Re: [OPE-L] workers' consumption and capitalists' consumption

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2006 - 04:41:56 EDT

--- Ian Wright <wrighti@ACM.ORG> wrote:

> Hi Ajit
> > How could one by simply taking food from
> > the laborers and giving it to the capitalists
> increase
> > the labor-values of goods? You are saying that the
> > labor-time needed to produce a ton of corn doubles
> > simply by taking half of the corn from the mouth
> of
> > the laborers and giving it to the capitalists.
> Now,
> > there has to be something wrong with such a
> statement,
> > isn't it?
> The direct labour-time necessary to produce 1 unit
> of corn does not
> change. However, the vertically integrated
> labour-time, that is the
> labour-value, does change.
> The short explanation is that the replacement cost
> of corn, measured
> in terms of labour-time, is now higher, due to the
> additional
> requirement to produce the corn that capitalists
> consume in the
> production period. Under capitalist conditions it is
> not possible to
> produce any commodity without at the same time
> producing capitalist
> consumption goods, the material form of their profit
> income. It is an
> extra cost of production, requiring real labour to
> be performed. In
> simple commodity production, in contrast, there is
> no such
> requirement: hence, the replacement cost of corn is
> lower. Sraffian
> labour-cost accounting omits to account for this
> extra labour required
> to replace 1 unit of corn. It therefore does not
> distinguish between
> labour-costs in simple commodity production, and
> labour-costs in
> capitalist simple reproduction.
Now it is clear to me that I did understand correctly
from the beginning, and so my criticisms remain valid.
I will make three points once again:

(1) 2t. of corn + 4000 hr. of lab. --> 10t. of corn
gives us labor-value of 1 ton of corn equal to 500 hr.
of labor. Notice that to deduce labor-values you do
not need any distributional data. It is simply one way
of presenting the method of production in use. In
other words, it is a technical datum. Thus the whole
question of it being dependent on rate of profits
represents a conceptual misunderstanding of what
labor-value means.

(2) In your example, the capitalist consumption of 4
tons of corn is possible only after 10 tons of corn
are produced. This consumtion cannot be part of the
input unless you are moving with a speed greater than
light! That's why I had termed it absurd. consumption
of an output cannot become input of the same output.

(3) This logical contradiction of your system must
show up in your mathematics, all you need to do is to
closely scrutinize it. Cheers, ajit sinha

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