A few questions regarding economics

April 2024 Forums General discussion A few questions regarding economics

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 85 total)
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  • #120526
    Dave B
    Participant

    Rubin for discussion re blue suede shoes and goose etc which I did 10 years agon on the old forum before I had even heard of his name.  However, S. Frank does not ask what the content of the production expenditure is for the simple commodity producer, if it is not the labor spent on the production. For the simple commodity producer, the difference in the conditions of production in two different branches appear as different conditions for the engagement of labor in them. In a simple commodity economy, the exchange of 10 hours of labor in one branch of production, for example shoemaking, for the product of 8 hours of labor in another branch, for example clothing production, necessarily leads (if the shoemaker and clothesmaker are equally qualified) to different advantages of production in the two branches, and to the transfer of labor from shoemaking to clothing production. Assuming complete mobility of labor in the commodity economy, every more or less significant difference in the advantage of production generates a tendency for the transfer of labor from the less advantageous branch of production to the more advantageous. This tendency remains until the less advantageous branch is confronted by a direct threat of economic collapse and finds it impossible to continue production because of unfavorable conditions for the sale of its products on the market.  In conditions of simple commodity production, equal advantage of production in different branches presupposes an exchange of commodities which is proportional to the quantities of labor expended on their production.  this whole chain of phenomena, which was not adequately examined by Marx's critics and was elucidated by Marx's theory of value, refers equally to a simple commodity economy and to a capitalist economy. But the quantitative side of value also interested Marx, if it was related to the function of value as regulator of the distribution of labor. The quantitative proportions in which things exchange are expressions of the law of proportional distribution of social labor. Labor value and price of production are different manifestations of the same law of distribution of labor in conditions of simple commodity production and in the capitalist society. [9]The equilibrium and the allocation of labor are the basis of value and its changes both in the simple commodity economy and in the capitalist economy. This is the meaning of Marx's theory of "labor" value.  http://www.marxists.org/archive/rubin/value/ch11.htm

    #120527
    Sympo
    Participant
    ALB wrote:

    "That the sum total of the prices all the goods and services on sale is the same as the sum total of their exchange-values. But don't forget the words "in principle" as this assumes that capitalism is a static economy whereas it is not."Why do you believe that this is the case, that total price equals total exchange value? What leads you to this conclusion?

    #120528
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    One of the distinctive character of the WSM and the SPGB is that we have converted complicated political and economical conception into simple explanation, and everything is published in our website, pamphlets and articles. A worker do not need so many complicated terminologies  and definitions in order to understand the socialist case

    #120529
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    ALB wrote:

    "That the sum total of the prices all the goods and services on sale is the same as the sum total of their exchange-values. But don't forget the words "in principle" as this assumes that capitalism is a static economy whereas it is not."Why do you believe that this is the case, that total price equals total exchange value? What leads you to this conclusion?

    That situation will never take place in the capitalist society because it is society that is in constant crisis, and the crisis are longer than the period of 'prosperity." It will only take place on an ideal capitalist society based on equilibrium,  it might sound like the same mistake made by Rosa Luxemburg on his anti-critique

    #120530
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Aside from the difficulty in labour time accounting presented by taking into account the labour time involved in producing the machine that makes the toothpaste or the hair gel, what about the amount of time involved in training the hair gel maker or the toothpaste maker, or indeed the amount of time teaching/studying involved in becoming a hair gel machine or toothpaste making machine designer and creator. Taking it further, what about the socially useful labour time involved in teaching the person who taught the person who trained the person who made the toothpaste machine, to be a toothpaste making machine maker's teacher. If I then make the decision to go for the hair gel, how long will it take to re-train the toothpaste maker, the toothpaste making machine designer, the teacher of the toothpaste making machine designer, and the teacher of the teacher who taught the toothpaste making machine designer to make the toothpaste making machine, to do something else more socially useful, by which time I may have changed my mind and gone for the toothpaste after all.You can get into the same argument about carbon emissions, the electric car may produce less CO2 but what about the bloody big coal fired power station that produces the electricity, what about the CO2 produced in making the new car, as opposed to the CO2 being currently produced by the very polluting 10 year old diesel?My view is that in a Socialist Society we would make decisions democratically, based on the best information available to those making the decisions at the time and no doubt get some of those decision wrong on a regular basis. Some of those decision will be based on a rough estimate of how much labour time will be involved in creating things and no doubt some things will take more time than estimated and some will take less.

