[OPE-L:4846] Re: determination of real wages

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 23 Apr 1997 04:40:25 -0700 (PDT)

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Ajit wrote in [OPE-L:4843]:

> My point has been that the two
> tendencies of falling rate of profit and a rising real wages are in some
> sense contradictory. They don't seem to go together.
> [...] His case seems to be that technical change comes
> about due to pressures of intra industry competition, that's why more
> pressure for technical improvement during recession as a survival mechanism.

You might want to consider the 2nd of Marx's "counteracting factors" to
the "law of the tendency for the general rate of profit to decline" --
"reduction of wages below their value."

"We simply make an empirical reference to this point here, as, like
many other things that can be brought in, it has nothing to do with
the GENERAL ANALYSIS OF CAPITAL, but has its place in an account of
COMPETITION, which is NOT DEALT WITH IN THIS WORK. It is nonetheless
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS in stemming the tendency for the
rate of profit to fall (V3, Penguin ed, p. 342, emphasis added).

It should be recalled, in connection with the above, that at the time that
Marx wrote the drafts for what became V3, he planned to write an
"eventual" continuation (i.e. another book) on competition.

Surely, if "reduction of wages below their value" is "one of the most
important factors in stemming the tendency for the rate of profit to
fall", it needs to be investigated and explained. Right?

In solidarity, Jerry