Re: [OPE-L] price of production/supply price/value

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Tue Feb 14 2006 - 17:44:56 EST

Sorry I'm not able to participate fully in this discussion, but ont
point caught my attention here.

On Fri, 10 Feb 2006, Andrew Brown wrote (in response to Paul C.):

> As you say, there are other scalars that exercise constraints...
> thousands of them. The point is they cannot be *meaningfully* or
> 'rationally' or 'really' combined into a *single* scalar [though
> they of course can be formally, as you do for your empirical
> work]. They constitute a large matrix. Labour input is different
> in part because of the first reason you mention (it inputs into
> all production processes) but fundamentally because it is the sole
> determinant of the available production time to a society. The
> total available labour time to a society, for any given time
> period, is the sole determinant of the total available production
> time that the society has to allocate in that period. This is a
> general time cost and is a scalar.

Doesn't this beg the question?  The total available labour time
determines the total available _production_ time only on condition
that there are fixed labour coefficients in all production
processes.  And if there are such fixed coefficients, one might say
that the situation is symmetrical: total production time is also
determined by total available _machine_ time.  (Given plasticity of
the coefficients one might run the machines longer for a given
amount of labour applied, or vice versa, hence varying "production
time" and "labour time" somewhat independently.)

I'm not saying that labour isn't special (it is), just that this way
of looking at it does not seem to me to get at the essential.

Allin Cottrell

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