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

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Sat Apr 10 2010 - 12:45:53 EDT

Gerry, remember we are talking about net savings by the working class, the sort of thing you are talking about would not appear as net working class savings in the national accounts since savings by one group would be matched by dissaving by another group of the working class.

Since the material equivalent of these savings would be ships, railways and factory buildings, it is unclear how this -- which one would normally take to be part of constant capital, can constitute part of the value of labour power.
From: [] On Behalf Of GERALD LEVY []
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2010 12:20 PM
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Open problems in Marxist economics: Workers' savings

> Either you have to say that capital accumulation is not per se
> part of the social surplus product, or else you have to say that
> when the wage rises above the value of labour power, then it includes
> part of the social surplus.

Hi Paul C:

If workers' savings becomes customary and socially expected in a
given society, then it becomes part of the VLP. Another way of looking
at this is a part of what appears to be the surplus is in fact
necessary consumption. It only appears to be surplus because of the
annual nature of the accounts. If we look at the funds over the
lifetime of the working-class families who are doing the savings
we see that they are indeed necessary within some capitalist societies
for the reproduction of the working class. Instead of agreeing to
pay for the lifetime reproductive requirements for the working class,
workers are forced to give - in effect - a loan to capital. THey
are compelled to do this since otherwise their real savings would
erode over time - at least during inflationary periods.

In solidarity, Jerry
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Received on Sat Apr 10 12:50:27 2010

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