Re: [OPE-L] "Levels of abstraction"

From: Dave Zachariah (davez@KTH.SE)
Date: Sun Feb 03 2008 - 11:51:10 EST

> In the contemporary United States, over 20 million workers operate
> financial transactions and exchange processes as the main content of
> their job, and another 5 million workers are in the business of
> enforcing property rights and public order. I could say that they are
> "supported" out of a physical surplus, without which they could not
> exist in their function, but as a matter of fact if they were not
> there, the whole wealth-creation system itself would come crashing
> down. Those 25 million workers additionally also generate profits.

Nobody has claimed that their labour is useless. The question is whether
it contributes to the development of wealth of the economy and the
living standard of the entire working population; whether the growth of
its employment will leave more or less profits left for reinvestment in
the capital stock and thus the productive capacity of the economy. These
could be called Smithian and Marxian concerns.

//Dave Z

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