[OPE-L] The Law of Value and Rib Tips

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Feb 08 2005 - 11:32:53 EST

A message sent on July 7 to Kapital_Gang@yahoogroups.com by
redkronstad. What is the answer to the "Paradox of Rib Tips"?

In solidarity, Jerry


4th of July and I was eating BBQ at my brother's and I was thinking  about
the Law of Value.

Now, as I understand it, the value (v) of a commodity is the sum
total of the congealed labor in it in the form of dead labor
(constant capital =means of production = previous labors) or (c)
congealed alongside the paid amount (value) of living labor (v) which
goes on off into in its production plus the surplus value (s) which  is
the non-paid portion of said living labor.  Or
                           v = c + v + s or k + s where k = (c + v)

This, of course, is notwithstanding the transformation of this value  (in
Vol 1, Chap IX) into price of production (Pp) (in Vol 3, Chap IX)  such

                           v = (c + v) x (1 + P') or k(1 + P')

                          where P' is the general rate of profit

And this, in spite of the errors inherent in the simplification that  is
the above, is similarly,
not withstanding.

Yeah, as I munched, I was ruminating on the Law of Value.

Now, as I see it, the difference between ribs and rib tips, aside from

       The texture  (Quality: of no importance in the below)

       The size      (Quantity: of some importance in the below)

       The cost      (Quantity: of prime importance in the below)

As I visualize it the only essential thing that really differentiates
ribs from rib tips is the swipe of the knife that separates the whole  rib
into rib and rib tips.   That's it.  The very same act, the swipe  of the
cutting tool, 'creates' ribs and simultaneously creates rib  tips.

Now, let us look at their 'values' as defined above.

In any given pig there are would be ribs and rib tips existing,
cohabiting alongside each other as the pig's ribs.  In the very same  pig
they are

         1.  Bought or born into ownership (c in the form of invested

         2.  Sheltered (c in the form of fixed capital)

         3.  Fed (c in the form of circulating capital)

         4.  Tended (by v in the form of labor engaged in what could
be called
              Production Process A .

         5.  Slaughtered  (by v in Production Process B) and

         6.  Separated into ribs and rib tips (by v in Production
Process C.)

At every step these two erstwhile commodities share identical costs  of
production.  And yet, in spite of the fact that there is a greater  weight
per pig of ribs than rib tips, at any given BBQ stand a, say,  pound of
ribs will cost you more than a pound of rib tips.  Why?


Red Kronstadt

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