Re: [OPE-L] Abstraction

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Wed Jun 13 2007 - 03:11:10 EDT

Your articles are an interesting comment on the failure of the US
medical system (it is too expensive and allows all the moral hazards
of private insurance to flourish). Indian doctors may be cheaper in
US dollar terms but are not necessarily less skilled than US doctors
(though some are, no doubt). I don't think this is a matter of supply
and demand although the US system restricts supply of doctors. It has
more to do with bargaining power and the absurdity of putting on the
market a service for which competition can easily be restricted.
Surgical skill is not necessarily the province of a few: see the
Cuban medical system which has many more doctors overall per capita
than the US system.

However, I don't see the relevance of this to simple and complex
labour: unless it is to show that treating skilled labour as simple
labour multiplied is hardly likely to account for its cost in any
particular system!

>>On the other hand, it is arguable that an
>>amateur plumber can do plumbing work but at the cost of a lot of
>>hours finding out the regulations, planning the work, and doing the
>>job slowly (the ratio might perhaps be 8 to 1, so nearly everyone
>>hires a plumber, not to mention those jobs where the work has to be
>>inspected and by regulation must be done by a qualified plumber - so
>>bricklaying might be a better example)
>>>Marx says that commodities are commensurate in the market, but there
>>>is no way to
>>>get behind the market to get a handle on the abstract labor
>>>measures.  How many
>>>hours of abstract labor does a surgeon represent.  Can 20 or 50
>>>unskilled labor
>>>perform the same procedure?
>>>  --
>>>Michael Perelman
>>>Economics Department
>>>California State University
>>>Chico, CA 95929
>>>Tel. 530-898-5321
>>>E-Mail michael at
>>Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
>>Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
>>Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
>>Flinders University of SA,
>>Humanities Building,
>>Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
>>Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

Associate Professor Ian Hunt,
Dept  of Philosophy, School of Humanities,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2784

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Jun 30 2007 - 00:00:04 EDT