Re: costs of unproductive labor

Ian Hunt (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 09:56:54 +1030 (CDT)

If you do accept a distinction between unproductive and productive labour
in a capitalist enterprise, which I do not think is ultimately necessary, I
think the best way of dealing with the "costs of unproductive labour" is to
use the distinction between capital stocks and and flows, including the
costs of unproductive labour in the stock of capital required to sustain a
given flow of productively used variable and constant capital, so that the
presence of "costs of unproductive labour" shows up as an increase in the
turnover period of capital, and thus as depressing the rate of profit. This
would avoid confusion between such wage costs and variable capital (but
without, in turn, confusing such costs with constant capital) and also get
the requirement that such costs reduce the rate of profit.

Dr Ian Hunt,
Director, Centre for Applied Philosophy,
Philosophy Dept,
Flinders University of SA,
Humanities Building,
Bedford Park, SA, 5042,
Ph: (08) 8201 2054 Fax: (08) 8201 2556