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

From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Fri Dec 12 2003 - 06:15:34 EST

What is at issue here is not whether wages are
the same in all industries, but whether the distribution
of the profit share tends to be degenerate.

Empirically we know that while it is not degenerate,
the profit share has a relatively narrow dispersion,
we found a coefficient of variation of 0.42 for the UK
economy, which is narrow compared to the dispersion of
profit rates.

By Farjoun and Machovers argument, this narrow dispersion
of the sectoral profit shares will tend to cause the likely
value of the mean profit share to be of the order of 50%
(Actually it was 31% in the year we measured.)

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of gerald_a_levy
Sent: 10 December 2003 23:45
Subject: (OPE-L) Re: the real wage, and the production of surplus value

Re Paul C's post on Farjoun and Machover:

> More generally, if class struggle is able to establish
> a uniform ratio between wages and profits for all
> industries, the only possible such uniform ratio is
> 50/50.

Why would we anticipate a uniform ratio of wages
to profits for all industries?   What would be the
preconditions for such a condition?   Perhaps One Big
Union that fought successfully against wage disparities
in all industries? Or would the OBU  have had to
successfully fight to peg wages to profits such that
as profits increased wages would be adjusted?  Of
course, this implies that when profits decreased then
wages would decrease as well by the same proportion,
willy nilly.  None of this makes any sense to me, nor do
I think it makes much sense as an empirical claim since there
are _huge_ wage disparities in most capitalist economies
in different industries, sectors, and regions. It also implies
a rather odd totalizing conception of class struggle which
does not well represent the actual processes of class
struggle where there is the  _uneven development of class

In solidarity, Jerry

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