[OPE-L:8089] Re: Re: Heisenberg, Marx and the uncertainty principle

From: clyder@gn.apc.org
Date: Mon Dec 02 2002 - 11:31:00 EST

Quoting Michael Eldred <artefact@t-online.de>:
 > > I would seriously dispute this. There is now a growing body
> > of empirical literature which indicates a very close correspondance
> > between actual sectoral prices in economies and the correponding
> > labour values. The correlations revealed are remarkably strong
> > by economic standards.
> Interesting caveat: "by economic standards", also echoed by Paul Cockshott's
> qualification: "as economic theories go". How do they go?

Clyder and Paul Cockshott are the same person using different email

The correlations that I have obtained, give R^2 values of over
0.95 between sectoral labour values and sectoral prices. Shaik and
Ochoa get similar results.

The results seem robust between countries, to my knowledge there
is published data on the UK, USA, Italy, Jugoslavia an Mexico which
give comparable results. Steedman has published results for Ireland
and one of the Australian lander which give lower correlations but
this is not unexpected given the greater influence of shot noise
in smaller samples and also the influence of rent in these economies.

> > I would contend that economists rejection of the labour theory
> > of value draws more from bourgeois class interest - horrified at
> > the moral consequences of accepting it - than any scientific objectivity.
> >
> > > If established, such a quantitative law would have
> > > indeed
> > > provided the foundation for a ?theory of motion? of capitalist economy
> and
> > > allowed reliable, predictive mathematical calculation of its movements.
> > >
> >
> > It has been established so the rest of your argument falls.
> You find what you look for -- just as Galileo did when he rolled balls on
> inclined planes. That's the way science in the modern age works: it sets up
> its
> experiments to interrogate what is then given to the set-up by way of data.
> It is
> successful precisely because it does not question its preconceptions.

I think this is unfair on the empirical researchers. Until Shaik did his
investigations I don't think anyone expected to get such a close fit
between values and prices. His results certainly did not fit in with
anyones initial preconceptions. They are so counter to the preconceptions
of economists that their implications are only gradually being realised.
It took considerable courage on his part to question the preconceptions
that abounded about the labour theory of value being empirically 
invalid and ask : lets see if it really is invalid?

It is my experience of doing empirical investigations that they almost
always teach you something new that would not have occured to you had
you not gone to the trouble of doing them. 

> The phenomenon and experience of exchange -- and thus also its concept -- is
> richer than you think.

I am sure that this is true, but unless you investigate actual price data
you are left speculating about the properties of prices.

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