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    #1

    at the expense of

    Please make the following in red clear for me.

    At one point, Ricardo posited that profits could only rise at the expense of lower wages for workers. Marx later took up this theme with a vengeance; indeed, some leftists before the rise of Marxism identified themselves as Ricardian socialists.

    Does the first one mean "profits could rise only when they lower the wages of workers"? And is the second one saying "Marx later sharply criticized the idea"?

    Thank you.

  1. Roman55's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: at the expense of

    I am not a teacher.

    You are right for the first one, but it has the additional meaning of 'to the detriment of the workers'.

    The second one means that Marx was wholeheartedly behind the theme.

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    #3

    Re: at the expense of

    Yes, you have the idea.

    I would argue that "expense of lower wages" is a sort of double negative. Profits could only rise at the expense of higher wages for the workers.

    Marx took this basic (simplistic and flawed) idea and developed an entire theory around it, leading to violence, revolution and oppression.

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