Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics and financial services

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


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Oct 05 2005 - 00:00:01 EDT