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

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Thu Apr 08 2010 - 17:11:21 EDT

Hi Dave

> The alternative in my view is to take the labour content of the real
> wage bundle *actually consumed*. I think it is only then one can obtain
> a theory consistent with historical materialism.

The labor-value of labor is 1, by definition, independent of the
technique or the level of the real wage. Just as the length of 1
metre, in metres, is 1 metre. This is a conceptual necessity in a
system of measurement.

The labor-value of the real-wage can be less than, more than, or equal to 1.

If less (resp. more) than 1, then workers supply more (resp. less)
labor to production than they receive in the form of the real wage.

This relationship is connected to exploitation, but not identical with
it. For example, in a "simple commodity economy" the labor-value of
the real wage may be less than 1 (due to the current aggregate demand
and price structure such that real demand is in excess of the current
capacity of the economy leading to a reduction in stocks of inventory)
but workers are not being exploited.

I'm not sure these points are really addressing your question, but I
thought they were worth mentioning.

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Received on Thu Apr 8 17:13:49 2010

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