    #120531
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    ALB wrote:
    Here's some notes Marx once made on the difference between the German words for "value" and "worth". Not sure that we need to go into that much detail though 

    Quote:
    The only thing which clearly lies at the bottom of the German stupidity is the fact that linguistically the words value [Wert] or worth [Würde] were first applied to the useful things themselves, which existed for a long time, even as “products of labour,” before becoming commodities.  But this has as little to do with the scientific determination of the “value” of the commodity as the fact that the word salt was first used by the ancients for cooking salt, and consequently sugar, etc. also figure as varieties of salt from Pliny onwards (indeed, all colourless solids soluble in water and with a peculiar taste), and therefore the chemical category “salt” includes sugar, etc.As the commodity is bought by the purchaser not because it has value but because it is a “use-value,” and is used for definite purposes, it goes without saying that 1. use-values are “assessed,” i.e. their quality is investigated (just as their quantity is weighed, measured, etc.); 2. if different sorts of commodities can be substituted for one another for the same use, one or the other will be given preference, etc., etc.In Gothic there is only one word for Wert and Würde: vairths, τιμη, //τιμαω, assess, i.e. evaluate; to determine the price or value, to rate; metaphorically: to appreciate, esteem, honour, distinguish.  Τιμη—assessment, hence: determination of value or price, evaluation, valuation. Then: estimation, also, value, price itself (Herodotus, Plato), αι τιμα—expenses in Demosthenes.  Then: estimation, honour, respect, place of honour, honorary post, etc., Rost's Greek-German Dictionary.(….)Furthermore it should be noted that—even in this linguistic connection—if it follows automatically, as if by the nature of the thing, from the original identity of Würde and Wert that this word also referred to things, products of labour in their natural form—it was later directly applied unchanged to prices, i.e. value in its developed value-form, i.e. exchange-value, which has so little to do with the matter that the same word continued to be used for worth in general, for honorary offices, etc. Thus, linguistically speaking, there is no distinction here between use-value and value.

    I think, YMS, that the Anglo-Saxon word is: veordh, vurdh. The English word value must come from French.

     http://kevin-anderson.com/wp-content/uploads/docs/anderson-article-unkown-marx-capital.pdfThe unknown French edition of Marx's capital volume 1

    #120532
    Sympo
    Participant
    mcolome1 wrote:
    That situation will never take place in the capitalist society because it is society that is in constant crisis, and the crisis are longer than the period of 'prosperity." It will only take place on an ideal capitalist society based on equilibrium,  it might sound like the same mistake made by Rosa Luxemburg on his anti-critique

    Wait, what do you mean? What do this have to do with the question I asked? (Not trying to be a jerk, I am just confused)

    #120533
    ALB
    Keymaster
    Sympo wrote:
    ALB wrote:
    "That the sum total of the prices all the goods and services on sale is the same as the sum total of their exchange-values. But don't forget the words "in principle" as this assumes that capitalism is a static economy whereas it is not."

    Why do you believe that this is the case, that total price equals total exchange value? What leads you to this conclusion?

    Marx's argument is that if, under capitalism, commodities sold at their value (the amount of socially necessary labour required to produce them from start to finish) the more profitable industries would be the labour intensive ones (since profit derives from unpaid, or surplus, labour as labour expended over and above the cost of reproducing the workforce's working capacity). But this is not the case as there is a tendency for the rate of profit on capital invested to be equal across all industries.His explanation for this is that the part of a commodity's value corresponding to surplus value is, as it were, pooled with that of all other commodities and shared out amongst capitalists in proportion to the amount of capital they invested. This is brought about by competition and capitalists moving their investment from less profitable to more profitable industries.His assumption is that total profit = total surplus value; which means also that total prices = total exchange values.But total prices = total exchange values is only a tendency towards an equilibrium position that is never reached in practice as capitalism is a dynamic system in which the factors determining value are always changing due to increases in productivity (which decrease the value of already existing or previously produced commodities).So, it's all to do with Marx's theory of surplus value as the source of profits.

