On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, Gerald_A_Levy wrote: > Re Paul C's : > > No one has answered the above post (which > is reproduced at the end of this post). Paul's post was closely argued and took a bit of digesting. I printed it out and studied it the other day. I find it very persuasive. The gist of it is that if an armaments industry is transferred from state to private capitalist ownership, with no change in the technical conditions of production, the effects are (a) that the armaments-producing capitalists make a profit, but (b) the capitalist class a a whole must pay higher taxes to finance the arms-producers' profits, so that the net effect on profits is zero. The shift of the arms industry to the capitalist sector could augment aggregate profits only it it were accompanied by (a) a shift in the tax burden towards the working class, raising the general rate of surplus labour, or (b) an increase in deficit financing on the part of the state. But both of these factors are "extraneous", in the sense that they are not logically associated with the change in ownership of the arms industry and could equally well occur in the absence of such a change in ownership. Paul makes a good case for the proposition that the "classical" marxian analysis of productive and unproductive labour is not adequate to grasp the issue. Allin Cottrell.
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