[OPE-L:2844] Market price of Capital

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 07:51:46 EDT

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Makoto wrote in [OPE-L:2843]:

> This is a mail for a pause to relax. Does anyone know or remember
> recent past market price(s) of Capital, not of Penguin edition, but the
> first 1867 German edition to sell or to buy in a book market around you?
> In a catalogue of a Japnese bookshop, four volumes of the first German
> edition of Das Kapital vol.1-3, 1867-94, vol.3 is in two volumes) is
> priced 2,850,000 yen (about 106 yen = 1 US dollar).

Something is wrong with these figures since it would literally mean that,
using the exchange rate suggested above, the set should sell in the US for
approximately $26,887 (which is a figure somewhat greater than the total
annual income for the majority of families in the US)!

> I wonder if the prices are not fairly competitive in a global
> market(?!). Are they not amazing? How do you feel?

What's even more amazing is that the same edition (?) is available
on-line *for free*. In fact, isn't it at fellow listmember Michio Akama's
www site?

While the market price of traditionally printed scholarly articles and
books keeps going up beyond the financial means of most scholars (and
workers), the cost of being able to obtain many of these same materials
on-line can be reduced to the cost of getting on-line, which has been
reduced drastically and can be expected to decrease still further in the
years to come. This has important political implications.

btw, I'm toying with an idea for changing the readings for a course I
teach at Pratt in the Fall called "Capitalism & Socialism". Like the
students, I am frustrated by the increasing cost of textbooks. So, my idea
is to assign readings for the course *entirely* from materials available
on the Internet for free. I've already decided to assign the
Cockshott/Cottrell book on "Towards a New Socialism". Does anyone have any
further suggestions for readings (books and/or articles) for this course
(which is basically a advanced undergraduate and graduate class on
comparative economic systems)? Do others have experience teaching a class
with readings drawn *entirely* from the Internet?

In solidarity, Jerry

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