[OPE-L:5396] RE: Luxury goods and profit rate

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Mon, 1 Sep 1997 02:09:26 -0700 (PDT)

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> Duncan comments:
> I'm curious as to exactly how one can measure these labor times "in
> principle, by observation". What method would you use to calculate the
> of exploitation for a real economy, say the UK in 1997?
> Cheers,
> Duncan
Ajit says one can do it in principle, i.e., given sufficient resources
to put into the research.

What one would need would be
1. the number of employees and length
of the working day for every firm in the country,
2. a listing for every
firm of the amounts of physical inputs it used along with their
universal product codes (bar codes),
3. a listing for every firm of the amount of its output in physical
terms and the bar code of the output.
4. a categorisation of outputs according to product codes into
necessities and luxuries
5. survey data on how much in the way of necessities were also
consumed by upper class households
6. the number of upper class households.

In principle such data can be gathered, much of it already exists
on computers held by individual companies. In practice we have
to make do with a reduced version of this from published I/O tables.
Although these are aggregated, they are lot better than nothing.