profit equalisation

Paul_Cockshott wpc at
Mon Jun 19 03:20:48 MDT 1995

Chris asks

I would like to pick up your reference to Farjoun
and Machover. Their book claims to demonstrate a ratio
of total profits to total wages of almost one.

The worrying thing about this is that the range is
extremely narrow across time and countries. Coming from
the life sciences, I would say such a result is
incredible, and points to an artefact.

I would have to go back to Machover and check
just how comprehensive their evidence is - how
many countries for example do they consider.

If we look at the matter in abstraction from
social reality, one could as readily hypothesise
a rate of exploitation of 5% or 5000% as
100%. But all of the figures that I have seen
for the wage share tend to be near 50%, perhaps
falling to the 30s or rising to the 60s.
One obvious explanation might be the class struggle.
When the rate of exploitation rises very high,
the chances of workers winning wage increases
may go up.

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