(OPE-L) variable capital and the quantity of productive laborers globally

From: Gerald A. Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Apr 21 2004 - 09:36:25 EDT

Hi Paul C.

> I would be very surprised if this dominated at a world scale
> considering the growth of wage labour in China and India.

No doubt, v has grown in China in recent years.  For India, it
might be interesting to compare the rate of growth of wage-earners
employed by capital who are productive of surplus value (since
that is the relevant category of workers when measuring v) to the
rate of growth in 'informal sector' (petty commodity sector)
employment.  In any event, when looking at the issue globally,
we should note (among other things): a) the growth in informal
sector employment throughout most of Asia -- including Indonisia,
Pakistan and the Phillipines -- Africa, Latin America, etc. b) a
global tendency for the ratio of  unproductive laborers to productive
laborers employed by capital to increase; c) despite 'structural
readjustment' pressure by the IMF to decrease public sector
employment,  one would want to know whether the ratio of
state-employed wage-workers to productive wage-workers
has increased (and, one should note,  how those structural
readjustment programs via decreasing social welfare programs have
forced the poor, in the presence of  _mass_ unemployment,  to
increasingly seek out informal sector employment). These are all
questions which, in principle, should be able to be measured

Another point, which I suggested earlier, is that if v is measured in
nominal prices (which it is, right?)  then an increase in the size of
v can not be used to necessarily infer an increase in the quantity
of workers who are productive of surplus-value since when there are
increasing nominal wages for productive laborers a given amount of
v will employ less wage-workers.

In solidarity, Jerry

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