[OPE-L:744] Re: value-creating power [digression]

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Sat, 16 Dec 1995 07:29:40 -0800

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I would like to reply to Paul C.[719].

>>>If they did not provide training, or have it provided by the state
>>>they could not produce. Need one say anything more at this level?

>>Yes. It's no matter for capitalists that they can't let workers to
>>produce anything unless they can get any surplus value. We are not
>>living in socialist society.

>Yes, but that applies to whatever capitalist produce,
>they must produce it at a profit. That does not mean
>that all inputs are the source of profit.
>Technical considerations dictate that the plastics
>industry must have as inputs ethylene and chemistry
>graduates, and the aircraft industry, aluminium and
>engineering graduates. But that does not make ethylene
>chemistry degress, aluminium, or engineering degress
>distinct sources of value. They are specific concrete
>inputs to the production process that relate to the
>use-value side of production. The question of the
>generation of exchange values relates to the
>distribution of social labour between activities.
>The sum of that labour is the social sum of value
>produced, and as such it has a fixed upper limit
>in the social working day. Spending part of the
>social working day on training does not lenthen
>the day, though it may enable more and different
>use value to be made.

I still don't think training/education is an intermediate input of production.
As Paul C. stated above, trained/educated labor is necessary intermediate
input to industry in the sence of use-value relationship. I agree.
The problems are (to my eyes)
(1) whether trained/educated labor as variable capital add different
quantity of exchange value from the quantity of exchange value by non-
trained/non-educated labor plus exchange value of training/education?
(2) if (1) is true, consider total value created by different average skill level
of labor at different points of time.
These two questions should be distinguished.
Paul C. denied (2) clearly, because exchange value should be measured by
socilal average labor time. So this measurment is relative to the different points
of time. Value created by one hour social average labor is constant at any time
in spite of their difference in skill in this measurement. This would be acceptable
regarding that skill is a use-value category and exchange value is a pure social
relationship. I have no objection to this argument if improved skill means no
change in intensity (Gradgroesse). But I think skill building in capitalist society
inevitably causes extension of intensity of labor. Or such type of skill building
is required from the view of total capital.
For individual capital, the problem (1) is still the case. Let's take this example.
I assume here the measument of exchange value as social average labor time
,assuming no intensity change. In PC fabricating sector, average productivity
was 1 units/person/hour. If the intensity of this labor was at social average,
added exchange value to each unit was 1 unit value.
Then company A adopted training which enables workers to produce 2 units/hour
without change of intensity and costs 1000 unit value per person. If A's share is
50%, the value added to each PC declines to 0.75 unit value. If wage is 0.5 unit
value/hour, surplus represented per hour by A rises to 1 unit value from 0.5 unit
value while others decline to 0.25 from 0.5 in average. So over 2000 hours will
reward to A's <speculation> on training. I believe this case is not inconsistent
with Paul C's thought. is it?

in ope-l solidarity,

I think we should reserve this thread untill we reach to the part IV if we proceed
toward there.

Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoretical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita@st.rim.or.jp
personal web: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~ikita/