[OPE-L:3533] productive and unproductive labor

Fred Moseley (fmoseley@laneta.apc.org)
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 22:02:03 -0700 (PDT)

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I am glad to see that Andrew now seems to agree, as a result of the posts of
Jerry and Bruce, that the costs of unproductive labor (both circulation
labor and supervision labor are not part of constant capital, but are
instead must be paid for out of a part of the surplus-value produced by
productive labor. I appreciate Andrew's integrity and willingness to say
that he was incorrect.

Just to add further textual evidence of this interpretation, in addition to
that already offered by Jerry and Bruce:

CIRCULATION LABOR: Part 4 and 5 of Volume 3 of Capital, in which merchant
profit and interest are explained as a part of the total surplus-value
produced by productive labor.

SUPERVISION LABOR: Marx's discussion of the "wages of superintendence" in
TSV, vol. 3, pp. 353-61 and 495-506 (Jerry's passage comes for this last
discussion) and in Capital, vol. III, pp. 505-14. Marx remarked in TSV,
vol. 1, p. 81 that even Adam Smith recognized that the "wages of
superintendence" are a part of profit.

The important implication of this interpretation, in my view, is that the
very significant increase of unproductive labor in the postwar US economy
has been an increasing drain on surplus-value and has been the main cause of
the decline of the rate of profit, where profit is defined as net of these
unproductive costs.