[OPE-L:3360] Re: objectivity of value

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 23:06:39 EDT

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"Patrick L. Mason" wrote:

> If we don't measure values, how do we know if the rate of surplus value is
> rising or falling?

I'm not sure that we can measure it. Again, we don't have any particularly
good data on depreciation and what we do have is dependent on historical
patterns. The actual process of depreciation depends greatly on current market
conditions. The data do not take that into account. How can you compare the
abstract labor from one period to another?

> Fred Moseley, Anwar Shaikh, Ahmet
> Tonak, and others have really done a tremendous job. My only complaint is
> that there are too few Marxists interested in empirical work, rather any
> problems with the precision of the work.

I have used and appreciated the work of all the people that you mentioned.
Even so, I regard to work more as something suggestive. Take Fred's work on
unproductive labor. I think that it's terrific in helping to interpret
long-term trends going on in the economy. Even so, I'm not sure how much trust
to put into it regarding the measure of the rate of surplus value or the rate
of exploitation ....

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321 E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu

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