Subject: Re: the value chain
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 17:47:44 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@cse.ogi.edu> writes:

    Crispin> "Stephen J. Turnbull" wrote:

    >> Ouch.  Please to be careful.  They are devices which function
    >> to replace _labor_ with (physical, not financial/Marxian)
    >> _capital_ by providing the same _service_.

    Crispin> Sure, your version is more precise. I was thinking of the
    Crispin> case where a wealthy family would have servants to do the
    Crispin> work at the beginning of the century, where as most
    Crispin> people at the end of the century have devices instead.

Service != done by servants.  Service == flow of consumables or
productive inputs (aka "benefits" in another thread).  Using the words
correctly makes it easier to make good decisions.

    >> Or, more accurately, they increase the proportion of capital
    >> while decreasing that of labor in the input mix.

    Crispin> Can a $25 toaster oven really be described as "capital"?

I just did, didn't I?  Capital is any durable input you invest in now
for the purpose of _producing_ a flow of services that benefit you
later.

You might prefer calling a toaster oven a "consumer durable".  But it's
pretty ambiguous: a lawnmower is a consumer durable when your son mows
your lawn because you're his Dad and he's part of the household, but a
true capital asset when he goes next door and mows the Bumsteads' lawn
for money.

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