[OPE-L:5287] Re: Re: Re: how is SNLT measured?

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Thu Mar 29 2001 - 09:47:12 EST

I wrote:

> > 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.

And Rieu replied:

> Fist of all, we need to measure the divergence between actual
> hours spent and SNLT. How can you know that divergences will
> roughly cancel out without measuring the divergences itself? It
> looks not so much an explanation as a presupposition to me.

One can actually _measure_ the divergences only under restrictive
conditions, but that's not a major problem.  On a reasonable
definition of SNLT, the average divergence of actual hours from SNLT
across the entire economy has to be zero.  But then the labours going
into a particular product can be considered a (large) sample from a
population with a mean (divergence) of zero.  If the sample can be
considered random, from a statistical point of view, then there must
be a strong expectation that the divergences roughly cancel.  My
contention is that the many and varied labours that go into producing
any given product can reasonably be thought of as a random sample of
social labours, absent any specific reason to believe otherwise.

Allin Cottrell.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Apr 02 2001 - 09:57:30 EDT