[OPE-L:4095] Re: Re: Revaluation

From: Steve Keen (s.keen@uws.edu.au)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2000 - 19:06:50 EDT

Pardon me butting in with an unwanted aside here, but w.r.t. Andrew's
closing comment that:

"I think the importance of this case here is that it makes clear that
depreciation and the transfer of value are two different things."

This is precisely the case I make: the former represents the exchange-value
of the machine, the latter is its use-value. The standard labor theory of
value/Marxian approach is to equate these two magnitudes--so that exactly
the same quantitative entry is made for the value of the input (c) and the
value it transfers (also c).

When Marx put this proposition to himself in terms of exchange-value and
use-value, however, he made the following statement:

"It also has to be postulated (which was not done above) that *the
use-value of the machine significantly (sic) greater than its value*; i.e.
that its devaluation in the service of production is not proportional to
its increasing effect on production." (The Grundrisse, p. 383. Emphasis

This would mean, of course, that the value transferred by the machine could
exceed the value of the machine itself, which is the same case as for labor.


At 11:35 15/10/00 -0400, you wrote:
>In reply to 4091.
>John wrote:  "what you now seem to be saying is that ... the value lost
>by the machine due to aging, when it is used as well as when it is not
>used, is not transferred to the output."
>No, my point was that, in Marx's theory, what allows the value of a means
>of production to be preserved (by being transferred) is that it is used
>in production.  If the same kind of item is *not* used in production, but
>depreciates through aging (a machine is idled in a slump, and rusts out),
>its value is lost along with its use-value.
>Marx discusses this in Capital I, Ch. 8.  And it is obvious in any case.
>If a machine doesn't produce any output, it can't transfer value to that
>I think the importance of this case here is that it makes clear that
>depreciation and the transfer of value are two different things.
Dr. Steve Keen
Senior Lecturer
Economics & Finance
University of Western Sydney Macarthur
Building 11 Room 30,
Goldsmith Avenue, Campbelltown
PO Box 555 Campbelltown NSW 2560
s.keen@uws.edu.au 61 2 4620-3016 Fax 61 2 4626-6683
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Home Page: http://bus.macarthur.uws.edu.au/steve-keen/

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