[OPE-L:7115] Re: the value[s] of labour power, nationally and internationally

From: glevy@pop-b.pratt.edu
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 13:03:19 EDT

Re Paolo C's [7112]:

> Hi Jerry! 
Hi Paolo

> It may be misleading in the sense that the actual expenditure
does not occur until labor power has actually been performed. But 
the money must be there from the beginning as long as the sum of production time + circulation time is greater than the time through which labor power must perform before it get paid. If the sum of production time +  circulation time were smaller than the payment period then capitalists would not be required any money in advance for the payment of wages. As reproduction goes on could we say, mimicking Marx, that the "law" of variable capital in advance is subverted into the law of payment by theresult of the laborers own product in money form, regardless of production time + circulation time being greater or smaller than the payment period? <

I think this highlights one of the conceptual problems with period 
of production analysis that Paul C has pointed out previously.  In most branches of production there is continuous production and where that is the case then capitalists *don't* have to have the money-capital for wages when they first start production. All they have to have is the money for wages when wage payments are *due*. From that perspective, workers typically give capitalists "credit" and work in arrears. Yet, of course, although they advance work prior to payment of wages, they unlike other categories of lenders, don't receive  "interest" on their advance.  In general, I think that  period of production analysis involves a group of simplifying assumptions that need -- when discussing more concrete questions --
to be dropped.  As a side note, Steve K and others who are familar with dynamic analysis would (I think) argue that a truly dynamic analysis can't be constructed using period of production analysis. Yet, as we approach more concrete questions doesn't our analysis have to become *more* explicitly dynamic, non-linear, and non-equilibrium?

In solidarity, Jerry

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