RE: [OPE] Invention, Inventors, and the Productivity of Labor

Date: Sun Nov 02 2008 - 08:42:19 EST

> Does my argument mean that an affluent society is condemned to have any kind of market
> (even the quasi-market under Market Socialism) to attain a high rate of technical change?
> I don’t think so. Consider the following quotation from Henry D. Dickinson:
> “[…] in an equalitarian economy which had atteined a very high level of technical efficiency,
> human labour might be so scarce compared with other factors of production that costing
> might be based on it alone. If, furthermore, equal educational opportunities and occupational
> mobility levelled out the distinctions between labour of different kinds, labour might come to
> be costed on the simple basis of time. In this way the costing system of the socialist community
> would gradually come to be based upon the Labour Theory of Value.” (Dickinson, 1971:43)
Hi Alejandro:
I wouldn't anticipate that the 'scarcity of human labour' will be a problem for a socialist
society if it was part of a socialist commonwealth since one could expect there to be
unlimited, free mobility of workers in that context. If workers are conscious enough to want
socialism then they will be conscious enough to tear down the barriers and walls which
separate them internationally.
The main problem for your argument, imo, is that with all of the controls and regulations
you propose for enterprises under a system of market socialism, no one would want to
operate market-based businesses! If you take away their discretion to set prices, place
extreme limits on their decision-making, and limit their rewards then no right-thinking,
rational entrepreneur would want to have any part of that system: you are expecting them
to take risks but are limiting their possible rewards - as indeed you _must_ unless you want
_increasing_ wealth and income disparities and market concentration.
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Sun Nov 2 08:47:28 2008

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