Instigator / Pro
14
1617
rating
21
debates
73.81%
won
Topic

the Marxist "Labor theory of value" is incorrect.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
6
0
Sources points
4
2
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 8 points ahead, the winner is ...

Patmos
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Economics
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
20,000
Contender / Con
6
1448
rating
17
debates
32.35%
won
Description
~ 554 / 5,000

The Labor Theory of Value states that the economic value of a good or service is determined by the total amount of "socially necessary labor" required to produce it.

Rules.

1. Forfeit=autoloss
2. No new arguments in the final round from either side.
3. BoP will be shared between debaters. Each side must attempt to prove that their position is correct.

structure

R1. affirmative constructive and negative constructive + rebuttal.
R2. Affirmative and negative rebuttals
R3. Affirmative and negative rebuttals
R4. Rebuttals, final focus, and summary.

Added:
Criterion
Pro
Tie
Con
Points
Better arguments
3 point(s)
Better sources
2 point(s)
Better spelling and grammar
1 point(s)
Better conduct
1 point(s)
Reason:

0. Preamble
A strong opening by pro which poses many interesting questions. Not really something I'll grade, just like later bits of begging the question.

1. Value is Subjective
In short, differing value “regardless of how much labor went into producing it.”

2. Marx Inverted
Pretty good example with Gordon Ramsay, summarized as:
“Capital does not exploit labor as Marx claims in the LToV. Rather, Capital increases the value of labor by facilitating its transformation into products and services that people want and need which then allows for greater remuneration for the laborer.”

3. context of Marx's philosophical idealism
So trying to weight if something is incorrect, with it partly conceded as “irrelevant to human social reality.” This is a pretty big leap of faith, without much analysis, and the social benefit angle re-challenged with C2 above.
Pro wisely challenges this premise with ‘Note, that this debate is filed in the "economics" category and I believe therefore should revolve around economics.’
And further: “my opponent made no attempt to prove that the LToV IS philosophically correct”
Con’s defense boils down to “I would strongly assert that philosophy cannot be anything other than correct.” Which again, doesn’t prove it. It’s basically just a K for ignoring pro’s economics arguments on an economics debate.
Words to pro: There was no need to bring Nazis into this debate. Doubly so when you have the oppression and corruption seen with communism sitting right there so close to Marx.

4. discourages excellence
“LToV creates a negative incentive structure wherein the less competent you are, the more labor you need to expend to produce a product, and the more valuable your labor becomes.”
Con points out he already conceded this area, but doesn’t explain why such a system would be better.
Side note: My mind goes to the Picasso Napkin story as a defense which would explain why under LToV a skilled product actually takes greater total input than a crappy one which inside the given week of production seemed to take more; however I am not noticing this defense (or one like it) raised by con.

5. promotes inefficiency
Quite a solid criticism with: “the less efficient you are, the more labor you need and the more money you earn.”

6. different adjective
Con says it should have been a different word than strictly “incorrect”
This drags into a weird area which denies communism’s connection to Marx... Not anything serious. Saying something is incorrect and untested, ignores the dropped opening arguments which show it was an inferior economic theory.

---

Arguments:
See above review of key points. Pro takes this by a landslide. I still do give credit to pro for coming up with some counter angle; were this debate categorized under Philosophy it would have had significantly more weight.

Sources:
This leans in pro’s favor for offering some, but I don’t feel it’s by enough when I’m already giving him the argument points.

Added:
Criterion
Pro
Tie
Con
Points
Better arguments
3 point(s)
Better sources
2 point(s)
Better spelling and grammar
1 point(s)
Better conduct
1 point(s)
Reason:

PRO argues the current conventional rejection of LTV.
CON concedes the irrelenvancy of LTV as economic theory but argues that Marx considered an LTV an ideal, not a "factual proposal"

CON offers no documentation but only argues that Marx was probably smart and therefore unlikely to be wrong, therefore Marx must have not invested in LTV with conviction so much as speculation. Well, this VOTER is no economist but he's pretty sure Das Kapital places LTV at the center of Marx's argument for the undercompensation of the proletartiat.

PRO is only arguing that LTV is incorrect and has made no assertion about Marx's state of mind. Therefore, CON's main argument is rejected as non-sequitur. PRO correctly points out the non-sequitur and correctly notes that CON has conceded the debate. All the rest merely circled this frame. Arguments to PRO.

Sources to PRO- If CON's whole argument relies on the degree of abstraction Karl Marx brought to his theories of labor then CON would do well to back claims with some evidence. Marx is a thoroughly biographied and considered subject- if there's any truth to CON claims than there should be plenty of research to cite. CON gave us assurances rather than evidence and lost the argument for it.