[OPE-L:4791] Re: rent and the working class

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 14:21:10 EST

On Thu, 25 Jan 2001, Gerald_A_Levy wrote:

>From Rakesh:

> > In a word, I am arguing that the formula for the determination of
> > value cannot be cost price + surplus value.
> > (1) k + s = V
> > It is simply obvious that there are many cases in which the cost
> > price could rise without any change in the value of a commodity. For
> > example, wage goods could become more expensive due to rising ground
> > rent payments; the cost price of commodities would thus rise but this
> > does not ipso facto raise the value of the produced output (we must
> > simply remember that Marx's theory of surplus value originates out of
> > Ricardo's critique of Smith's adding up theory of price).
> If "wage goods become more expensive due to rising ground rent
> payments",  won't this cause, ceteris paribus,  a "reduction of wages
> below their value"?

I agree with Rakesh's general point.  The price of inputs to the
production of any given commodity could rise (or fall) for a
host of contingent reasons having nothing to do with changes in
the conditions of production or the labour-time it takes to
produce them (e.g. short-run supply/demand issues).  Such
changes will alter cost price.  Therefore on Fred's reading they
will also change the value of the output commodity.  This seems
theoretically unacceptable: _values_ would be affected by any
and all factors that influence market prices.  Then what's
happened to the idea that values are determined by the socially
necessary labour-time required for a commodity's production?

Allin Cottrell.

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