Re: [OPE] Open problems in Marxist economics: Workers' savings

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Wed Apr 07 2010 - 07:11:42 EDT

>I cant see one possible problem.
> Suppose that 15% of wages were deducted for pension funds. Suppose further
> that all of this went on the purchase of new equities issued by firms to
> fund investment in fixed capital. In that case you
> would be counting labour expended in the production of fixed capital as
> part of the value of labour power which differs quite substantially from
> the framework used by KM in Capital II.

Hi Paul C:

Well, first of all, it's misleading to think that the entire wage must be
spent immediately on
direct consumption. Workers' savings, in effect, is *forced* by capital and
the state since
workers' retirement and emergency ('rainy day') needs aren't all met by
company-paid for
beneifits or state insurance programs. Savings are also required for the
funds needed
for periodic non-working activities, such as annual vacations, etc.

However, once workers have savings then they are obviously going to invest
their funds
in ways so as to ensure that their real savings aren't eroded by inflation,
etc. This might
mean (among other things) savings accounts, retirement accounts, or even
mutual funds accounts.
Of course, banks and other financial institutions will invest this money and
that will have a real effect
on the accumulation process. However, remember that not all workers have
positive savings.
Many, in this time period especially, have negative savings such as credit
card indebtedness.
On balance, is there any reason to suppose that workers' savings will on
balance be significantly
greater than workers' indebtedness?

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Wed Apr 7 07:13:13 2010

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