- Capitalism and Alternatives -

No 'labor value', since an undeveloped land was not created by labor.

Posted by: Kweassa ( the Great March ) on November 05, 1999 at 16:00:36:

In Reply to: What is the labor value of... posted by Stuart Gort on November 04, 1999 at 18:51:18:

: ...undeveloped land in Newport Beach vs. Hemet, CA?

No 'labor value', since an undeveloped land was not created by labor. Hemet, CA could be more developed. Highly probable the land of Hemet, CA itself was also the same, except more people live there, and some money was put into it's development. These and other conditions would determine the rent of Hemet, CA. (Land is recognized under a unique category in Labor Theory of Value)

: ...a rookie card of Mickey Mantle?

How much would a single card cost? As much as the sum of money put into its production + it's surplus value. If a 1000$ worth of machines and materials, and a worker who's paid 500$ in wages produces 1000 cards, and if 50 cents of surplus value were put into each of those cards, then that would be:

[1000$ (C) + 500$ (V) + {0.5$ x 1000 cards}(S)] / 1000 cards = 2$ per card.

You asked 'labor value'? The 'value that was created by labor'. The worker made 1$ of of material and machines into a single card costing 2$. Then the 'labor value' would be 1$ per card.

One's inner preferences and respect towards a certain ball-player cannot possibly be measured in money, can it? Just like putting price tags on Michaelangelo is silly, so is higher prices for rare cards.

: ...a Cadillac vs. a Buick?

Same as above.

: ...a brain surgeon with 20 years experience?

This one is interesting, because Marxists are still arguing about certain types of labor which provides 'service'(such as lawyers, doctors, etc.). I'd better think about this for a while. Some scholars denounce that skill itself has anything to with the value of a product - in this case, service. Others don't.

: ...a menu from the last night of dinner aboard the Titanic?

Same as other cases. How much would the food cost?

: ...high fashion?

Same as above cases - how much would it cost to make those clothes?

: ...dinner at Spago's vs. McDonald's?


: I'd love to see what happens when our intrepid engineers start mucking about with these values in the context of their theories. See, one must eliminate discretionary income and wipe out conspicuous consumption for this labor theory to have any validity.

So would I.

When those moments come, it would be fascinating to watch since the logic of capital and money no longer influence one's mind or affections towards culture, fashion, hobbies etc. People collecting rare stamps would feel pleasure in 'collecting' itself, without need to figure out how much those stamps are worth. Artists won't have to worry about the price tags of their work. Sincere people who don't care how much they are paid, so long as they are serving justice - will become lawyers(because not many people would find all those years of grueling study and work so tempting, if it doesn't give you the power and wealth as they have given today).

Human culture without relations whatsoever connecting to the logic of capital - that certainly will be an interesting sight to watch.

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