Re: (OPE-L) Rising organic composition (was: From Ian Wright on Weeks....)

From: clyder@GN.APC.ORG
Date: Fri May 30 2003 - 04:42:25 EDT

Quoting Rakesh Bhandari <rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU>:

> >
> >
> >If we make the parsimonious assumption that a non-zero
> >percent of profit is accumulated, then if the working population
> >is stagnant - once the country has undergone demographic
> >conversion for example - we will get a falling rate of profit.
> >This makes no assumptions about technology.
> Paul,
> I am sorry that I don't have time to think through this reply. But at
> the least I hope it prompts you to make further comments about the
> meaning and causes of what you call demographic conversion.....
> What do you mean by demographic conversion? And why do you treat the
> rate of population growth as an exogeneous variable? On classical
> doctrine, population growth is an endogeneous variable, no?  If real
> wages increase, should not population grow as well? Or are real wage
> gains dissipated in increased consumption of luxuries rather than an
> increase in population? But then why? Are the joys of new commodities
> better advertised than the joys of children?

I dont claim any expertise on demographics, but it is fairly evident
that once a country becomes fully industrialised the birth rate falls

Reasons for this will be many, the dissolution of patriarchal economic
relations and the participation of women in the labour market, the
availability of contraception on a general basis, the replacement
of filial piety by state pensions and mutual funds. Whatever the
detailed causes, the fact remains that a couple of generations after
industrialisation capitalist countries seem dependent on immigration
to ensure population growth.


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