Re: [OPE-L] accumulation of capital and the working class - actual non existence of variable capital

From: Ian Hunt (ian.hunt@FLINDERS.EDU.AU)
Date: Sat Jan 12 2008 - 19:53:51 EST

Dear Jerry,
I'm not sure I follow your point below: Let s = 10, s = v = 80, and u
= 2. Then s-u/(c+v) =10%,  s-u/(s+v+u) = 9.75% , while s/(c+v+u) =
12.2%. It might be thought that employment of unproductive labour is
not such a drag on profit rates as might be implied by the deduction
from surplus value view (especially in the form where K includes
extra variable capital to pay unproductive workers), since
capitalists are not all that markedly reluctant to employ
unproductive labour. This would tell in favour of the extra cost
versions rather than the surplus deduction one. On the other hand,
there might be other merits of that view or it might be thought that
capitalists  are especially reluctant to employ them,

>  > I don't think unproductive labour is a cost of production: if
>it > were it should be regarded simply as that, like ancillary
>labour > of machine servicing etc.
>Hi Ian H:
>Regarded by whom?  Don't you think that corporations themselves
>regard their expenditures on their advertising, legal, and
>public relations departments to be costs of production?
>I agree that expenditures on unproductive labour are not the same
>as expenditures on c or v (a point I made previously).  The issue is
>what are the implications (advantages/disadvantages) of assuming
>that u is an addition to the denominator vs. a subtraction from the
>>  It should be noted that all of the different
>>  proposals have different effects on the rate of profit: that may >
>>be one way of deciding which method is best,
>Since quantitatively having a given quantity of u as a deduction in
>the numerator vs. an addition to the denominator shouldn't change
>the magnitude of r, I guess you mean the relative implications of
>having c + v in the denominator vs. K?   Yes, that would have
>different effects on the r.  But, how could that be seen as a way of
>deciding which method is best?  If it is done in one way vs. the
>other it might have "perverse" or logically inconsistent results?
>Please explain.
>In solidarity, Jerry

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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