[OPE-L:5279] Re: how is SNLT measured?

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 13:11:34 EST

On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, Gerald_A_Levy wrote:

> As we know, it is only *socially-necessary-labor time* (SNLT),
> i.e. abstract labor, that creates value.
> How is SNLT measured?
> Can it be simply measured with a stopwatch using standard units of
> time, i.e. weeks, hours, minutes, seconds, fractions of a second,
> etc.?  I think not.


> Who has a solution for the "SNLT problem"?

It's a statistical issue.  If you want to know, How much SNLT did
worker X perform in the last 2 hours?  then there may well be no
good answer (although if X is working in a production line context, or
otherwise closely supervised, and if she's working for an employer of
roughly average profitability, then "2 hours worth" is probably not
too far off).  But if the question is, How much SNLT is embodied in,
say, a Ford Taurus, then the clock-time measure is quite reasonable:
the car embodies a wide variety of different sorts of labour, and, in
the absence of information to the contrary, it's reasonable to suppose
that divergences between actual hours spent and SNLT will roughly
cancel out.

Allin Cottrell.

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