(L30) How Many Men Does It Take To Make A Candle?

Write 250 words on the division of labor required to create another simple household tool besides a pencil.

One thing that I use on just about a daily basis are aromatherapy candles. They smell great, and they’re so relaxing; but it wasn’t until I began collecting supplies to make my own that I realized just how much effort and man power it takes to make one simple candle!

The first item I bought was beeswax. Beeswax comes from a farm where a beekeeper collects/raises colonies on his land; in order to harvest the wax, he must take the honeycomb itself. The honey is scraped off, the comb is soaked and cleaned, then boiled until it melts into a water wax mixture. The mixture is then cleared of debris and refined by being poured into a fine mesh bag and squeezed. The remaining mixture is then cooled, hardened and separated; the refining process is to be repeated up to 6 times. When all of this is done, the wax must cool and cure for at least 12 hours. Then, and only then, do you have clean and refined beeswax.

Essential oils must also be purchased in order to make true aromatherapy candles. There are over 700 plants that contain useful essential oils, and they can be found all across the world. People who own stills must go through quite detailed processes to get high quality high concentration essential oils. It takes time, money, and resources. Not to mention the fact that most people do not have access to plants outside of their home region, and are limited to native plants.

Then, of course, you need a wick! There are all different types of wicks, and they can be bought online, in craft stores, and in specialty stores. Some people prefer to manufacture wooden wicks, while others find high monetary return with paper, thread and cotton wicks. People making candles have many reasons for choosing each particular type.

Finally, you will need a pouring kit, a hot glue gun, and of course, containers/jars! If you plan on coloring your candles, you will also need special dye chips for the wax. Candles that are being sold should be individually labeled, so as to support your brand. This would mean purchasing the stickers and making them on your home printer, or ordering them online.

It is clear that no one person could make a candle from scratch start to finish. From harvesting and refining beeswax to blowing glass for jars, the division of labor has got you covered!

Advertisements

(L70) Capitalism Vs. Communism: Karl Marx

What are some of Marx’s criticisms of capitalism? How might you respond to these criticisms?

One of Marx’s criticisms of capitalism was that it’s inferior to communism because it exploits wage labor in the sense that workers are only paid enough to survive, rather than being paid in accordance with the value that they create. I would respond to this by saying that in reality, a capitalistic economy is based off of voluntary contract between worker and employer. If the worker is good, and they have high value as an employee, then they will be paid according to that (with the value of their work decided between themselves and the employer). If a good worker is not being paid as they should be, then they have the option to take their services elsewhere and the employer has to make the decision between paying a worse worker the same amount, or keeping his good worker at a higher wage. This is the freedom of competition.
Another criticism of capitalism that Marx made was that the division of labor is wrong, and should be removed from the economy. My response to this is that, in all honesty, it makes no sense. I mean, would you rather have a hundred good workers who are each specialized in a certain field, or a hundred okay workers who can do a hundred different things alright? I certainly would rather have a great doctor do surgery on me than someone who is only a doctor in their down time!