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Le travail productif dans les services non marchands : un enjeu théorique et politique pour le développement

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Abstract

Dans le contexte de dé légitimation dont sont victimes les dépenses publiques pour cause de mondialisation de l'économie, le présent texte propose une réfutation logique de l'idée selon laquelle les services non marchands seraient financés par un prélèvement effectué sur une base existant préalablement. Il s'écarte donc tant de la vision libérale que de la vision marxiste traditionnelle, l'une expliquant que les prélèvements obligatoires se font au prix d'une ponction sur l'activité privée, l'autre sur une part de la plus-value produite dans le secteur marchand. En partant d'une définition du travail productif en relation avec les rapports sociaux et d'une généralisation de la notion keynésienne d'anticipation, il s'agit de montrer que les services publics ont une valeur monétaire non marchande qui n'est pas ponctionnée et détournée mais qui est produite. Le travail effectué au sein des services publics ne s'échange pas contre du capital (il n'est donc pas productif de capital au sens de Marx), il ne s'échange pas non plus contre du revenu prélevé (comme Smith l'indiquait à propos de l'emploi de domestiques par la classe bourgeoise), mais il s'échange contre du revenu qui est produit à la suite d'une décision collective anticipant l'existence de besoins collectifs. En somme, c'est la dépense publique qui contribue à engendrer l'impôt via le revenu que l'activité publique crée et non l'inverse. As globalization has brought increasing discredit on public expenses, this paper proposes a logical refutation of the idea that non-saleable services should be financed by levy of already existing activities. As such, it diverges from liberalism according to which compulsory levies are charged on private activities. It also differs from classical marxist theory for which taxation is partly based on the surplus-value generated in the private sector. Starting from a social definition of productive work coupled with a generalization of the keynesian conception of anticipation, we try to show that non-saleable services have a non-saleable monetary value which is not extracted from the private sector and redirected to the public sector but produced by the latter. Work done in non-saleable services is not exchanged for capital (in Marx's opinion it does not create capital), nor is it exchanged for levied income (as were the servants of the ruling classes, according to Smith). Instead, it is exchanged for income that is produced following a collective decision on the anticipation of collective needs. In short, public expenses are the ones which contribute to engender taxation thanks to the income created by public activity, and not the reverse. (Full text in French)

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marie Harribey, 2004. "Le travail productif dans les services non marchands : un enjeu théorique et politique pour le développement," Documents de travail 91, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  • Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:91
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    File URL: http://ged.u-bordeaux4.fr/ceddt91.pdf
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    1. Davidson, Paul, 1972. "Money and the Real World," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(325), pages 101-115, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Sobel, 2009. "La définition de la force de travail, pièce manquante de la Théorie de la Régulation ?," Post-Print halshs-00819863, HAL.

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    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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    1. Mondialisation

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