From: Ian Wright (iwright@GMAIL.COM)
Date: Mon Oct 03 2005 - 16:25:49 EDT
> I believe this idea to be a mistake. One can demonstrate from the > reproduction schemes in volume 2 that surplus value can only be > generated in the departments generating means of production or > workers consumption goods. The mass of surplus value can not > be altered by activities in the 3rd sector producting luxuries etc. > > > This is the same basic point that Sraffa is making about his > basic sector. No it isn't. And I think I now understand why we've been disagreeing ... The basic/non-basic distinction has got nothing to do with the distinction between those goods that enter into workers consumption and those that do not. The basic/non-basic classification is based solely on the properties of the technical coefficients matrix, and is independent of the composition of the real wage. To avoid confusion, it might be better to use a different term, other than "basic", to describe those goods that enter either directly or indirectly into the real wage, because your concept is importantly different from Sraffa's distinction. I think it follows that my concerns about the relevance of the basic/non-basic distinction do not affect your classification of commodities according to whether they are used for workers consumption. It appears we've been using the same term in different senses. -Ian.
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