[OPE-L:3447] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: objectivity of value

From: Steve Keen (stevekeen10@hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 05:43:48 EDT

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No proof at all Paul: no-one that I know has tried to do the numbers

But let's not be too selective in our quotes from Marx. The very next
sentence after the footnote you cited is the following:

"But on the other hand, in every process of creating value, the reduction of
skilled labour to average social labour, e.g., one day of skilled to six
days of unskilled labour, is unavoidable."

I think in comparison to a ratio of 6, a ratio of 1.2 to 1 derived from
Sweezy's procedure does qualify as "pitiful".


>From: Paul Cockshott <wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
>Reply-To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
>To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
>Subject: [OPE-L:3442] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: objectivity
>of value
>Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 15:23:01 +0100
>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
>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
> 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)

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