Re: [OPE-L] standard commodity

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)?


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