[OPE-L:3303] Re: productive and unproductive economists

From: JERRY LEVY (jlevy@sescva.esc.edu)
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 06:12:54 EDT

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Re Patrick's [OPE-L:3294]:

I agree that most economists are not productive of surplus value.

Those who could be classed as unproductive include:

* economists who work at public universities;
* economists who work for the state;
* economists who are employed by corporations as advisors/researchers;
* economists employed by trade unions;
* economists employed by "non-profit" organizations.

The largest category of economists who could be said to be
productive of surplus value are those who work as instructors
at private universities. Thus. e.g. Duncan could be said to
be productive of s (at the New School University) whereas
David L is unproductive (at Brooklyn College, a division of
the City University of New York). In this case, though,
Duncan is a productive labourer not as an economist but as
an economics *teacher*.

There are (or could be) economists who are also productive
of s. E.g. a economist who works as a *writer* for a private
publication (such as _Time_ magazine). Economists who are
*authors* of published books might also be said to be
productive of s (although, there is a *rent* factor that
affects the income received by these authors). It is at
least theoretically conceivable for economists to be employed
as *entertainers* by a capitalist firm such as a hypothetical
"Economist Speakers Bureau, Inc". One might indeed imagine such
a company as being successful if they had speakers who are good
enough performers (G.C Harcourt, for example, is quite entertaining
and I could see him get a job as a kind of economist stand-up

Yet, take heart! It is no privilege or honor to be exploited
by capital.

In solidarity, Jerry

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