From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Sat Nov 20 2004 - 17:06:54 EST
In any event, I see no reason for supposing that over the long-term the composition of capital in gold-mining production will lag behind the rest of the economy. What would happen in your thought experiment if: a) the composition of capital in gold-mining is equal to the social average? b) the composition of capital in gold-mining is higher than the social average? -------------------- I knew nothing of this debate on inflation in German social democracy. Why did they consider the organic composition to be important? Given that it is an extractive industry would I would have thought that the determining factor would be the physical availability of gold ore close to the surface. As surface sources are used up, the mines have to be sunk deeper - that is certainly the case in the Witwatersrand mines. A deeper mine may increase the organic composition of capital in one sense - if one views the shaft for instance as an element of constant capital. But this will only occur if the labour associated with the mining does not increase in proportion to the depth - it is conceivable that it might due to greater expenditure on pumping, maintainance etc. It should not be too difficult to get rough figures for labour productivity in gold by comparing employment in the South African gold mining industry with the output of the South African mining industry.
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