Re: [OPE-L] Abstraction

From: Howard Engelskirchen (howarde@TWCNY.RR.COM)
Date: Wed Jun 13 2007 - 07:56:20 EDT

Hi Ian,

I don't understand the opening sentence here, either.  Tins of bootblack can
be exchanged for castles, recall.  They can also be exchanged for
complicated surgery.  This is not about the character of the skill but the
fact that it is taken to market.  Market is the night that turns all labor
black.  For this reason the news articles Rakesh offered are completely
relevant.  As a result of competition goods or services of the same quality
will tend to sell for the same price.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Hunt" <ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:55 PM
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Abstraction

> I don't think any number of unskilled labour hours can perform the
> work of a skilled surgeon, but for that reason I don't think that the
> hours worked by surgeons etc count as expenditures of labour power,
> defined as the group of skills common to all human labour: surgery is
> the expenditure of a skill that is not shared across people to a
> higher or lesser degree. 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

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