[OPE-L:579] Re: value-creating power

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Tue, 28 Nov 1995 09:34:08 -0800

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I'm very glad to receive replies(Steve, Paul C) to my post[513]
concerning Steve's post[454] on training.

Steve[515] pointed out that my description of money form of
use-value[#] of education and training shows uncertainty of
capitalism. I agree so that I stated the form is a sort of fictitious
capital. I think it's challenge worth to apply this to analysis in
behaviour of capitalist managemant on training and 'man-power'
But I'm still sceptical to see the function of training as 'a source
of value'.

Paul C's[533] argument to Steve's original post[454] raised
an interesting question that probably also relates to the
depreciation problem. The point is the value measurement at
different points of time.
Paul C. wrote "The answer of Marx and classical political economy
was that it should be interpreted as a fall in the value of
commodities. This at least has the merit of giving human labour time
as an invariant standard of value. Since 1995 can not trade with
1925, relative exchange value creating powers can not be compared."
Related to this, Alan had argued in [449] "Thus I think it possible to
reach agreement that value *can* be measured in money, provided
we suspend discussion on how this measure of value changes over
time. ".
I honestly say I'm not quite sure that there's a possibility of existence
of a constant measurement of exchange value at different points of
Though, there can be two answers at least.
(a) the value of a unit of social average labor at time[1] is equivalent
to the value of that at time[2].
(b) the value of labor at any given point of time can be reduced to
the constant value of simple labor.
(a) is enough valid under the assumption of a certain constant condition
of production at the same point of time. (b) is rather a narrower
concept of measurment of value.
Paul C. seems to take (a). I would tend to take (b) for some reasons.
The most reason to take (b) is to explain the empirical fact of
motivation of total capital in training workers and educating preparation
army of labor. Steve[537] wrote "It also throws away a solution to an
otherwise unsolved problem. We conserve the concept of the conservation
of value, but we can no longer explain how it is that capitalists have an
interest in training labor."
In the case of comparing value of labor between different countries
(at the same point of time), Marx wrote, "Diese nationalen Durchschnitte
bilden also eine Stufenleiter, deren Masseinheit die Durchschnittseinheit
der universellen Arbeit ist. Verglichen mit der weniger intensiven,
produziert also die intensivere nationale Arbeit in gleicher Zeit mehr Wert,
der sich in mehr Geld ausdrueckt." (chapter 20, Capital I, Dietz).
If we may apply this concept of intensity to skillness of labor, it would support

Paul C.[554] wrote, "I find Iwao's argument unconvicing. What are the grounds
he has for assuming that money spent on training is any different from money
spent on other regular inputs like fuel or raw materials?
Why should it add to value creating power rather than simply be passed on
in the value of the product?
The belief in the augmented value creating power of skilled labour is the
specific class ideology of the intelligentsia."
Training or education are to be put into the process of reproduction of labor
power, not to be put directly into the process of labor. So their value are
transfered to the value of labor power, not to the value of labor.
I think Paul should have questioned what are the grounds I have for
assuming that money spent on training is any different from money
spent on other _consumer_ _products_?

# In [513], I wrote,
"If the educated worker works (or is expected to work) n years in average and her/his
skill (value-creating power) is m multiplied, yearly value created by her/his labor
before (let this to be <Wp>) would become <m*Wp>.
For capital, the education of the worker adds suplus value of (m-1)*Wp for n years
if the worker is paid the same wage. The present value of the change would be
Wx = SIGMA ((m-1)*Wp/(1+r)**t) (r=discount rate)
(t=1 to n) "