[OPE-L:5415] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: turnover time and surplus value

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 07:24:25 EDT

On Wed, 25 Apr 2001, you wrote:
> Paul C wrote in [5381]:
> > A reduced turnover time is equivalent to having
> > a smaller stock of work  in progress - the aim
> > of just in time manufacturing is  to reduce this
> > stock. The effect is to lower the organic
> > composition of capital.
> I agree that a smaller quantity of 'work in
> progress'  caused by JITM will lead to a
> reduction in the organic composition of capital.
> In this case,  firms can purchase smaller
> manufacturing facilities and spend less on
> storage costs (including  fuel and electricity)
> of parts. This  represents a decrease in c. It
> can _also_ represent a reduction in v, however,
> to the extent that less labor is required now
> for storage which causes total labor
> requirements to be diminished.
> However,*if* a reduction in the turnover time
> means that unsold inventory is reduced, and
> thereby there is a reduction in circulation time,
> does this also represent a decrease in c?

The question is how do you count the stock of work
in progress. Consider a ship being built.
It may take two years to build the ship. After it
has been launched it still has to be fitted out.

Suppose that there are two companies one
owns the slipway the other the fitting out
bay. The ship is launched by company one
and fitted out by company two. You would
presumably agree that the hull produced
in one year by company one constitutes
constant capital to company two and would
thus influence the organic composition of capital.

Now suppose that company one takes over
company two, so that the fitting out is
carried out by the same firm as launches
the ship.
They build a second ship, and move it to
their own fitting out bay for another year's
work. This hull too should be counted
as constant capital. The fact that it was
produced by another division of the same
firm does not alter things. I am generalising
from this to treat the value of all work in
progress as part of the constant capital stock.

> Perhaps I have misunderstood your point:
> do you consider unsold output to be part of
> c?

> In solidarity, Jerry
> [PS to Rakesh on signifying 'thingifying':
> there is a time for all things. Neither Marx nor
> Cottrell viewed time as a 'thing'.  Time is not a
> 'thing'. It is a dimension, along with space, in
> which things exist.]
Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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