Re: zero average profit

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU)
Date: Fri May 30 2003 - 22:52:55 EDT

What happens is that the working day via Prim. Accumulation increases to
allow exploitation & profit.

On Fri, May 30, 2003 at 06:26:05PM +0000, Ian Wright wrote:
> I have a basic question that troubles me, which may nevertheless
> have a very obvious answer that I'm just not getting. Any help
> on this would be appreciated.
> When considering simple circulation at the beginning of Capital
> Vol 1., Marx explains, as I understand it, that if (a) the total
> money in a closed economy is fixed and (b) exchange is money
> conserving then (c) average profits are zero (and he therefore
> concludes that profits cannot arise from circulation). Essentially,
> any profit is cancelled by another's loss.
> Let's place the possibility of hoarding to one side.
> Marx then discusses how the distinction between paid and unpaid
> labour-time accounts for surplus-value. But the introduction of
> capitalist exploitation doesn't change the above conditions (a)
> and (b). So in this situation, consequence (c) still follows and
> we'd expect average profits to be zero (rather than, say, a
> uniform positive rate of profit).
> Is there a flaw in this reasoning?
> -Ian.
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Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321

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