Re: the real wage, and the production of surplus value

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Tue Dec 02 2003 - 02:19:41 EST

--- "michael a. lebowitz" <mlebowit@SFU.CA> wrote:
> At 21:46 28/11/2003 -0800, ajit wrote:
> >-To say that a fall in the value of the given
> >real wage basket because of rise in labor
> productivity
> >must imply a rise in real wages is not very
> >meaningful. Why couldn't it just mean that the rate
> of
> >surplus value rises?
> What would affect the outcome one way or the other?

I really don't understand your question. I think the
point I have been making is pretty simple. To assume
that a general fall in the value of goods (which
includes wage goods) must be associated with a fall in
their money prices is simply an illegitimate premise.
So you need to establish your premise, which you have
not done.
> >  Let us assume that you are
> >working with commodity money. Now, let's suppose
> >increase in labor productivity has led to fall in
> the
> >value of all commodities by 50%, in this case the
> same
> >amount of money wage would contain half the value
> of
> >money wage it previously did.
> I'm confused. The money wage is the same, and the
> value of wage goods falls
> in half. Why not say the worker purchases twice as
> much wage goods (each
> use-value containing half as much value), and the
> value of labour-power has
> remained unchanged?

This is elementary. Suppose your money is silver. Now
twice the amount of silver is produced in the same
amount of direct and indirect labor time. Thus the
value of the same money wage (let's say 5 pounds of
silver) is half than what it was before. Similarly the
value of all other goods have become half too. So now,
given no value-price deviation, the given money wage
will buy exactly the same amount of real goods and
services, which in value terms will be simply half the
value it used to have. The workers simply cannot buy
double the amount of goods and services. The value of
their given money wages have fallen exactly to the
same proportion than the value of the real wage goods.
So, where is the confusion? Cheers, ajit sinha

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