[OPE-L:5442] More Intense Labor

From: John Ernst (ernst@pipeline.com)
Date: Fri Apr 27 2001 - 01:33:24 EDT

In response to this comment by Paul C, 

>> 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

Jerry writes

>These are not the 'only' ways in which the
>rate of surplus value can change: the rate of
>surplus value will also change when there is
>a change in the intensity of labor.

Gil wrote:

But changing the intensity of labor leads directly to effect (2) above by
altering the socially necessary labor time embodied in the wage bundle. It
might also indirectly lead to effect (3) by changing the average caloric
requirements of workers, or effect (1) by making it possible to extend the
working day (because workers are expending *less* effort per hour) or
making it necessary to reduce the working day (because workers are
expending so much extra effort per hour that they're too exhausted to
perform well in the marginal hours).  Bottom line, changes in labor
intensity would necessarily show up in at least 1 of Paul's 3.  Gil 

I add:

Gil, you seem somehow to be able to reckon the intensity of labor 
without any reference to money or prices.   That is,  if yesterday 
I added $100 to the means of production with which I worked for 
10 hours and today I add $110 by working harder for 10 hours, it's 
unclear to me how my wage bundle will change or the length of my 
working day will change.  Further, I do not understand why my efforts 
can't be seen as a possible general case with the assumption that
the value of money is constant.     


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