[OPE-L:4257] Re: variable capital and time

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 08:40:47 -0800 (PST)

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Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:4254]:

> The payment for labour power is also continuous, but does not take place
> at a constant rate, the payment rate rises towards the end of the week and
> towards the end of the month. The payment has a dimension in terms of
> millions of dollars per second.

I understand your point and have no problem with the assumption that
payments for wages are continuous *if* we are examining long-term
empirical tends. Yet, if we want to understand some other social processes
related to conjunctural strategies by capital (and labor) I think we
should examine this question more closely. For instance, it has become a
strategy of capital to prolong the pay period for wage-earners in order
to delay wage payments and, thereby, receive interest on the money that
they would have paid out as wages earlier. Thus, it is becoming very
common is some nations for capitalists to increase the pay period from 1
to 2 weeks or even a month (this is a strategy, I know, which has been
successfully implemented at many universities). Relatedly, many
capitalists have attempted to decrease benefit funding or make workers
pay a share of the benefit costs or delay payments for pensions. All of
this, of course, is a source of struggle between labor and capital.
Indeed, from my experience I can tell you that there are very few actions
by capital which are as likely to provoke resistance as messing with and
delaying the payment of workers' paychecks.

In solidarity, Jerry