Date: Fri Dec 01 2006 - 16:42:10 EST
Quoting Jerry Levy <Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM>: > > I think you have to consider the dynamics of the process > > more carefully. If the rate of surplus value rises unusually > > high, then labour is cheap and it will pay capitalists to > > use labour intensive rather than capital intensive techniques. > > Thus the process you hypothesise will be self limiting. > > Paul C, > > In a dynamic process there is also, though, a trend for the > cheapening of the elements of constant capital. Whether the > process becomes 'self-limiting' depends on how low wages > go in relation to how low the prices of means of production go. > > In solidarity, Jerry > I think you may be wrong here. I am specifying things in value terms, if the value of the hourly wage in minutes falls, say to 15 mins, then living labour is calculated at a big discount relative to dead labour. Dead labour is always counted at the full hour. The cheapening of the elements of constant capital make no difference here, they just alter the physical mass of machinery. Whatever its mass it will be valued at the full hour. The issue is how low the value of the hourly wage will be pushed. If it falls sharply, then capitalists will use labour intensive techniques and invest less value in constant capital. The fact that this constant capital may be physically bigger, is irrelevant, what is relevant is the increased demand for labour power which ensues. This increased demand for labour power then allows workers to raise the value of labour power. This is the basic accumulation cycle mechanism described by Marx which regulates the value of labour power. It prevents the value of labour power from falling to the levels that a Malthusian theory of wages would predict. ---------------------------------------------------------------- This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
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