[OPE-L:7114] Re: Re: Re: Re: the value[s] of labour power, nationally and internationally

From: Francisco Paulo Cipolla (cipolla@sociais.ufpr.br)
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 11:54:19 EDT

Sorry, if I caused confusion instead of light. In fact the rise in the
value of labor power is not compatible with a rise in the rate of
surplus value. What is compatible with a rise in the rate of surplus
value is a rise in the real wage, as you explained.
Now, why is that the intensity of labor should have anything to do with
with rising real wages?

Regarding the problem of international comparisons of wages Marx seems
to procede as follows:
1. Same amount of labor generates different quantities of the same
product, that is a greater quantity in the advanced capitalist country.
2. For this it is necessary to assume that the product has a unique
price in the international market.
3. From there he says that the value of money is smaller in the more
advanced capitalist country which means something of the sort: 1 US
Dollar = 5 Mexican Pesos.
4. From this he concludes that the wage in Mexico, in dollar terms, will
be smaller than in the US. even though it may represent a greater
proportion of the domestic value it produces, i.e., lower rate of
surplus value in the perifery.

It seems from this way of reasoning that it is necessary to assume that
the product has one single price in the international market. Otherwise,
how could we compare different national wages?
Is that the way you go about when you think the problem of international
wage comparisons?
Paulo Cipolla

Diego wrote:

> <<I have a question to pose to Diego. If the basket of consumption is
> historically determined and change -- that is, the elements that
> compose such a basket change -- what can we say about the value of
> that basket? Does it tend to increase? Does it tend to decrease? If
> the value of the basket tend to increase, given the lenght of the
> working day, we would have a reduction in relative surplus value. The
> contrary of what Marx argued. I think the evolution of the value of
> labor power is an important issue. It hasn't been tackled on its own
> right but only via the analysis of the rate of surplus value. The
> increase in the rate of surplus value, however, does not disclose to
> us the dynamic behind the evolution of the value of the labor power.
> It is only compatible with a rise VLP. Does naybody know any empirical
> analysis of the evolution of the value of labor power, that is, basket
> and price of the basket in different periods?
> Paulo Cipolla >> Hi, Paulo, I don't understand some sentences in your
> comment. For instance: "It is only compatible with a rise VLP". For
> me, the value of labor power declines, like the value of every
> commodity, but more slowly, i.e, its relative value (compared with the
> general commodity) rises. I think Marx thought that the nominal and
> real wage would tend to increase in the long-run, but the "relative
> wage" (in Ricardo's sense as Marx attributes it to him) would tend to
> increase, i.e., the rate of surplus-value tends to increase. The fact
> that the basket is increasing in physical terms is perfectly
> compatible with its decrease as a mass of value (like in the case of a
> car or other complex commodities whose value is diminishing despite
> the growth in their content: the elements which enter in them and the
> "services" generated for their consumers). I think that Grossmann
> explained why the real wage must rise even if we abstract from the
> existence of class struggles: it is due to the constant growth in the
> intensity of labor. This is why the relative VLP (compared to other
> commodities' value) tends to increase. I'm not sure, but I think that
> in the book mentioned by Alejandro Valle in [7083] Jacques Gouverneur
> puts some statistics about this for the UE countries. Cheers,Diego

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