[OPE-L:7976] Re: relation of VCC to OCC

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Sat Nov 09 2002 - 10:22:47 EST

Re Fred's [7975]:

>  Marx defined the OCC as follows:
> "There is a close correlation between the two [the technical composition
> and the value composition; FM].  I call the value composition of capital,
> in so far as it is determined by its technical composition and mirrors the
> changes in the latter, the organic composition of capital." (C.I. 762)
> [Notice that the OCC *IS* the VCC, in so far as it is determined by
> changes in the TCC, i.e. by technological change.]

But notice that Marx's definition  above didn't equate changes in the TCC
with technological change.  Moreover, the TCC  -- as Marx _did_ define it --
is a very unreliable barometer for technological change.  One also has to
recall that technological change can take many forms, e.g. economy in the
use of constant capital,  yet how would this (and other) types of
technological change show up in the TCC?  Suppose there was a
change in the TCC -- as you defined it above -- that caused the 'mass' of
means of production to decrease in relation to workers employed.  In
that case -- using your definition -- an increase in technological change
can bring about a decrease in the TCC, right?

In case others on the list now feel that they have a clear understanding of
the different positions on the TCC, the VCC, and the OCC, please allow
me to confuse matters more by noting a couple of other interpretations:

1) Listmember Murray Smith argues that the OCC's formula should be:

                             s + v

The 'C' above  refers to the total value of the constant capital *STOCK*.

Thus, the issue here -- from Murray's perspective -- is differentiating
between constant capital stocks and constant capital flows.

Murray's understanding of the TCC, VCC, and OCC is explained in
detail in _Invisible Leviathan_ (Toronto, University of Toronto Press,

2)  Webber and Rigby define the TCC as:

       P =     ---------

                     1            1          Ku            Kc
          =     ------     ------    ------   +  ------
                     t             R          L               Lt

where R is the capacity utilization ratio; Ku/L is the full capacity ratio
of fixed capital to labor; and Kc/Lt is the capitalized cost of fuel and
raw materials processed per hour of labor.  From _The Golden Age
Illusion_  (NY,  The Guilford Press, 1996, pp. 295-296).

What do you and others think about the above definitions?

In solidarity, Jerry

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