Re: [OPE-L] Ricardo on the value of manufactured goods, or does the tail wag the dog?

From: Philip Dunn (pscumnud@DIRCON.CO.UK)
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 18:17:27 EDT

Hi Jerry

Ricardo is not concerned here about technological differences.  What leads to
differential rent is naturally favourable conditions with the same technology.

It has got nothing to do with how advanced or backward firms are.  Neither
advanced nor backward firms need pay any diffential rent.

Ricardo, I guess, thinks that the whole of the difference, L - N, is
differential rent, in order to equalise profit rates.  I see it differently.  
If the commodity sold by the landlord is the labour-power commodity, the
landlord gets only part of L - N, the rest is extra profit for the capitalist
farmer.  Think of the high fertility of infra marginal land as extra virtual
workers. These virtual workers get paid a wage, the differential rent, but are
exploited by the capitalist farmer. 

Quoting Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM:

> Hi Phil,
> Thank you for highlighting this issue.
> > The exchangeable value of all commodities, whether they be manufactured,
> > or the produce of the mines, or the produce of land, is always regulated,
> > not by the less quantity of labour that will suffice for their production
> under
> > circumstances highly favorable, and exclusively enjoyed by those who have
> > peculiar facilities of production; but by the greater quantity of labour
> > necessarily bestowed on their production by those who have no such
> > facilities; by those who continue to produce them under the most
> unfavorable
> > circumstances;  meaning-by the most unfavorable circumstances, the most
> > unfavorable under which the quantity of produce required, renders it
> > necessary to carry on the production.
> Note what Ricardo writes above about the determination of the exchange-value
> of _manufactured_ commodities.  Indeed, his claim concerns _all_
> commodities.
> Let's take the case of industry:
> Is the exchange-value of  commodities produced by industrial capital
> determined
> by the conditions of production of the firms who produce those commodities
> "under the most unfavorable conditions"?
> Isn't that a tail (firms with the highest costs of production and lowest
> productivity
> of labor) wag the dog (firms with the lowest cost of production and highest
> productivity of labor) argument?
> Isn't the exchange-value of  a commodity determined, instead, by the
> conditions in the most advanced ('regulating') capitals in a branch of
> production?
> In solidarity, Jerry

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Apr 10 2005 - 00:00:02 EDT