[OPE-L:6305] RE: Re: Historical, real and current costs

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@CLASSIC.MSN.COM)
Wed, 18 Mar 98 04:28:27 UT

A reply to the PIAF:

From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu on behalf of Francisco P. Cipolla
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 1998 4:31 PM
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Subject: RE: [OPE-L] Re: Historical, real and current costs

Paolo wrote: "If the problem being discussed by Michael Willians and Andrew
Kliman has to do with circulation of capital ...."

It doesn't. The *fundamental* point is that, in the case under consideration,
wages accrue and are spent before the output is finished. If the MELT
(relation of money value to labor-time value) isn't allowed to change between
these times, one reaches the (weird) conclusion that the workers have
exploited the capitalist simply because the price level drops.

In order to "motivate" the idea that the wages are spent before the output is
finished, I introduced a *secondary* point: the wages are spent after the
workers finish working, but before the output is finished, and this occurs
because production time continues after working time is completed.

Paolo: "I do not think we need to say that the flow of value differs from the
flow of labor in order to explain why a product
will be worthed more than the labor expended in its production."

Although things that Jerry and Michael have written might seem to suggest
otherwise, I am NOT saying this. No, no, no, no, no. I am simply saying that
the two flows are not simultaneous. The labor flow is completed when the
working time ends. The flow of value is completed when the products are

Paolo: "The greater turnover time, due in this case to an extra production
period which is not a laboring period, implies that a normal rate of profit
will be achieved only if this capital gets more than the new value added."

Right. And that (redistribution of value across branches) is Marx's solution
to the wine fermentation problem in general. In the case under consideration,
however, there's only one branch. So the widgets/chunches do not sell for
more than their value.

This is incidental to the main point. (I don't fault Paolo for this -- a lot
of the discussion to which he's responding has strayed from the main point.)

Again, the main point is the lack of synchronicity between the timing of wage
payments and the timing of output, and the consequent need to recognize that
the MELT changes during the course of the production period. If it isn't
recognized, IMO, one reaches a wrong conclusion: the workers exploit the
capitalists simply because the price level drops.


Andrew Kliman