[OPE-L:4548] Re: Duncan's vintages

John Erns (ernst@pipeline.com)
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 14:42:06 -0800 (PST)

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Ok. I'll bite as I do agree it does get "to the heart of
the problem."

At 01:38 PM 3/26/97 -0800, you wrote:
>I think Michael's posts [4532, 4542] let us approach the
>issue in a very direct manner which gets right to the heart
>of the problem.
>Let me ask this question. Suppose in February, the
>workers in a given branch of production make twice as
>many goods as in January, having worked the same number
>of hours in each month. Suppose this results from changes in
>technology which, for the sake of simplicity, we will assume
>have not changed the cost structure of the firm (that is, the
>organic composition does not change).
>So the workers, to put it simply, make twice as many things
>in the same time, for the same money.
>Has the value they add to the (aggregate) product doubled?

The correct answer follows:

Given no change in the unit price of the good produced as
well as a constant value of money, then the social value added
has doubled. Here, we then have an example of the social value
exceeding the individual value. The individual value added by
the workforce does not change with the increased productivity.
The "next step" would be to show how and why the "law of value"
brings about a fall in the social value to the level of the
individual value.