Re: [OPE] labor tokens and efficiency

From: Allin Cottrell <>
Date: Wed May 06 2009 - 21:15:14 EDT

On Wed, 6 May 2009, Allin Cottrell wrote:

> At present in capitalist economies direct labour is not "fully
> costed" owing to exploitation (the wage is "less than the value
> created by labour", as one says). But indirect labour (as
> embodied in labour-saving mchinery) _is_ fully costed to the
> extent that the labour theory of value holds.

Paul and I have a numerical example in Chapter 3 of Towards a New
Socialism. Here's a simplified version. Let's assume the rate of
surplus value is 100% and the "rate of value creation" is $10 per
hour of direct labor.

Proucing good X:

method direct lab. indirect lab. total lab. money cost

     A 100 hrs 100 hrs 200 hrs $1500
     B 50 hrs 125 hrs 175 hrs $1500

Money cost = $5 * direct labor + $10 * indirect labor. The
capitalist sees no reason to favor method B but the planner sees
that the total labor outlay is lower for B, and so favors B over


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