[OPE-L:3445] valuation of imports

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Tue Jun 06 2000 - 12:16:01 EDT

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Re 3443

Paul C wrote:

>The point is that from the standpoint of the US economy the value of its
>inputs is determined by the amount of its labour that it has to give up
>in order to produce the exports required to obtain an import.

The US as reserve center does not have to give up anything for imports; it
gets them through the accumulation of an inflationary surplus of dollars

> From the standpoint of the i/o analysis, the international marked is just
>another production process that takes US products as inputs and returns
>imports. No labour is directly consumed in the process other than the labour
>at docks and airports + possibly some US labour on ships. The process of
>producing imports thus requires
>1. Embodied labour in exports
>2. Living labour in the docks etc
>Foreign labour does not count towards the production of US value.

I just don't see the point of calculating something called US value when
according to Robert Feenstra we have vertically integrated sectors,
operating on a global scale.

Take the simplest case of shoes, toys or apparel. Even assume no
multinational production. US companies can still outsource production and
then take the lion's of surplus value represented by the final good through
unequal relations of exchange with its intermediate suppliers. At any rate
we can even abstract from such relations.

What we are interested is in the condition of labor as a whole in such a
vertically integrated sector and to the extent that there is global
outsourcing of the less skilled activities today and in the future, you
will be comparing the wages of more skilled workers today to the whole of
the wages before global outsourcing if you accept national parameters for
the estimation of capital's tendencies, and you will simply arrive at
meliorist estimations of the exploitative nature of capitalism, i.e., the
fantastic gains in the rate of exploitation it must achieve.

The focus on pseudo entities like US value obscures the nature of the beast.

>Aircraft industry roughly equally shared between Europe and
>the US , similarly for pharmaceuticals.

OK oligopolistic prices on a global scale.

 Germany and sweden
>have large shares of medical instruments.

same as above

Japan and Korea
>large shares of the chip markets etc.

They are getting slaughtered in the DRAM business; the US has made a
killing in logic intensive and speciality chips.

Yours, Rakesh

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