Gain from effort

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About

Gain from effort refers to the expenditure of economic value on an activity which then returns greater value than was originally spent on it. It is an idea basic to all life, and should not be (but often is) confused with profit, which cannot exist independent of a capitalist society.

This is equivalent to a common informal or metaphorical use of the word profit. Activities such as those below are often described as "profiting" from "investment", but this is technically inaccurate; see gain from effort vs. profit.

Examples

  • An individual organism expends stored energy to gain food, which can be consumed to replenish that energy as well as provide extra energy for non-food-gathering activities.
  • An individual or group plants some grain (instead of eating it) in order to grow more grain.
  • A group of people --
    • trades food for tools to help grow or gather more food.
    • constructs defenses around a village to protect people and possessions from animals or hostile people.
    • tends to the sick so that their skills and knowledge will not be lost.
    • provides sustenance for the infirm, so that their wisdom will remain available.
  • A society --
    • spends time and energy to make paths so that travel takes less time and energy.
    • ministers to "useless" members of society in order to cultivate empathy and kindness.
    • expends resources creating art in order to increase general enjoyment of life and promote cultural bonding.
    • provides mutual protection and aid to minimize attrition from major mishaps too large for individuals to overcome alone.