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

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Tue Nov 11 2003 - 01:04:47 EST

--- Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
> Ajit wrote:
> >  One may think that increase in labor
> >productivity may increase labor militency and
> increase
> >the real wages but at the same time increase in
> labor
> >productivity may be associated with increase in
> >unemployment that may reduce labor militency.
> But labor militancy may have nothing to do with it.
> Since wage
> contracts are in money terms and productivity is
> presumably rising
> faster on the commodity side than the money side of
> the exchange
> equation, a constant money wage will result in a
> higher real wage.
> Again the assumption here is a commodity theory of
> money. What
> happens with fiat money is not clear.
> Rakesh

Rakesh, The point I was making is that real wage is a
long term phenomenon for Marx. It basically refers to
the standard of living of the working class at any
given time, and a lot of things goes into determining
it. A short term immediate impact of a rise in labor
productivity on the standard of living of the working
class cannot be predicted since many other things have
to be taken into account at the same time. Your point
is more Keynesian in nature. Even if we assume that
workers bargain for money wages, it is not clear why
rise in labor productivity must lead to fall the
prices of other things. Monetary authorities could
easily increase the money supply and create a general
inflation or at least not allow the prices to fall in
money terms. Even when you are dealing with gold or
silver money, the debasement of coins have been a
regular phenomenon in history. Furthermore, there is
no theoretical ground to suggest that rise in
productivity is laways greater in other sectors than
the money commodity sectors--remember discovery of new
gold and silver mines over the period of history.
Cheers, ajit sinha

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