth".

There certainly are questions that are poorly formulated, but this is not one of them. I think the question is legitimate and shouldn't have been deleted. I clicked on "undelete answer", but to no avail. Can somebody undelete/restore the post (including my answer)?

Here's a copy/paste of my answer to the OP's question:

Yes, it is theoretically possible to do so. By saying theoretically I mean that, practical considerations aside (which largely depend on how "employee's worth" is defined), the idea is not contrary to logic or economics reasoning.

Labor is not the only production factor. There are also capital and inputs ("K&I") on which work is performed to produce a deliverable (be it merchandise or services). Both capital and inputs are supplied or funded by the company owner.

Generally speaking, labor alone does not increase the company's wealth (one exception is the typical IT intermediary who doesn't need to invest any resources on employees' training or equipment because the employee is qualified and the client already has the equipment set up). And neither does K&I. It is the combination of labor and K&I what generates revenues.

The fact that labor is just one of the multiple requisite factors of production does not imply that the entirety of profit derives from employees' work. Furthermore, nothing prohibits the company to require --via surcharges in pricing-- profit that derives exclusively from the use of K&I.

To address the comments made to your question, a specific definition of employees' worth is not necessary for determining whether it is possible to pay employees their worth while also obtaining profit. That definition would be needed only for determining how to achieve that balance.

Edited to add

Never mind. It appears that that post has been restored. Thank you.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think the question got deleted (automatically) by Community because the OP deleted their account. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:06


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