[OPE-L:4113] Re: New Quiz and New New Quiz!

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 15:16:46 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]


> For Marx, value does not equal the cost of production,
> but the cost of reproduction. The reproduction costs
> have fallen, therefore so too does the value of the
> 1996 vintage coffee.


> In 1997, the labor time necessary to produce 1 kilo has been
> reduced to 90 hours. Let us suppose that the MEL remains
> the same. When I sell my stocked kilo of coffee in 1997, I
> only pocket 90 hours * $1/1 hour = $90. What would then be
> my profit rate as merchant capitalist? Do I gain or lose?


> You obviously lose $10, but if technical change is uniform,
> then the $90 will purchase a greater use value of goods
> -- more of Andrews rubber measuring stick.

Alejandro again:

Yes, I lost $10 and -- to show that Jerry is right, and I
have feelings -- I cry, a lot. Moreover, if I had sold my
coffee in 1996 I had pocketed $100, changing the form of
value from "coffee" to "dollar". Then I had been able to
purchase a US Governement Bond and now, given the rate of
interest, I had $106 (perhaps Jerry, who reads The Wall
Street Journal could tell us this exactly). So, I have
reasons to cry: Actually, I lost $16.

This is what capitalism is about, not about "use values".
Commodity is the unity of use value AND VALUE. The fact that
$90 can purchase a greater amount of use values is,
actually, irrelevant for me. Indeed, if now I had $106,
I could purchase even more use values...

Use value is only one aspect of capitalist wealth:

The immediate purpose of capitalist production
is not "the possession of other goods", but the
appropriation of value, of money, of abstract
Theories, II, p. 503

So, capitalists certainly cry... when they lose "money",
"abstract wealth", "value", not "use values". Use value is
only a means to appropriate more VALUE.

Concerning Andrew's "rubber stick", I think the following is
worth to cite:

The fact that labour-power was expended [implies]
that the commodity has the following concrete
property: it possesses value. The magnitude of this
value is measured by the amount of labour expended;
the commodity value cannot be resolved into anything
further, and consists of nothing more.

If I draw a straight line of a certain lenght, I
have [...] "produced" a straight line [...] by my
manner of drawing, practised in accordance with
certain rules (laws) that are independent of me.
[I can't] divide this line of a given lenght
in such a way that the sum of these parts is
greater than the undivided line itself; the lenght
of the undivided line in other words is not
determined by the lenghts of the segments into
which is divided. It is rather the relative lenghts

Capital II, p. 462, Penguin
(emphasis added).

Alejandro Ramos M.