cj#302> re: Corporations


Richard Moore

Date: Mon, 6 Nov 1995 13:10:12 -0800
Sender: •••@••.••• (Andrew Curry)
Subject: Re: cj#293> re: Eleven Rules of Corp Behavior

> Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 19:23:47 -0800
> Sender: Arun Mehta <•••@••.•••>
> Subject: Re: cj#289> Mander: Eleven Rules Corporate Behavior
> > Karl Marx was right: a worker is not compensated
> > for full value of his or her labor -- neither is the raw
> > material supplier.  The owners of capital skim off part of
> > the value as profit.  Profit is based on underpayment.
> I never quite figured out why Marx, when he considered "cost of labor"
> did not consider "cost of capital." The capitalist has an opportunity
> cost. He can invest in a company, or simply earn interest by putting the
> money in the bank.

It's a long time since I read this stuff, but from memory, the
reason that Marx did not consider "cost of capital" was because
he believed that the accumulation of capital in a non-socialist
society involved expropriation somewhere along the line, either
economic or political.

And of course, if you look at it from his point of view, he was
mostly right (almost the only area where it's possible to argue
that the accumulation of wealth doesn't involve expropriation
of surplus value is in the culture industries, at least to the
extent that the money going to the artist (eg The Beatles) is the
exchange of money earned from use value for pleasure.)

Equally, the Beatles CDs would be cheaper if they didn't involve
EMI, etc, taking their percentage of surplus value at the various
stages of the manufacturing and distribution process. And I
suppose we can also forgive Marx for overlooking this point since he
died before the mass production of cultural products became a
social phenomenon.

Arun's argument really turns on what degree of skimming/expropriation
of surplus value represents a fair return to the capitalist,
assuming you don't start from Marx's hard line position. But
capitalists never seem to see it like that, strangely enough.

Andrew Curry.


 Posted by      Richard K. Moore <•••@••.•••>
                Wexford, Ireland (USA citizen)
                Editor: The Cyberjournal (@CPSR.ORG)

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