Re: Labour aristocracy

From: Alejandro Valle Baeza (valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX)
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 13:17:52 EST

Paul, I think that productivity at factory level defined as physical product by worker is not well related with wages or with the rate of surplus value. By example, Sheiken (pointed out by Levy) showed that productivity in automotive industry is not so different between U.S. and Mexican automotive factories but wages are quite different. There are two problems with this, in my view: 
1. Such definition of productivity does not take into account efficiency in the production of all means of production used in both countries. In short, the reciprocal of value magnitude is useful as concept of productivity but physical productivity is not.
2. Even using productivity defined in value terms; at factory level productivity is not well related with wages and rate of surplus value. Rate of surplus value, as pointed out by S. Clark, and average wage rate are social class relationships. It means that average wages  and rate of surplus value are determined at macro level or that both variables are well defined at macro level. Hence, in my view both variables are related with average productivity. 
However, your assertion that rate of surplus value is higher in Mexico than U.S. s' is right, in some sense, until I know. I believe also that Cockshott assumption (By the way this is Marx assumption) that rate of surplus value should be higher as productivity increases is also right, in some sense.
Gloria Martinez (Martínez González, Gloria. 1999. "Algumas Evidências da superexploracao nos países subdesenvolvidos: a atualidade do pensamento de Marini." Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Economia Política. 4, junho, pp. 105-121) gave some evidences for this discussion using data from Alice Amsden Ph. D. thesis:

Both graphs shows:
1 It seems that Marx and Cockshott are right inside blocks of countries because productivity are correlated with rate of surplus value. It is noticeable in high productivity countries that such relationship seems robust.
2. It seems that you and Marini (a Brazilian economist who used the term: superexploitation) are right comparing blocks.
Gloria conclusion is provisory of curse, she believes that Marx assumption is quite reasonable and that there is a big problem with conclusion 2. She is dealing, as PH. thesis, with this problem. She is working with U.N. National Accounts and had found that productivity and wage share (not rate of surplus value) behavior reinforce previous findings.
Finaly, I am quite interested on your research, could you send to me a paper or an web address where I can get it?

Saludos muy cordiales

Alejandro Valle Baeza

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Zarembka" <zarembka@BUFFALO.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, 13 de January de 2004 03:26 p.m.
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Labour aristocracy

> Alejandro, Is this based upon the same product mix or different product
> mixes? And is this based upon the same equipment for the same products or
> different equipments when producing the same products?  My evidence was for
> the same product and the same equipment on both sides of the border.  In
> any case, even your results show that Third World workers are more
> exploited than U.S. workers.  Paul
> --On Tuesday, January 13, 2004 3:15 PM +0100 Alejandro Valle Baeza
> <valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX> wrote:


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