Re: [OPE-L] empirical measurement of changes in the value of labour-power

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sat Dec 15 2007 - 07:28:51 EST

> You write:> > One could think of this as a 'rent' paid by workers to a segment of the> > capitalist class or landowners because of their monopoly power.> I think the alternative explanation is deficient because it adds "rents"> where it is not needed.
Hi Dave:
What you see as deficient I see as beneficial: the explanation I
have offered is able to account for an increase in food prices
benefits _one_ segment of capitalists.  Explaining class diversity
and how that gives rise to differing and sometimes conflicting 
interests within a class is an important aspect of class analysis.
 > > Indeed, it could well be that the reduction in real wages> > occasioned by the increase in food prices leads over time to> > intensified class> > struggle by workers as they seek to preserve their standard of> > living.> Yes of course, but we agreed to keep "all other things equal" for the> moment in order to analyse the immediate impact of a rise of prices of> the items that the workers consume alone.
See above.
 > Let me ask you a slightly different question then: Suppose only the> nominal wages fall instead, all other things equal. Has the rate of> exploitation risen now? 
If wages go down, then V goes down as well.  Other things being
equal, the same quantity of V will result in a greater quantity of S.
So, yes, the rate of surplus value will have risen. 
> Surely by your definition the VLP has not changed.
The definition I am using does not require the VLP to change.
There is no presumption on my part that at a particular moment
in time and place the wage must equal the VLP.
> > The "something" is commodities: this is an important distinction.> I simply disagree. Labour-value is applicable to any good or service> produced with social labour, not merely when they assume the form of> commodities. It is an objective social cost.
I disagree, but we'll save that discussion for another time.
In solidarity, Jerry

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