[OPE-L:3247] Re: Marxian Empirical Research: Does Skilled Labor Create Value?

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Thu, 3 Oct 1996 01:54:27 -0700 (PDT)

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>As Meek puts it, Marx:
>"was simply saying (a) that the value of the skilled labor power
>was higher because it had cost more labor to produce; and (b)
>that because it had cost more labor to produce, it was able to
>create a product of a higher value... If p hours is his expected
>productive life, and t hours of simple labor have been expended
>upon him and by him during the training period, then when he
>starts work each hour of his labor will count as 1 + t/p hours
>of simple labor." (Meek 1973, p. 172)
>Now if this is so, the additional value (over that created by the simple
>labor upon which skilled labor is built) created by skilled labor is
>identical to the value expended in training. Hence the only source of
>surplus value, according to this interpretation, is simple labor. Is
>that what you intended in your initial answer to Iwao?

I agree with Meek here, provided that one includes the time spent by
the trainee as well as the trainers during the training period.

The whole thing becomes transparent as soon as you consider the situation
in a planned economy.
Paul Cockshott