Re John's : > Jerry, it seems to me that necessary labor time > would not change due to an increase of > productivity in the luxury goods sector if > one assumes that all processes are equally > profitable prior to the change in productivity in > that sector. However, as the > change occurs, the luxury goods producer would > earn a higher rate of return and the workers > would be creating more social value than before. Yes, they would be creating more value during the same working hours (i.e. there would be no increase in absolute surplus value). > If the higher rate of return induces capital to > move to the luxury > goods sector and the social value created falls > such that the rate > of return in that sector becomes equal to all > others, There might be barriers to the movement of capital to Dept IIb. In any event, this process is not an instantaneous process and even if it were to happen eventually, how would you describe the situation before then? Also, what happens if the gain in productivity is small enough that it doesn't lead to a significant change in the expected RRI? E.g. let's say that the economy-wide RRI is 10% but now instead of a RRI of 10.0% in IIb, the RRI there - due to a small productivity increase - goes up to 10.1%. Given the fact that a significant portion of capital exists as stock and not money-capital and the gain from movement would be so low, why would we anticipate a shift into IIb? Doesn't it have to rise to a certain threshold before capital flows to IIb? (also, there are very concrete practicalities that would inhibit the free movement of money capital under these circumstances, e.g. brokerage transaction fees and taxes.) > then unless > some of the movement changes the prices of > workers' consumption goods > the rate of surplus value, necessary labor time > and the rate of > return will not change. Note that Marx says that > relative surplus > value is ultimately generated by changes in the > values of workers' > consumption goods. Wasn't he in that context referring to an increase in relative surplus value caused by labor-saving technical change? In so doing, he was referring to one (the predominant) form in which relative s can be increased. So what happens after the productivity increase but if there isn't an in-flow of capital into Dept IIb or in the interim before that happens? The workers in Dept IIb are being paid the same wages as before and there is no reason to suppose that there will be a change in the value of their consumption goods. They now produce more output in the same working time. Why should we then not say that there has then been a decrease in necessary labor time and an increase in surplus labor time in that sub- department? In solidarity, Jerry PS re Allin's 5572: you assert that necessary and surplus labor time are "heuristic" devices when referring to "particular capitalist enterprises". Since we are referring not to individual firms, but to production departments, could you explain why you think that these concepts are heuristic at that level of analysis? Are you making essentially the same argument that Paul made recently about the armaments sector?
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