[OPE-L:3392] Re: TSS and Tech Change

John Ernst (ernst@usa.pipeline.com)
Sun, 13 Oct 1996 14:58:01 -0700 (PDT)

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Let this be the end of this until we get real data.

I've made a claim about the mailing industry. Claims could be
made about the printing industry. Why the mailing industry is
special eludes me. My claim is not "unusual." I find it in Marx's
CAPITAL. No one finds any other claim made by him when
it comes to replacing machines with machines.

Another examples:

Computer printers: High-speed dot matrix printers which require
one person to operate cost about $2500. To increase output per hour
10 fold, I'd have to spend about $7500. (Each prints USPS barcodes.)

Office copiers: To upgrade from a $1000 machine to a $5000 machine,
you get an increase in output per hour greater than five fold.

Laser Printers: A slow laser costs about $500, one printing 5 times as
fast costs less than 5 times as much.


So where are these machines that translate into a falling constant capital
to output ratio?


On Oct 13, 1996 13:52:00, 'Gerald Levy <glevy@pratt.edu>' wrote:

>John wrote in [OPE-L:3389]:
>> Stating that there is evidence is not the same as providing it. I'd
>> to see some numbers with your "evidence." Nota bene. Should you have
>> such evidence for cases where it is a matter of replacing machines with
>> more machines, "bigger" machines, etc., then you'd have a case for
>> disproving Marx's statements in CAPITAL.
>Right now I'm not concerned with Marx's statements -- I'm concerned with
>As I have repeatedly emphasized, you have only given us only *one* example

>of micro technological change -- the mailing industry. And as I have
>repeatedly emphasized, there is plenty of reason to believe that industry
>is an unusual case. Since *you* are making the unusual claim regarding
>technological change on the micro level, it is *your* responsibility to
>either show us "some numbers" or to drop the claim.
>Also: replacing machines with "more machines" does not imply that they are

>"bigger machines." Size, in physical terms, is not nor has it ever been a
>theoretical concern.
>Further, please note that when machines replace machines, one must still
>look at the labor requirements per unit of output.
>In Solidarity,