[OPE-L:5428] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: turnover time and surplus value

From: Paul Cockshott (paul@cockshott.com)
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 05:07:34 EDT

On Thu, 26 Apr 2001, you wrote:
> But I am interested in precisely those increases in labor 
> productivity which reduce production time. You have just fixated on 
> an weird reduction in production time which does not result from 
> increased labor productivity. 
I would suspect that this was deliberate in order to isolate
the effect of turnover time from changes in labour 

>And then you claim that since in wine 
> making a reduction in production time clearly does not stem from 
> increased labor productivity--though it indeed allows for a reduction 
> in stock and thus the OCC--*any* increase in profitability from 
> reduced production time should be ascribed to a reduced OCC. But this 
> is just a fallacy of generalizing from the clearly idiosyncratic.

The reason why increase in labour productivity increase the rate
of surplus value is surely due to the prodution of relative surplus
value - the cheapening of the elements of the real wage. 

The only three ways the rate of surplus value can change are
1. changes in the length of the working day
2. cheapening or dearing of the wage bundle in labour terms
3. changing the wage bundle in real terms

What you are doing is conflating effects that change the amount
of physical product produced in an hours labour, with changes in
the time taken for capital to be turned back into cash.

The move to just in time production, does not of itself involve any
change in labour productivity, merely a change in the amount of
capital stocks that firms have to hold. Its effect on the rate of profit
is thus via the organic composition.

The issue can perhaps be clarified by dimensional analysis.

The rate of exploitation s/v as the ratio of two flows is a dimensionless

The organic composition of capital can be treated in two ways
c/v which is a flow measure, and as such is also a dimensionless
number. Or as C/v which is of the form
C    person  hours                     person hours
-  = ----------------    = ----------
v     person hours per year         persons

Note that person hours per year is an expression of the form
persons x time

and thus simplifies to persons

So organic composition of capital in the form C/v expresses the
number of hours or years of embodied labour existing per worker.
As such it must clearly be affected by the labour embodied in
partially made goods.

The other form of organic composition, which lends itself to
empirical work in i/o tables is c/v which is the ratio of two
flows and as such is dimensionless. It expresses the division
of the labour force into those producing means of production
and those producing consumer goods.

The dimensional calculus has been known since Newton,
and is fundamental to having a clear understanding of how
to distinguish flow from stock quantities. The practice of
the classical economists, including Marx of analysing things
in terms of fixed production periods can obscure the 
dimensional properties of the quantities that they are
dealing with.

Paul Cockshott, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
0141 330 3125  mobile:07946 476966

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