From: Allin Cottrell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Jun 17 2004 - 23:03:32 EDT
On Thu, 17 Jun 2004, Ian Wright wrote: > > Could anyone explain this idea (I don't think it's specific to Phil)? > > I confess it makes no sense to me. How does money "measure" anything? > > I think the "money as measure" phrase is meant to indicate the > relation between prices and labour times, although I agree it is a > loose formulation. > > > Is this an ellipsis for "[short-run equilibrium] price measures > > labour-time", in the sense that the quantity of money people are > > willing to pay for a commodity retrospectively determines the degree > > to which the labour that went into its production is/was socially > > necessary? (That I can understand, though I disagree with it.) > > Assuming overall that supply meets demand then if I'm very lazy and > take a long time to make commodity A compared to my competitor, but A > sells for one price, then some of my labour-time is not rewarded, and > was therefore socially unnecessary. No? To be sure, but in this case money plays no essential role in the argument: you've taken more than the socially necessary length of time to produce the commodity, and your specific labour-time, therefore, does not count at par. I was thinking of a different case: I produce some commodity, using best-practice technology and minimum labour-time, but consumer taste tuns against it, and it can be sold only at a heavily discounted price. Does the low price mean that my labour-time is retrospectively counted as less than socially necessary (i.e. that the _value_ of the commodity I have produced is depressed by the downturn in demand)? I think not: rather, price has been depressed below value -- and presumably the consequence is that the quantity produced will be curtailed, to the point where price roughly corresponds to value. Allin.
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