[OPE-L:3935] Re: negative surplus-value

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Mon, 6 Jan 1997 03:01:36 -0800 (PST)

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>Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:3931]:
>> For instance in 1976 the ratio p/(c+v) for the uk economy was -1.2% after
>> taking stock appreciation into account. If one counted the wages of
>> unproductive
>> workers as part of surplus value, then s/(c+v) was 15.9%, still positive. But
>> the classes of wage labourers and salarians taken as a whole were
>> consuming more
>> than they produced in value terms.
>Since the wages of unproductive workers are paid out of s, this is
>evidence that surplus-value is positive.

Yes it was, but the discussion up to this point had been at a high
or even ridiculous level of abstraction, dealing with non-capitalist
corn subsistence economies undergoing order of magnitude increases
in productivity year on year. The figures I gave are from real data
taking into account the state, expenditure on advertising, banking etc,
along with revaluations of capital stocks due to inflation. Britain
had a relatively high ratio of unproductive to productive workers.
It is just conceivable that in an economy with a lower proportion
of unproductive workers and a comparably high rate of inflation, one
could actually get a couple of years of negative surplus value, masked
by apparent inflationary or speculative profits.

In practice such circumstances can only be temporary as accounting
practices soon adjust to the inflation.
Paul Cockshott