RE: [OPE] labor tokens and efficiency

Date: Thu May 07 2009 - 09:12:20 EDT

> If labour is recompensed at a full rate of 1 hour per hour rather
> than at a rate of 30 mins in the hour there is a greater incentive
> to use labour saving machinery. This is the fundamental reason why
> payment in labour hours is likely to accelerate the development of
> the forces of production.

Hi Paul C:

There's something wrong with this argument but it was too early early
in the morning when I wrote the draft of this message for me to put
my finger on it.

Some issues that spring to mind, though, include:

* Unless there are additional stipulations, there are also
incentives for workers not to increase their productivity since they
know that one hour's labor always equals one hour's labor regardless
of their intensity of work.

* There is also an incentive for individual workers to increase the
amount of hours worked since workers know that the more hours they
work the more compensation (tokens) they will receive. Is it really
desirable from a socialist perspective to offer incentives to
everyone to work more hours and take off less time for leisure and
non-work related purposes? Such a system might, for example, encourage
workers to continue to work on the job rather than take part in
community meetings outside of the workplace; it might discourage
workers' participation in some decision-making bodies.

* There is an unstated ethic to such a system. "From each according
to her abilities, to each according to her hours of labor" is
a slogan which might find favor with those who embrace the
Protestant work ethic. I see the possibility of a caste of "neo-
Stakhanovites" emerging - the neo-Stakhanovites, unlike the originals,
would not attempt to maximize labor intensity or be motivated by
the perceived effect of their labor on the socialist project; they
would attempt to maximize their working hours and would be motivated
instead by a desire for an increase in individual wealth
over the social average.

The latter two related issues suggest that there would need to be
a ban on working beyond a certain amount of hours per day and per week.

In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
ope mailing list
Received on Thu May 7 09:17:46 2009

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