From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Jan 27 2004 - 08:54:31 EST
Hi Cyrus: How does the rate of surplus value in the US oil industry now compare to the rate of surplus value in the Persian Gulf region? If we reject AR as applying to the international oil industry and if it is as you say a competitive industry, why has the industry in the US, which has "remained as the highest cost (i.e. least productive) oil region in the world" still been able to remain in the market? Are the benefits from sub-surface materials gained through the "rule of capture" sufficient to keep these firms afloat in a competitive market where other firms are consistently able to realize cost and productivity advantages? In solidarity, Jerry PS re barriers to entry: >>> I tend to think that the buzzword of "barrier to entry" is not more than a tautological chat. Indeed, what is called "barrier to entry" is not the barrier at all but overcoming the increasing size of "regulating capital" in the battle of competition. I am not trying to pick on this tiny point, but careful theorists, particularly Marxists, should mean what they say and say what they mean.<<< I agree that we should mean what we say and say what we mean, but I don't see why reference to barriers to entry should be suspect. Simply because it is a term which arose through mainstream I.O. literature does not mean that it hasn't relevance for explaining the processes of the centralization and concentration of capital. Indeed, I think that it is a concept -- like 'economies of scale' -- that reflects an underlying reality of capitalist competition discussed by Marx and is not in any way wedded necessarily to marginalist theory.
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