    #120534
    Sympo
    Participant
    DJP wrote:
    Sympo wrote:
    And just to complicate things, not all labour in capitalism produces "value". Some sectors just redistribute value that has already been created in other sectors of the economy. See the thing and productive and non-productive labour.

    Are people who engage in non-productive labour exploited by capitalists?

    #120535
    DJP
    Participant
    Sympo wrote:
    DJP wrote:
    Sympo wrote:
    And just to complicate things, not all labour in capitalism produces "value". Some sectors just redistribute value that has already been created in other sectors of the economy. See the thing and productive and non-productive labour.

    Are people who engage in non-productive labour exploited by capitalists?

    If they are employed by a capitalist then yes. The capitalist will still be syphoning off surplus value (or surplus labour – same thing), it's just that in terms of total value no new value has been created.Marx's analysis takes place on the level of groups, i.e the capitalist class and the proletariat, rather than the level of individuals. The working class *as a whole* is exploited, in that they do not receive the full product of their labour, but not all individual members of the working class will be exploited in this way i.e the unemployed etc.

    #120536
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    DJP wrote:
    Sympo wrote:
    And just to complicate things, not all labour in capitalism produces "value". Some sectors just redistribute value that has already been created in other sectors of the economy. See the thing and productive and non-productive labour.

    Are people who engage in non-productive labour exploited by capitalists?

    Workers are exploited at all levels of our society. Without profits capitalism can not survive. More than 75% of the working force, is  working for the non-productive sector and they are still exploited

    #120537
    Sympo
    Participant
    DJP wrote:

    "If they are employed by a capitalist then yes. The capitalist will still be syphoning off surplus value (or surplus labour – same thing), it's just that in terms of total value no new value has been created."What do you mean with "syphoning"?I don't understand. How can an individual be economically exploited if he's not creating surplus value for his employer?Marx's analysis takes place on the level of groups, i.e the capitalist class and the proletariat, rather than the level of individuals. The working class *as a whole* is exploitedOh yes definitely.I guess that the people who aren't economically exploited(unemployed, homeless people etc) would have a better life in Socialism than in Capitalism.

    #120538
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Sympo wrote:
    DJP wrote:

    "If they are employed by a capitalist then yes. The capitalist will still be siphoning off surplus value (or surplus labour – same thing), it's just that in terms of total value no new value has been created."What do you mean with "syphoning"?I don't understand. How can an individual be economically exploited if he's not creating surplus value for his employer?Marx's analysis takes place on the level of groups, i.e the capitalist class and the proletariat, rather than the level of individuals. The working class *as a whole* is exploitedOh yes definitely.I guess that the people who aren't economically exploited(unemployed, homeless people etc) would have a better life in Socialism than in Capitalism.

    Probably, he meant siphoningIn Political Economy exploitation is extraction of surplus value, and at the non-productive level workers are also producing surplus value for the capitalists. Without surplus value capitalists can not exist, it is like a parasiteUnemployed, exploited, exploiters,  and homeless are just terminologies  and consequences of capitalism, they would not exist within a socialist society.

    #120539
    Dave B
    Participant

    A capitalist will use a ‘standard’ 10 hours of a workers time and remunerate them with what a ‘standard’ 8 hours of a workers time can produce. That happens irrespective of how the capitalist utilises 10 hours of a workers time. If non productive workers, like say domestic servants, got 6 hours worth of stuff for 10 hours work then they would skip of and work in productive labour where we are assuming you get 8 hours worth of stuff for 10 hours work.  If non productive workers, like say domestic servants, got 10 hours worth of stuff for 10 hours work then productive workers would become domestic servants. In fact the amount of stuff you get for paid for work or the rate of exploitation tends to be the same across all industries within and without productive labour. Non productive work is funded out of the surplus value of productive work.

    #120540
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Unless Walmart, Burger King, etc,, etc.  are charitable and Philanthropic organization who do not produce any surplus value

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