[OPE-L:5372] Re: Re: Re: turnover time and surplus value

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU)
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 12:07:38 EDT

Increasing surplus value has two different impact depending on
whether you look at the economy as a system of simultaneous
labors or antecedent labors.  In the first case, you can think of
constant capital as a means of being able to exploit the labor.
In other words, in the nuclear power industry you have to have
people working to build nuclear power plants as well as operating
them.  Let's assume that the nuclear power plant lasts 30 years.

In effect, only one out of 30 workers constructing the plants is
actually transferring value
to the final product.  If the plant, turned over faster a greater
portion of the construction workers' labor would be converted
into profits.

In terms of antecedent labor, the owner has a lot of embody labor
tied up in a power plant.  Somehow being able to turn the plant
over more quickly would allow him to extract that tied up labor
more quickly -- increasing profits.

Gerald_A_Levy wrote:

> In response to [5370], I would like to ask Paul
> C  a few questions (with sub-parts):
> > > Another related issue concerns the timing of
> > > the transfer of value and creation of  value and
> > > s.  Thus, if turnover time for the aggregate
> > > capital was reduced, would this alter the
> > > magnitude of s produced or only the *timing*
> > > of when s is created?
> > Neither.
> > The thing that changes is the stock of work in
> > progress  which counts as part of C.
> 1)  On the above
>     ==========
> a) Why doesn't  a change in the turnover time
> of capital  affect the timing of when value and
> surplus value is created?   Doesn't it lead to
> a reduction in both production and circulation
> time?
> b) Doesn't the subject of the release and tying-up
> of capital suggest a temporal staggering of value?
> c)  couldn't a change in turnover time over a long
> period of time lead to a change in what is
> considered to constitute SNLT?
> 2) On the literature and empirical measurement
>     ==============================
> a) as I'm sure you remember, the subject of
> a reduction of turnover time was considered by
> Ernest Mandel  in _Late Capitalism_ (London,
> NLB, 1975) to be "one of the fundamental
> characteristics of late capitalism" (p. 223, see
> Ch. 7).  Do you agree or disagree with Mandel's
> perspective on this subject? (It is interesting to
> note in this connection how Mandel interweaves
> the subjects of reduction in turnover time and
> the "pressure towards company planning and
> economic programming"  insofar as the later
> issue was addressed somewhat in the "Socialism"
> book that Allin and you wrote).
> b) In emphasizing a role for turnover time, Mandel
> -- it seems to me -- is following in the footsteps of
> one of his mentors, Henryk Grossmann.  Do you
> agree with Grossmann that a shortening of
> turnover time is a 'countertendency' which "is a
> further means of surmounting crises"? (see _The
> Law of Accumulation and Breakdown of the
> Capitalist System_, London, Pluto Press, 1992,
> pp. 140-142). Note in this connection that
> Webber/Rigby have claimed in their work, _The
> Golden Age Illusion_ that changes in turnover
> times "have offset any tendency of the rate of
> profit to fall" (in the period that W/R study for
> the four countries, Aus, Can, Jap, US).  Does
> the empirical work that Allin and you did tend
> to confirm or cast doubt on this perspective?
> c) The annual rate of turnovers are estimated
> by Webber/Rigby as "the ratio of total costs
> (wages and salaries, raw materials, depreciation,
> fuel, and electricity) to owned inventory"
> (_The Golden Age Illusion_, p. 323). Is this
> the best way of calculating turnover rates?
> How do you calculate turnover time in your
> empirical work?
> Of course, others are welcomed to answer these
> questions as well.
> In solidarity, Jerry


Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu

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