[OPE-L:6292] RE: El Chunche (was "Historical, real and current costs")

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@CLASSIC.MSN.COM)
Mon, 16 Mar 98 20:19:24 UT

A reply to the PIAF:

From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu on behalf of aramos@aramos.bo
Sent: Monday, March 16, 1998 11:41 AM
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [OPE-L] El Chunche (was "Historical, real and current costs")

A reply to the PIAF:

I had written: "I posed the question to Duncan and other proponents of the
simultaneist MELT, for whom, I
believe, history doesn't matter here. I believe they have all the information
they require."

Ale responded: "I think it''s unfair to say that Duncan and other people
working in a "simultaneous framework" don''t take "history", or "time", into

Right. But I didn't say this. I wrote that, for them, history doesn't matter
HERE. In other words, they do not require past information to answer the
questions I posed.

> Ale: "I would say that you have 2 MELTs, one before 9 p.m.
> ($1/hour), and other between 9 p.m. and midnight ($0.98/hour)."
> Yes, of course. So would I. But our paradigm is temporalist. I
> don''t think this possibility is permissible within the
> simultaneist paradigm.

Ale: "Despite some evidences, I find difficult to believe this."

Well, as you noted, simultaneism does allow the MELT to change over time. But
I don't think it allow the MELT when the wages accrue (and/or are paid) to
differ from the MELT when the output is produced. My example reduces to this

It is true, as Duncan noted last year, that output is being produced
*continually*, and value is being produced *continually*, even though the
product is not in a form that is consumable (e.g., the chunche aren't dry
until 9 p.m., but wet chunche of 5 p.m. are commodities that are worth more
than no chunche). And we can say that wages accrue continually while the
workers work (e.g., up through 5 p.m.)

So far, I don't think Duncan's conception runs into any problem. If the wet
chunche of 5 p.m. are worth, say, $0.50 each, he could say that, since they
contain 1 labor-hour each, the MELT is $0.50/hr. There's negative profit =
100*$0.50 - $99 = -$49, but that's because the wages represent $99/($0.50/hr.)
= 198 hrs., so surplus-labor is 100 hrs - 198 hrs. = -98 hrs.

But a problem arises, I think, because Duncan requires production of value to
be continuous in a very particular sense. That is, value increases in strict
proportion to the flow of labor-time. This would imply that the value of the
chunche are determined when the workers quit work at 5 p.m., because no more
labor is incorporated in them after that time.

Yet, the dry chunche of 9 p.m. are clearly worth more than the wet chunche of
5 p.m. By Duncan's own line of reasoning (last year), which I accept, they
are not the same commodity.

So I think one must reject either the determination of value by labor-time, or
the notion that value increases in strict proportion to the flow of
labor-time. In other words, there's a distinction between working time and
production time. The problem that my example addresses is that wages accrue
only during working time, but value increases throughout production time.

BTW, I think this creates a problem not only for Duncan, but also for any
version of temporalism that would hold value to increase in strict proportion
to the flow of labor-time. The potential lag between input and output must be

Andrew Kliman