From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Tue Apr 10 2007 - 20:34:27 EDT
On Tue, 10 Apr 2007, Jerry Levy wrote: > > > "... all wasteful consumption of raw material or instruments of > > > labour is strictly forbidden, because what is wasted in this way > > > represents a superfluous expenditure of quantities of > > > objectified labour, labour that does not count in the product or > > > enter into its value". > > > It seems to me that Marx is talking here of wastage that is over > > and above the "socially necessary" rate. > > It seems to me that you didn't take note of how the excerpt above > begins with *all*. I took notice of it, but discounted it as obvious hyperbole on Marx's part. Show me a capitalist who wastes nothing. > It is true that a certain amount of wastage in a particular > branch of production may come to be considered to be customary, > but this is related to other questions, such as whether the > labor cost to reduce the wastage of materials is greater or > lesser than the resulting savings in material cost. This has > environmental implications. It's not just a matter of a certain amount of wastage becoming "customary" (though that may happen). It's a matter of a certain amount of wastage being optimal. Yes, there may be environmental implications. A socialist economy might decide to minimize wastage in certain production processes even if this requires a greater total unit labour input. But no capitalist is going to calculate that way, pace Marx. Allin.
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