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

Date: Mon Nov 03 2008 - 11:06:47 EST

> Jerry, I tend to say yes it does, but more indirectly then directly.
Hi Došan:
In the example which Paul C selected - fuel efficiency improvements in marine
diesel engines - what are the indirect ways in which labor productivity is
increased? Recall the stipulation suggested by Paul that the labor required
for producing a given quantity of oil remains constant. As I suggested previously,
there might be very _marginal_increases in productivity, e.g. the labor
time required to bunker (load up with fuel) the ships would be less if the
engines themselves are more efficient. Did you have something more in mind?
Within the context of _another_ mode of production where there was full
employment of labor then an increase in fuel efficiency of ships might lead
to labor being redeployed from the oil industry to other sectors (since less
oil is required now than before). This is not a 'constraint' for capitalism since
'unnecessary' workers in the oil refining, etc. industry can be 'freed' to join the
industrial reserve army (IRA). Indeed, the growth of the IRA could be seen as a
consequence of advances in efficiency under conditions of capitalist relations of
In solidarity, Jerry

>> You are taking a narrower definition of the productivity of labour than me.> Perhaps so: am I mistaken in thinking that you believe that all innovations> are ultimately labor-saving and there is no such thing as a capital goods-saving > innovation which lowers costs but doesn't increase labor productivity?

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Received on Mon Nov 3 11:10:05 2008

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