[OPE-L:4878] RE: Re: Give us some NUMBERS, Fred! (was: rent and theworking class)

From: Drewk (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Date: Mon Feb 12 2001 - 21:58:11 EST

A reply to Rakesh Bhandari's OPE-L 4874.

He wrote:

"doesn't Fred argue in detail that in Marx's derivation of prices
production he does not take the physical conditions of production

Yes, but that's simply irrelevant here.   What's at issue here is
not Marx's "method."

What's at issue here is Fred's claim that, according to his
interpretation, "prices of production change if AND ONLY IF there
is a change in the productivity of labor
somewhere in the economy."  To investigate the truth-value of that
claim, I postulated "a change in the productivity of labor
somewhere in the economy" and asked him to show that his
(simultaneously determined) "prices of production change."  (He
will not be able to do so.)  Do you see some other way the
truth-value of his claim can possibly be ascertained?  I don't.

I could, of course, have run the example backward, postulating
some constant (simultaneist) prices of production and asking Fred
to show that the productivity of labor must likewise be constant.
He would not have been able to do that either.

If there's a pile of dog doo-doo two steps in front of you, and
you take a step with your right foot and then a step with your
left foot, you step into it.  If you take a step with your left
foot and then a step with your right foot, again you step into it.
"Logical method" -- i.e., what step one takes first and what step
one takes second -- is completely irrelevant here.

The same is true with respect to Fred's claim.  (The same is also
true with respect to the difference between his interpretation and
other simultaneist/physicalist ones; the difference pertains only
to the *order* of the steps they take, not to their *results*,
which are identical.)

Rakesh also wrote:  "Aren't you in your example here assuming the
very ... dualistic point of view which you and/or your cowriter
(Alan F, Alejandro or Chris Burford) has criticized, i.e., you
begin with a price-free physical system and then try to map it out
into a price (of production) system?"

Huh?  I wrote the post myself.   As for the rest of this sentence,
I'll just point out again that it is not I, but Fred, who has
claimed that he "maps" technology onto prices of production (or
vice-versa).  I'm just investigating the truth-value of that

Andrew Kliman

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