Re: (OPE-L) indirect labor, the real wage, and the production of surplus value

From: paul cockshott (clyder@GN.APC.ORG)
Date: Thu Nov 06 2003 - 10:12:55 EST

Jerry wrote:
Consider the possible "indirect" effects on the real wage in the US
and UK of  occupation troops in Iraq!  The 'labor' performed by those
troops will most likely 'indirectly' cause the price of oil in the US and
UK to be lower than what it would have been without the invasion and
occupation of Iraq.  This would then not only decrease the cost of
elements of constant capital for capitalists in the US and UK, but to
the extent that a reduction in the price of oil would lower the production
costs for business firms that produce *means of consumption for workers*
that 'labor' would 'indirectly' cause a change in the real wage since both
oil and oil derivatives --  including heating oil, plastics, fiberglass,
etc. --  enter into the real wage of workers.  Yet I would be loath to say
that  the US and British imperialist troops are productive of surplus value
as a consequence!

Paul replies:
This relates to prices not to values. A fall in the price of oil would
just be a redistribution of value between property owners unless it was
brought about by a change in the production technology.

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