Re: [OPE-L] empirical measurement of changes in the value of labour-power

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed Dec 19 2007 - 10:59:13 EST

Of course I agree that the minimum wage is not an indicator of the VLP. Nevertheless I think Marx was quite correct in believing that the average subsistence requirements (cost-of-living) for a worker are, in a given country and a given epoch, known quantities.
 The legal stipulations are of interest, insofar as they show empirically how the "physiological" and "moral-historical" components of worker's income happen to be regarded, in practice. The commodity labour-power is not like any other commodity, because its value also refers to the satisfaction of workers' legitimate needs. All I am saying is that these legitimate needs are not vague or etheral, but that they are fairly accurately reflected in the legal rules of the day.
Hi Jurriaan:
I understand what you are saying but I  haven't seen a body of laws
or statistics which show what the customary standard of living for
unskilled workers in a given society  are.  Perhaps you could give 
a more concrete example citing the legal rules of The Netherlands,
the EU, New Zealand or any other society you are familiar with?
In solidarity, Jerry

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