[OPE-L:1986] Re: Re: Value Form (1972)

Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Wed, 29 Dec 1999 06:16:27 +1100

John is correct (hello again, BTW!). The Hilferding approach, which
provides a means to solve the "reduction of skilled to unskilled dilemma",
puts it in the same camp as the value/surplus value comparison, where
whatever the ratio is depends on social and technical conditions at any
time. It can therefore only be known ex-post.

As a corollary, this means there is no possibility of working out what it
is without messing around with price data, since all ex-post measurements
in capitalism are in terms of prices.

At 11:34 1999-12-28, you wrote:
>I think that Steve and Ajit seem to agree that the degree
>to which skilled labor creates value can only be determined
>ex post. If true, this would contradict to Fred's
>idea that abstract labor is totally independent of price.
>That is, we can only know the amount of abstract labor
>involved by looking at prices.
>Obviously, one can still assume that all labor is simple in
>reading Marx; however, in operationalizing(sp?) his efforts
>this is a sticky problem. It becomes all the more of a problem
>if we are comparing skilled labor in different countries where
>competition may not reduce the social value to the individual
Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
University of Western Sydney Macarthur
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