The quoted passage is packed with infantile Marxist absurdities that any normal person over the age of nine knows are false and dishonest. Watch:
The non-labor inputs into production Marx calls “constant capital” because these inputs do not transfer any more value to the final product than the original cost of their purchase.
That claim is idiotic anti-economic nonsense.
If Susan buys a bag of apples for $5 and bakes 5 pies with these apples then value of $1 of apples is passed onto each pie.
No, the author of those words merely proved he does not know anything about value, production, or economics. The cost of the apples is completely irrelevant
to the value of the pies, which is determined solely by their combined scarcity (supply) and utility (demand).
The same logic applies to machines which transfer their cost onto the final product over a longer period of time.
That claim is objectively false for the same reason.
If a machine costing $1,000 is used in the production of 1000 widgets over a period of years then $1 of value is transferred into the final value of each widget.
No, that is also objectively false.
Sometimes this way of looking at the value transfer of fixed capital is not intuitive to people.
Because it is objectively false and anti-economic bull#@!+.
For instance, it is not uncommon to hear the opposite (hypothetical) conception: “I spent $1000 on grow-lights and fertilizer. It was a big expense but after the first batch of marijuana was sold it was all paid off. All future batches were pure profit.” In this conception the cost of the inputs are transferred in full to the first production period (or as many as it takes to pay off the fixed capital) and the successive production period pass on no fixed capital value to the final product.
No. No value is "passed on" from the cost of the inputs in any case. The costs are sunk costs the moment they are incurred, and the value of the product is determined by the market -- supply and demand -- not by the costs of production. The producer's job is precisely to find some way of making the product worth more than it costs to make it, or cost less to make than it is worth.
However, such an interpretation is not as logical as it sounds.
But it is infinitely more logical than the absurd and dishonest Marxist interpretation.
On one hand, the question is just one of perspective.
No it isn't. It's a question of fact.
If, say, we grew 2000 plants over the life of the grow-lights and fertilizer then we could say that each plant contained .50 cents of fixed capital value ($1000 divided by 2000) or we could say that the first 1000 plants contained $1 and the next 1000 plants contained no fixed capital value.
No we couldn't, unless we were either ignorant, stupid, or lying Marxists. None of the plants contain any capital value. Their value is strictly determined by supply and demand. The capital is a sunk cost.
When looked at in the aggregate, over the lifetime of the fixed capital, it is the same regardless of how choose to look at the division.
There is no division.
On the other hand, if we want to really be specific, it would be wrong to say that some plants created with the fixed capital contain this value while others do not.
Right, because none of them contain any at all.
If the grower is a reasonable capitalist he does not raise his prices when he buys a new grow-light and then drop the prices as soon as the grow-light is “paid off”. He keeps his prices consistent with the market price. This is obvious evidence that the value of fixed capital transfers over the life of the machine, and not all at once.
No, it is obvious evidence that the value of fixed capital does not transfer to the product at all.
This brings us to a second conversation principle, one related to production: constant capital transfers its value into the value of the final product but it does not create surplus-value.
That is just another absurd falsehood.
This accords with Marx’s basic concept of value, that value is abstract labor.
Which is objectively false.
While labor is done on constant capital, while human labor transforms constant capital into new products, it is not the constant capital that is doing the labor and therefore constant capital cannot increase in value during production.
That is pure, anti-economic Marxist idiocy, and is easily proved to be pure idiocy:
Abby has a wood-fired pizza oven, with which she is able to bake 100 pizzas a day worth $10 each, in between chopping the wood, tending the fire, etc., for total revenue of $1000. The pizza ingredients cost $5/pie, and the wood costs $1/pie, so her profit (wage) is $400/day. Her husband Ben then buys her a $300 electric pizza oven. So now, because she doesn't have to tend the fire, she can make 300 $10 pizzas a day, for total revenue of $3000. The electric power also costs $1/pie, so her profit is $1200. The value of her labor did not magically triple. She is just, thanks to the new oven
, doing more productive work making pizzas rather than tending the fire. The difference is due to Ben's
contribution, not hers, and has nothing whatever to do with either the cost of the oven or the value of Abby's labor. The situation is not altered if rather than being her husband, Ben is her employer. Marxists will say, do, and believe anything whatever
in order to avoid knowing such facts.
This law of conservation even applies to fully-automated production such as in “lights-out manufacturing” where production is carried out in the dark because there are no humans present in the factory.
There is no such "law." It is just a bald falsehood, as proved above.
From Marx’s perspective a totally automated factory produces no value but that does not mean that its owners receive no profit from their investment or that the commodities produced by robots cannot have prices.
The notion that the robot factory produces no value is literally Marxist insanity. It is completely divorced from reality, and no one whose brain has not been rotted by Marxism could possibly believe it for one second.
This is explained through the transfer of value in exchange.
Which is an outright fabrication with no basis in economics.
We will explore this concept in more detail later, however for now we can at least shed a little light on the subject by analogy with a laundromat.
Without reading further, I know this analogy will be idiotic.
A laundromat is an investment that requires little or no human labor yet the owner of the laundromat makes a profit every time their machines are used by customers.
That's revenue, not profit. We don't know if the laundromat is profitable.
The machines, in Marx’s system, are not creating value but they are certainly filling up with quarters.
<yawn> If the machines are creating no value, what makes the customers willing to put in the quarters, hmmmmmmmmmmm?
Rather than being value creation, these machines function more like rent.
Marx is unable to tell the difference between charging rent for something that you supply
and charging rent for something that would otherwise have been available anyway.
That's Strike Three, and Marx is Out.
In the same way you might rent a house or a car, you rent the use of a washer/dryer for an hour.
That's pretty much true. But providing customers with the use of a house or car is certainly creating value.
Rent doesn’t involve value creation at all.
Rent of LAND
doesn't, because the land was already there anyway. Renting out houses, cars, and washing machines does
, because those things were NOT
already there anyway. Marxists just refuse to know such facts.
It just involves extracting money from consumers in exchange for the use of something.
Something that would not otherwise have been available for use, or that would?
There are many ways in which profit can be made without creating value.
But providing people with the opportunity to use something that would not otherwise have been available is not one of them.
Strike Five -- but who's counting?
But these are not methods that increase aggregate value in society.
This is a person who has never tried doing laundry by hand...
This is the fundamental distinction to be made between surplus-value through production (which we will get to in a moment) and the transfer of value in exchange which happens any time something is rented
See above for the comprehensive and conclusive demolition of that purported distinction.
or when a labor-less product is sold.
There are no labor-less products.
These forms of making money are parasitic upon the dominant mode of production in society, capitalist production, which produces value.
Without capitalist value production there could be no automated factories, laundromats or landlords siphoning off value.
See? Marxist know-nothings have to refuse to know
the fact that the laundromat and factory would not otherwise have been available for use, while the land would.
Your infantile, anti-economic, and dishonest Marxist source has been destroyed utterly, whether you can find a willingness to know that fact or not.