[OPE-L:4642] Re: Skilled labor, obselescence and value

Iwao Kitamur (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 07:42:51 -0800 (PST)

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Michael P.:
> Suppose that I am trained to have a skill that his specific to
>the production of slide rules. For a number of years, my training is
>validated by the realization of value by the slide rule makers.
>Suddenly, with electronic calculators, my training is less valuable.

>Where does the value go? Is there _any_ logical reason to assume that the
>value spent on training will be redistributed to either individual
>capitalists and/or among workers with other [newer?] skills _exactly_ such
>that there will not be a diminution of aggregate value? I think not.

I think I agree with Jerry that the value of training diminishes.
But when?
My answer to the question is that the value of training diminishes
when it is consumed by capitalists or by workers (at the time when the
training is done). Paul C,Steve and I discussed this problem some time back.
My opinion has not changed.
In the case which Michael raised, the old skilled labor producing scale
rules doesn't decrease its individual value when electronic calculators
begin to be produced though its social value may decrease for the relative
decrease in the use value of scale rules.
This problem is, to my eyes, basically a matter of substitution of use values.
In this sense, I thank Jerry for adding "obsolescence and value" to the subject
of this thread.

IMHO, we may probably not assume that one sort of commodities has one
specific exclusive use value when we discuss determination of social values.