What is the economy? In this module, we move away from the traditional definition of an economy and discuss our conceptions of an economy.
To understand the current U.S. economic system, we learn about how “value” and “profits” are created in our economic system. We also critically explore how care work and housework fit into that system. We then learn tools that help us analyze how our economies can be organized and create visions for how we want our economies to be organized.
- Articulate our conceptions of an economy
- Understand the source of “value” in the economy
- Explain the three “C’s” of exchange, or ways our economies can be organized
- Understand how profits are created by the exploitation of workers
- Analyze how care work and housework show up in our economy
- The economy is the “processes that provide for human life” – we are the economy.
- Everything has a use value, or the concrete function it serves for us, but only things made to be bought and sold have an exchange value.
- There are three basic ways our economies can be organizied, or forms of economic exchange: communal, command and commodity.
- Surplus value, which is the souce of profit, is created by the exploitation of workers, or unpaid labor.
- Carework and housework are necessary for the social reproduction of our capitalist system, but are often unpaid, invisible, and fall onto the shoulders of women of color