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

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Sun Dec 07 2003 - 14:49:53 EST

At 21:47 05/12/2003 -0800, ajit wrote:
>  So let me ask you again,
>what is interesting about the proposition that GIVEN
>that commodity money value remains constant and GIVEN
>that workers commodity-money wages remain constant and
>GIVEN that equal values exchange in the market, THEN a
>fall in the value of wage goods would imply a rise in
>the real wages of the workers! What's the big deal
>here? Am I missing something? Cheers, ajit sinha

         All I offered was the simple proposition (now rather belaboured)
that once you no longer hold real wages constant by definition, then
productivity increases in the production of wage goods lead to rising real
wages and no relative surplus value UNLESS THERE IS SOME MECHANISM
OPERATING TO REDUCE MONEY WAGES. This question does not emerge in Marx's
discussion of relative surplus value in CAPITAL insofar as he assumes real
wages given in a given place and point in time (and thus the necessary
condition for relative surplus value is obscured). I thought this
interesting, but if one is content with Physiocratic/ Ricardian/Sraffian
fixed wage requirements, it's no big deal.
         in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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