From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Sat Mar 12 2005 - 22:52:19 EST
>In any case, your point that the separation of > basics and non-basics is an artifact is not true. One > only has to put taxes on basics and non-basics to > check whether in one case all the prices get effected > and in the other only the price of that good or the > sub-set of non-basics. Here actually one can do a > scientific experiment to find out whether the > distinction is real or not. But this is an empirical distinction between basics and non-basics based presumably on the idea that households do not pass on costs but industrial sectors do. I don't see the connection with Sraffa's theoretical distinction. Would Sraffa view my consumption of an ipod as unnecessary for the production of my labour output and hence a non-basic? Isn't this a superfluous moral judgement? Isn't there a confusion between a viable production technique that produces more outputs than inputs, and the idea of a "surplus" over and above "subsistence" (whatever that may be)? -Ian.
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