[OPE-L:3216] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Re: RE: starting points

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 20:56:36 EDT

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On Mon, 15 May 2000, Ajit Sinha wrote:

> Allin, i think i have said it before, but let me say it again. I
> think the idea of Ricardo's 93% LTV is a misinterpretation of
> Ricardo given by Stigler.

Granted, Ricardo's mention of "6 or 7 perecent" due to
distribution was in the context of prices changes rather than
price levels. Nonetheless, I think Ricardo held to the basic
intuition of value depending on labour time. It's noteworthy
that while he had written in The High Price of Bullion (1810)
that "Gold and silver, like other commodities, have an intrinsic
value, which is not arbitrary, but is dependent on their
scarcity, the quantity of labour bestowed in procuring them, and
the value of the capital employed in the mines which produce
them", he revised this in the Principles (1817) to read: "Gold
and silver, like other commodities, are valuable only in
proportion to the quantity of labour necessary to produce them,
and bring them to market." Never mind the havering, state the

> On another note: I think Marx's distinction between labor
> and labor-power is essentially of critical nature. He is
> exposing a weakness in classical theory, particularly
> Ricardo. The classical theory of wages is a theory of
> reproduction of labor-power and not labor, though the input
> in production is labor and not labor-power. By using the
> term labor for both the concepts, the classical economics
> was creating theoretical confusion.

I agree. Having read Marx, it's hard to read Ricardo talking
about "labour" without impatience ("Come on man, be clear, is it
labour or labour-power!").


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