[OPE-L:3442] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: objectivity of value

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 10:23:01 EDT

[ show plain text ]

At 20:15 06/06/00 -0500, you wrote:
>Both Meek and Sweezy succumb to the problem mentioned by
>B"hm-Bawerk, that if one simply sees education as transferring
>the hours spent in training into an identical number of hours in
>work, it is impossible to account for the significantly higher
>output of skilled labor. In Meek's algebraic expression, t would
>need to be five times p for skilled workers to be as many times
>more productive than unskilled as Marx assumes. Sweezy uses a
>very low multiple compared to that nominated by Marx, but even
>this entirely arbitrary ratio is unwarranted. If one takes the
>simplest and most intensive example of training, a four year
>one-on-one apprenticeship, both his example hours and his
>hypothetical ratio are unrealistic. With a 48 week year and a 40
>hour week, total training hours for both trainer and apprentice
>sum to 15,360. If the average working life was 40 years, the
>educated apprentice would clock up a further 76,800 hours of
>labor. This results in a pitiful skilled labor to unskilled
>ratio of 1.2 to 1.

Why is this pitiful?
What evidence do you have that this is too small?

You can not cite wage differentials as evidence as:

The distinction between skilled and unskilled labour rests in part on pure
or, to say the least, on
distinctions that have long since ceased to be real, and that survive only by
virtue of a traditional convention; in
  part on the helpless condition of some groups of the working-class,
a condition that prevents them from exacting
equally with the rest the value of their labour-power. Accidental
circumstances here play so great a part, that these
two forms of labour sometimes change places. Where, for instance,
the physique of the working-class has deteriorated, and is, relatively
speaking, exhausted, which in the case in all countries with a well developed
  capitalist production, the lower forms of labour, which demand great
expenditure of muscle, are in general
  considered as skilled, compared with much more delicate forms of
  labour; the latter sink down to the level of
  unskilled labour. Take as an example the labour of a bricklayer,
  which in England occupies a much higher level
  than that of a damask-weaver. Again, although the labour of a
  fustian cutter demands great bodily exertion, and is
  at the same time unhealthy, yet it counts only as unskilled labour.
(Marx Cap I,7)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 30 2000 - 00:00:03 EDT