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

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Fri Apr 09 2010 - 08:31:25 EDT

Oops. I was replying to Paul C (rather than Dave) here.
In solidarity, Jerry

> >I certainly dont want to deny the struggle over wages.
>> What I am saying is that if workers are saving then the wage must contain
>> part of the social surplus product
> Hi Dave Z and Paul B:
> Conceptually and practically there is a big difference: within one
> formulation, if workers succeed in struggling for
> higher wages which includes positive savings then that lessens the rate of
> exploitation and represents a transfer
> of value from capitalists to workers; within the other formulation, the
> savings represent a claim on total surplus
> value and could thus be seen as having a hand in the exploitation of other
> workers. The latter formulation of
> higher wage workers exploiting lower wage workers has significant
> theoretical and political implications.
> The way I would put it is as follows: workers can succeed within limits
> through their struggles in raising
> the customary wage and, over time, the value of labour-power. This might
> allow for positive savings but
> those savings are not large enough to allow for mobility from one class to
> another. What it allows for is
> consumption by working-class families at a latter date. Their financial
> and social (in)security, in effect,
> requires that workers have positive savings. Those savings could be
> thought of as deferred wages: monies
> paid out today but used for the purpose of individual consumption at a
> latter date.

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Received on Fri Apr 9 08:33:57 2010

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