[OPE-L:3940] Re: More on negative surplus value

Chai-on Lee (conlee@chonnam.chonnam.ac.kr)
Mon, 6 Jan 1997 20:10:24 -0800 (PST)

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Rieu wrote in [3939]:

>Let the production prices of constant inputs be 1,000$.
>If a certain capitalist using these inputs with 250$ living labour
>realized only 750$, namely
> 1,000C + 250V + ?S = 750
>How do you explain this?
>If we apply your value definition consistently, in the above example,
>surplus value must be -500(=750-1000-250), I think. And this explanation
>might be Andrew's.

If the production price of the constant capital elements is still $1,000
currently, and yet the producer sells his product at $750, then the labor
directly involved in the production must be "socially unnecessary", must not
be "socially useful labor", which means the producer consumed his capital
value and thus it was reduced from $1250 to $750. I wonder why you think the
surplus value should be -500(=750-1000-250). If the product is sold at $1002
whilst the current price of the input materials is still $1000, then I argue
the direct labor must have been socially useful. Its value producing
capability was only of $2. Yet, it was paid $250. Then, the negative surplus
value obtains as $248. But his profit is negative, too. If the price of the
constant capital element decreased to $750, and the product was sold at
$1002, then the surplus-value comes to be $2 (a positive amount). My
notation PA implied the current price (not its historical price).