[Marxism] is cuba done with equality?

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Fri Jun 20 10:49:32 MDT 2008


David says "Isn't saying that worker productivity cannot be measured a bit too extreme? For instance, wouldn't it be possible to make at least very well-educated approximations through the use of input-output tables as suggested in _towards a new socialism_ to determine the labour embodied in each commodity? If labour productivity is a completely elusive concept, is it even possible to lay down a rational plan?"Maybe there is a confusion here.  It is probably not possible to measure an individual's productivity.
Production is evermore collective in nature.  What would it mean to say that steelworker A
is more productive than steelworker B?  Or that hospital workers are as a group less 
productive than coal miners?  Worse still to use comparisons like these to determine
wages.
 
However, it is possible to estimate the labor time needed to produce a ton of steel,
given current technology.  This has nothing to do with a worker's productiveness.  
So aggregate planning is possible. and you could use your input output tables to 
see where you might be able to try to make a process
more productive.  Of course you have to have ways to estiamte the social costs 
of any change (environmental damage for example).
 
Michael Yates


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