[OPE-L:3492] Re: valuation of imports

From: Jerry Levy (jerry_levy@usa.net)
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 11:02:38 EDT

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:3463] re i/o tables:

> Ideally I think the unit should be the customs and currency union.
> The Euro zone is such a unit, as is the federation of the united
> states of america.

I don't think that the USA and the Euro zone are comparable in the sense that
the US represents a single nation-state. A better comparison, imo, would be
between the Euro zone and the NAFTA zone.

> What do you mean by the initials SNLT?

socially-necessary-labor-time (snlt)

> The point about using only US labour inputs in computing values
> in the US is that only such labour is
> a) freely disposable accross the range of all economic activities in
     the country - many services for example can not be produced

Interpreted literally, this would include labour employed in the state sector
as "labour inputs in computing values".

> The labour of its citizens is the basic productive resource
> of the country.

Whether the labor is performed by citizens or not should not determine which
labor is creative of value. In the US and many other countries, a significant
percentage of the labor force is composed of non-citizens including
undocumented workers. Surely, they are creative of value as well.

> b) accross the US population there is a given average level of skill
> and productvity, this will not be the same as the average level of
> skill in other countries

This is tautologically the case. However, one could equally say that there is
a given but *different* level of skill and productivity in different *regions*
of the US. Indeed, these regional differences are significant in many cases.
Thus, we might expect a different mix of skills and productivity in
Connecticut vs. Louisiana. Similarly, we might expect significant differences
in skills and productivity in Scotland vs. England. Within the Euro region,
although one could calculate an average, we might anticipate significant
variations in skill and productivity in comparing Spain to Germany, Italy to
Austria, France to Britain, etc.

> c) It relates to what value flow accounts are. Value flow accounts are
     by dimensional analysis person years per year, thus == persons.
    Value flow accounts are an image of the distribution of social
    labour within the country.

Above, you suggest that the ideal unit should be the customs union. Why should
it be "within the country" in the US whereas it should be within the customs
union for the Euro zone?

> The only sensible way to convert a flow of imports into a number of
> people is to look at the number of people who have to provide the
> exports needed to purchase the imports.

Why is this "the only sensible way"?

In solidarity, Jerry

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