Re: measurement of abstract labor

From: ajit sinha (sinha_a99@YAHOO.COM)
Date: Sun Jun 13 2004 - 09:11:25 EDT

--- Fred Moseley <fmoseley@MTHOLYOKE.EDU> wrote:
> > You asked me how do I measure the L in Marx's
> theory of value?
> I answered that the total current labor-time is
> taken as given, including
> adjustments for different skills and unequal
> intensities.
My question is what do you mean by "given"? Let's
leave the skill part aside--it's just unnecessary
> Then you asked how do I EMPIRICALLY MEASURE the L in
> Marx's theory.
> And I answered that, one CANNOT EMPIRICALLY MEASURE
> the L in Marx's
> theory, because that L is a SOCIAL AVERAGE, socially
> necessary labor-time,
> not actual labor-times that are observable.
But we all know that averages are generally observed,
but there is well known and accepted methods of
deriving averages from given data. So to say you
cannot empirically measure it is wrong.
> And I asked you in turn: does you question about how
> L is empirically
> measured indicate that, in your view, a theory of
> price must be in terms
> of observable variables only?

No. I don't think so. The neo-classical theory has a
theory of demand that is based on the notion of
utility that is not observable.
 > Forget the positivism (I was just trying to put
> question in a broader
> philosophical context), and please answer this
> question: do you think that
> a theory of price must be in terms of observable
> variables only?
Not necessarily!
Sorry for a delayed response. Our internet was down
for few days. Cheers, ajit sinha

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