Re: [OPE-L] "parasitism" of the service sector?

From: Dave Zachariah (davez@KTH.SE)
Date: Sun Jan 20 2008 - 06:33:25 EST

on 2008-01-19 19:03 Jerry Levy wrote:
> how can workers be both productive of surplus-value _and_ "parasitic"?

The RUPE article does not mention surplus-value, just the fact that the
*material* surplus from agriculture and industry must support the
service sector. There is nothing controversial about this.

A significant part of the service sector does not enter the reproduction
of the Indian working population; to that extent the growth of this
sector is "parasitic". (I have certainly not claimed that the entire
service sector is unproductive or that industry is productive.)

In a previous post (Fri Jan 18 2008) I gave a very simple example that
answers your question: a capitalist employing a servant or buying the
same service of some capitalist firm. While the firm earns surplus-value
through the expenditure of labour of its workers, it is a transfer of
the surplus-value generated elsewhere.

The situation is identical if you substitute "servant" for "workers
producing a luxury yacht" or any other material good.

//Dave Z

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