[OPE-L:3842] Re: Rational expectations Marxism

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Date: Mon Sep 18 2000 - 19:46:20 EDT

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On Mon, 18 Sep 2000, John Ernst wrote:

> I think Michael and I are agreed that placing Marx's
> transformation procedure in a static context is unfair
> to Marx....

Yes surely Marx's own attempts to elucidate the transformation
are posed in entirely static context.

> Michael pointed this out by noting that in times of rapid
> technical change it becomes impossible to estimate the life
> time of fixed capital.

I think that is a defensible statement about the "real world",
but wasn't Marx quite happy with stright-line depreciation most
of the time (with the presumption of a known lifetime for fixed

> Unlike Paul, I find no problem with computing an average
> rate of profit at a point in time for an economy in which
> technical change is taking place.

Insofar as "computing an average" is just a matter of
arithmetic, that's OK. I understand Paul to be saying that the
/significance/ of the average rate of profit is in question:
that is, will it act as an attractor for a set of dispersed
sectoral rates of profit at some intial point in time, under
conditions of dynamic changes in technology and demand?

Allin Cottrell.

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