I want to expand on  by introducing a related question: capacity utilization. I. In discussing the table below, I said nothing about capacity utilization. However, I did suggest that value transferred by the means of production can be seen as a non-linear process. However, in reconsidering the table below, I think that (although non-linear explanations are possible) one could get these numbers through a linear relationship between *working hours* (i.e. the actual production time that the means of production are employed) and *value transferred* by the means of production. This was my original table: (Table 2) Year Transfer of Value ------ ------------------------ 1 10 2 20 3 30 4 10 5 30 Total: 100 Now let's modify it as follows: (Table 2A) Year Value Transferred Shifts/day Working hrs/day ---- -------- ------ --------- 1 10 1 8 2 20 2 16 3 30 3 24 4 10 1 8 In the above table, the working week was assumed to be 5 days/week. It can be very easily shown that if one extends the working week from 5 to 6 or 7 days/week then we will observe the same effect: i.e. as the workweek is extended the value transfer from the means of production is hastened. II. The above provides a powerful incentive for capitalists to increase capacity utilization. It also provides an additional incentive to increase the length of the working day and the length of the workweek for workers. While capacity utilization is not often discussed by Marxists and full capacity is ordinarily assumed in many models and illustrations, it is important to note that in reality there is hardly ever full utilization of existing constant fixed capital capacity. The implication of the above could be, then, that if there is underutilization of fixed capital capacity then the transfer of value of the means of production to output is slower than what it would have been with full capacity. Indeed, one could easily show that, assuming a fixed "lifetime" for constant fixed capital, if there is severe underutilization of capacity then the value transferred by the means of production will be *less than* the value of the means of production. Thus, value can be "lost" if the means of production are underutilized to the extent that the fixed capital "dies" (of old age) before the full value of that fixed capital has been transferred to output. In the aggregate, this would suggest a systematic loss of value. III. We have not considered how the "moral depreciation" of constant fixed capital enters into this process. Technological change in the production of means of production can render older means of production prematurely obsolete. I.e. there is a devaluation of the older fixed capital caused by moral depreciation. Yet, as we have discussed before (and has John E has emphasized) capitalists -- at least to some degree -- expect moral depreciation rather than assuming that their constant fixed capital will die a "natural death" due to physical depreciation. The clear implication of this is that moral depreciation provides additional incentive to increase capacity utilization and thereby to ensure that as little as possible of the value of their means of production are "lost" due to technical change. In other words, it provides additional incentive to put the means of production "to work" in the production process immediately after purchase and to use that fixed capital intensively especially in the early years of its "life". In solidarity, Jerry PS: In reply to Steve K's [5183-4] -- I view use-value as quality, exchange-value as quantity, and value as a unity of quality and quantity (this is why I suggested at one point that use-value stands in opposition to exchange-value -- a point Chris A and I discussed last year). Thus, my perspective is that use-value is not quantitative, BUT I am willing to listen to your arguments as to why: a) you think this is a logical extension of Marx's philosophy; and b) why you think it is a superior way of conceptualizing use-value. I.e. I want to hear the arguments themselves rather than the assertions.
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