Re: indirect labor, the real wage, and the production of surplus value

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Thu Nov 27 2003 - 09:29:26 EST

At 23:24 26/11/2003 -0800, ajit wrote:
>  For you, real
>wages are a direct function of productivity (q). My
>point has been that for Marx the real wages are not a
>function of productivity.

Why? Why--- given that productivity increases lower the value of wage goods?

>So the problem you are
>posing to Marx is not Marx's problem. To say that
>given U = Bq/X, U will be constant only if q/X must
>remain constant, given B being constant, is elementary
>mathematics. What insight one can get from such
>elementary mathematics?

The importance of X to any discussion of U?

>So, to repeat, the problem
>with what you are saying is that for your theory a
>rise in labor productivity, leaving other variables
>constant, must lead to a rise in real wages. This is
>not in Marx.

Have you read what I wrote on 23/11 in response to Jerry? Here it is again:

>'Finally the third CASE', where productivity (q) and the standard of
>necessity (U) rise at the same rate:
>The worker continues to receive the same value--- or the objectification
>of the same part of the working day--- as before. In this case, because
>the productivity of labour has risen, the quantity of use values he
>receives, his real wage, has risen, but its value has remained constant,
>since it continues to represent the same quantity of realised labour time
>as before. In this case, however, the surplus value too remains unchanged,
>there is no change in the ratio between the wage and the surplus value,
>hence the proportion [of surplus value] to the wage remains unchanged
>(Marx, 1994:65-6).
>In short, in this case, 'there would be no CHANGE in surplus value,
>although the latter would represent, just as wages would, a greater
>quantity of use values than before' (Marx, 1994: 66).
>In Capital, this third case in which both capitalist and worker may obtain
>more use-values without any change in surplus value is introduced as follows:
>Now, if the productivity of labour were to be doubled without any
>alteration in the ratio between necessary labour and surplus labour, there
>would be no change in the magnitude either of the surplus-value or of the
>price of labour-power. The only result would be that each of these would
>represent twice as many use-values as before, and that each use-value
>would be twice as cheap as it was before (Marx, 1977: 659).

         in solidarity,
Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office Fax:   (604) 291-5944
Home:   Phone (604) 689-9510

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