The value pump and productivity
72763.2240 at compuserve.com
Sun Apr 28 21:06:52 MDT 1996
>> given, as Marx puts it 'the definite use-value (imaginary or real)'
possessed by services purchased, the question of 'transforming use values'
should not arise as an objection to defining services as capitalist
commodities - IF THEY ARE PROVIDED BY A CAPITALIST EXPLOITING THE IMMEDIATE
PRODUCERS OF THE SERVICE FOR PROFIT. <<Hugh Rodwell
Then as more and more services become capitalist commodities, we can
understand better the drive to "contract out, outsource etc."
"If a service is a commodity, why can't I do it cheaper?" thinks an executive
of a large corporation. "I understand this niche in the economy better than
anyone, I will set up a company and do the work formerly done by company
employees with minimum wage labor."
Often, of course, this is done with the collusion of the larger corporate
unit via cheap financing, etc. Union contracts can be abrogated, this is a
definite advantage. Obviously, though, this commodification of services is one
of capitalism's last frontiers.
Formerly paternal or in the case of the academy "collegial" services fall
under the ruthless surgery of the market. Tenured professors give way to
contingent teachers, whose office is the trunk of their cars.
I wonder if there are temp agencys for academics? If there aren't, it
probably is just a matter of time.
E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 28-Apr-1996
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