(OPE-L) Re: the real wage, and the production of surplus value

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Mon Dec 08 2003 - 18:32:16 EST

Paul C wrote:

> It tends to be of the order of 50%, why not 1% or 99%.

Well, I'd still like to know the range.  I suspect significant
variations temporally and spatially in the world capitalist

> If we dont have a general theory that can explain a basic
> and consistent feature of capitalism we are not doing well.
> We could relegate this to conjunctural factors, but that
> would be a copout like explaining the existence of profit
> by 'conjunctural factors'.

Let's take some (relatively) recent history.  An examination
of  the empirical evidence for the US and UK economies would
likely show that the 'wage share in national income'  was not
steady during the 1980's but rather declined.   We don't need
a sophisticated theoretical explanation for this development.
Instead, we would be better off examining the offensive by capital
against labor by the Reagan and Thatcher governments and the
give-back (concessions) movement.  If you want to make a more
general statement, perhaps it would concern a major way that
capital has historically overcome crisis and promoted accumulation.

In any event, you are asserting without demonstrating that a
stable wage share of national income has been a "basic and
consistent feature of capitalism."    Let's take a look at the data, shall

In solidarity, Jerry

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