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Jerry wrote, answering to Akira, in [OPE-L:2005]:
(btw, Claus has been having problems receiving e-mail for quite some time
and this likely explains why he hasn't added anything to this thread in
recent weeks. I fully expect, though, that when he is back on-line that
we will hear more from him on this topic -- and I look forward to that.)
I'm sorry to have failed to go on in the debate. It's not that I haven't
received the posts. December was the end of school year and we were
overwhelmed with obligations that made it impossible for me to follow the
debate. I'll try to catch up on some of the points that have been raised by
Akira's and Jerry's last posts.
>>A short response to sections of Akira's [OPE-L:1984]:
>>I think that first of all, money should be measure of value. What is
>> is a kind of mirror to reflect the value of other commodity by itself. I
>>tell currency from money in this standard. In other words, currency
>>have a necessary and sufficient condition as measure of value.
>To function as measure, money does not have to be commodity.
We already went through this, and on the basic issues I agree with Akira's
opinion. For the labor theory of value to be meaningful, prices have to be
linked to amounts of abstract labor, and for them to do it, there has to be
a way by which the amounts of labor contained in the commodities are
determined or measured. In Marx's theory the commodity nature of money is
logically derived from the objective conditions within which individuals in
a merchant economy produce and exchange commodities. At first sight, at
present gold doesn't seem to perform all the functions attributed to money,
but the same is true for credit money. The main problem with the later is
that there has been no consistent hypothesis of the way it could possibly
measure the labor content of the commodities.
The standards of prices predominant at present do not function as measures
of value, as Akira argues and as I have attempted to show with the simple
example of inflation, because if the standards of prices were assumed to
measure values, inflation would represent a general and uniform fall in the
productivity of labor, which is impossible. It could not represent a
decrease in the value of money, because the present standards of value are
supposed not to have intrinsic value. The problem which remains is how
values are measured in the alleged absence of a money commodity.
In terms of Marx's theory, one important part of the problem consists in
taking into account all the functions that money has to perform, instead of
one or two of them. In doing so, one sees that some of the functions can be
performed by substitutes of money. The next step is to establish the extent
to which the present performance of the functions of money contradict his
assumed commodity nature. The only - and relevant - contradictory feature
is the alleged severance of the link between the money commodity - gold -
and the standards of prices (dollar, yen, sterling, etc). The predominance
of credit money, in the national and international spheres, does not
contradict it, the complete withdrawal of gold from the circulation doesn't
do it either. While gold is apparently no longer the material basis of the
standards of prices, it still functions as an official and private means of
hoarding, and as a relevant part of the reserves of international means of
payment, and so it is recorded in the balance sheets of central banks and
international monetary agencies, even in the very recently created European
Central Bank, where gold has to make up at least 150f its reserves. To my
knowledge there is no other commodity that is used as means of private
hoarding and as international reserves.
I don't believe the few empirical facts I have raised about the present
monetary relevance of gold, like the ones above, are enough, by themselves,
to prove that gold is still the money commodity. The reason I raise them,
however, is to show that, on the same token, one cannot object to the
commodity nature of money based on a few other empirical facts, like f.i.
the withdrawal of gold from circulation and the apparent absence of a
material basis for the standards of prices. Taking all into account, Marx's
theory of money still is by far the theory more consistent with the labor
theory of value and the conditions prevalent in advanced capitalism.
>are many examples of measures where the unit of measure is not composed of
>the same substance as what is being measured.
I'm curious about this. Could you provide some examples?
Departamento de Economia
Universidade Federal do Paraná
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> De: Gerald Levy <email@example.com>
> Para: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Assunto: [OPE-L:2005] Re: the money supply
> Data: Domingo, 2 de Janeiro de 2000 11:40
> A short response to sections of Akira's [OPE-L:1984]:
> > I think that first of all, money should be measure of value. What is
> > is a kind of mirror to reflect the value of other commodity by itself.
> > tell currency from money in this standard. In other words, currency
> > have a necessary and sufficient condition as measure of value.
> To function as measure, money does not have to be commodity. Indeed,
> are many examples of measures where the unit of measure is not composed
> the same substance as what is being measured.
> > Logically Marx proved it, I think. In this point my opinion is the same
> > Dr. Germer's.
> (btw, Claus has been having problems receiving e-mail for quite some time
> and this likely explains why he hasn't added anything to this thread in
> recent weeks. I fully expect, though, that when he is back on-line that
> we will hear more from him on this topic -- and I look forward to that.)
> > The problem is how the value flactuation of the commdity money make the
> > price change(how commodity money work as measure of value). I cannot
> > approve that this subject dosen't still investigated at all. We are
> > with the difficult problem about the theory of international value and
> > for its sake. Especially, *the relative value of money *(C1-Ch.
> > DIFFERENCES OF WAGES") should be the key-word.
> Yes! By all means, let's discuss international value and national
> differences on wages. What do you see as the relevance of V1, Ch. 22 on
> this subject?
> In solidarity, Jerry
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