[OPE-L:6314] RE: Re: Historical, real and current costs

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@CLASSIC.MSN.COM)
Fri, 20 Mar 98 05:16:50 UT

A reply to the PIAF:

From: owner-ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu on behalf of Francisco P. Cipolla
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 1998 4:56 PM
To: ope-l@galaxy.csuchico.edu
Subject: RE: [OPE-L] Re: Historical, real and current costs

Paolo wrote: "I don't see why this product, under the conditions described by
you,(that is one single
branch of production) should have a value -- at 9 p.m.-- superior to the flow
of labor?"

Nor do I. Let me stress, once again, that I am saying that the value of the
100 chunches, at 9 p.m. is exactly 100 labor-hours, which is exactly the
amount of labor-time that the workers performed.

Paolo: "If not, then there is no change in the MELT from 5 p.m. when wages
are paid to 9p.m. when the product is finished."

By assumption, it takes 1 hour to produce a chunche at 5 pm and at 9 pm. The
money price of a chunche is $1 at 5 pm, but it falls to $0.98 at 9 pm.
Therefore, I would say that the MELT falls from $1/(1 hr.) = $1/hr. to
$0.98/(1 hr.) = $0.98/hr.

Paolo: "In any case the issue seems to be that if MELT varies within the
period it is supposed to measure the value of labor time then it cannot
function as a measure. Is that the point?"

No. My point is that the MELT does change during a production period, between
time of input (thru 5 pm) and time of output (9 pm). If one insists that the
MELT is constant throughout the period (the simultaneist version of the MELT),
then it seems to me that one arrives at the perverse result that the workers
exploit the capitalists simply because the price level falls.

As I see it, the MELT changes here; there's deflation of the monetary
expression of value. The real value of a chunche is the same as before, but
it is expressed as $0.98 instead of $1. So I think the *nominal* money values
need to be adjusted for this change in the relationship between money and
labor-time. When this is done, the perverse result disappears: the
capitalists exploit the workers, not the reverse, and it is only the *nominal*
profit of the capitalists that are negative; *real* profit is positive.

I hope this is clear. If you haven't followed the discussion from the
beginning, it may not be. I'll be happy to explain further.


Andrew Kliman