[OPE-L:5123] Re: Re: Re: Re: waste, value, and potential

From: Rakesh Narpat Bhandari (rakeshb@Stanford.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 08 2001 - 15:41:27 EST

sorry for my previously garbled post, but Jerry still speaks to the point:

so re 5122

>My position is rather that if the surplus value is transferred
>to the state, then it is unproductively consumed. I.e. instead of
>using the s for productive investment in c & v it is spent instead
>as revenue.

Jerry, I don't think you are meeting Paul B's criticism head on. Why 
can't the infrastructure built by the state be a public form of c? 
Why can't its value be transferred through its use by labor to the 
commodity output?

This is how I understand Paul B's argument:  The capitalist class 
merely transfers the sum of surplus value it cannot invest on its own 
to the state which then either builds itself or orders the public 
good of infrastructure (say the interstate highway system) the value 
of which is then no less transferred to the commodity output than the 
building costs which capitalists have privately absorbed are 
recovered in the sale of commodity output.

This is how I understand Paul B's point; it may be the argument 
already made by Shane Mage.

If they are right, then much less capital is wasted than we have thought.

>  As for the wage-workers building the infrastructure it
>depends fundamentally on whether they are employed by capital or the
>state. It is important to remember that workers producing the same
>use-value can be either productive or unproductive (of s) depending
>on whether they are employed by capital to produce commodities.

Yes, I agree with this. The question is whether the infrastructure 
itself is a public form of constant capital.

>The infrastructure from a social perspective (from the standpoint
>of whether it contributes to an increase in social wealth) is
>not "waste". But the question is whether it represents additional
>value and wealth or wealth alone.

If it is a public form of constant capital,  it does represent value 
which is transferred to the commodity output.

Yours, Rakesh

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