- Capitalism and Alternatives -

holding your hand

Posted by: Gee ( si ) on October 28, 1999 at 15:01:27:

In Reply to: OK, Gee, here's an (socially necessary) hour of my time posted by Barry Stoller on October 28, 1999 at 12:19:55:

: Not so fast!

But fast is such fun!

: If there wasn't some measure of what labor requires (and you omit Marx’s many qualifications regarding the differences between occupations, regions, nations, etc.) to reproduce itself, there could be no standard wage. For each job---yes, there are regional variations AND occupational differences (think of education as an investment cost)---there IS a standard wage; Burger King is paying about the same as McDonald's. The cut off point of the wage is the point beneath which a worker (even a starving illegal immigrant living in a box) cannot accept.

I ommitted the qualifications because they are not pertinent to the principle premise - that there is a point below which a worker wont work and that this must be 'socially necessary time'. What I am saying is that the things which Marx said *mus* follow this concept do not follow - as we shall consider below.

: No, wages are the price of labor. Labor-power is something different. That's why I get frustrated with you. It seems evident that you haven't read---or understood---Capital; correcting each mistake---and then explaining it accurately exhausts my patience. You, in turn, call that 'winning' the argument.

We'll get onto labor power. And no, I didnt claima 'winning argument' in response to you previous non-argument, I simply pointed out the meaninglessness of such non-arguments in the context of a discussion board.

: Labor-power is collective labor. No laborer owns this (and no laborer gets paid for it!); each laborer owns only his or her ability. It is the capitalist who harnesses collective labor-power,

Yet you deny the one who facilititates the existance of labor-power a 'wage'. Ability may have been of little value alone, but when combined with organised activity may contribute to value - the organised activity is that which enables workers abilities to contribute to value not existent beforehand. Hence the laborer would not be paid for it.

Profit is gain based upon use value. Profit is obtained in the market. Therefore, profit has both the aspect of value produced during the production process and the aspect of gain formed in the circulation process.

But the aspect of value itself means nothing but the use value of a commodity. This is not produced by surplus labor, but by the give-and-take action between the various elements including machinery in the production process. (machinery is variable capital which produces profit.)

And the aspect of profit is gained by the give-and-take action with consumers in the circulation process. When producers supply consumers with value, they are given profit as their 'reward'. That is actual profit.

: Wages have been reduced even though the single programmer may earn much more than a telephone operator.

I was considering wages in terms os all wages, not just individual wages. You see the logic of '100 thrown onto the street' is that in every new machine one would find a new mass of permamently unemployed people - and an ever decreasing average wage as people fend for less and less work. Evidently this is not so, as I have cited before, in either case.

The increased productivity raises the stakes in exchange - the 'ever more useful things' for 'ever more useful things' - it doesnt destroy jobs or wages in any permament way.

:... but the phantoms of the ones fired represent less wages when you consider the workers as a group.

See above.

: "If I didn't have the time to explain Milton Friedmans' theories of economics to you, would that disqualify it? "

No, the poverty in Russia disqualifies it.

It disqualifies Marx, by those very loose standards of interpretation.

: Now that I've held your hand for about an hour (instead of reading my new book!), I DO hope you are satisfied...

I am, but probably not in the way you mean, and there was no hand holding - other way round if anything.

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