[OPE-L:2491] Re: Re: Re: Copy of Hugo's paper

From: clyder (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 05:37:16 EST

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  The argument must be something like that
> as the gap widens between the value of labor power and total labor
> time--that is as the rate of exploitation increases--it becomes more
> difficult to justify adoption of technology by which total labor time
> be reduced since capital is already paying so little for labor power.
> Globalization now allows even a further leap forward in the devaluation of
> labor power. But that's just an intuition that would have to be worked out
> mathematically.

Pugh in his history of IBM gives a good example of this. In the late
50s IBM developed highly automated production lines in the US to make
computer memories, which in those days were built using magnetic
cores. The scale of production was so vast that they had to build
a special factory just to make the machines which would make the
memories, this being in addition to the factories that actually
made computer memories.

An executive from IBM Japan then pointed out to them that seamstresses
in the far east could be employed to thread the wiring of the computer
memories by hand very cheaply. They closed down all their automated
plant in the US and moved to hand manufacture in Korea.

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