(OPE-L) Re: s/v & c/v: macroeconomic categories only?

From: gerald_a_levy (gerald_a_levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Sun Feb 01 2004 - 08:37:28 EST

Hi again Cyrus:

To begin:  I think I agree with you that even if your perspective
on s/v is rejected (or modified)  "my theory of oil rent and the
question of differential productivity (differential amounts of surplus
value) due to be extracted by oil (rentier) states will stand on its own."

You argue in the following that s/v must be considered as a
macroeconomic category.  Yet, I think you make a good argument
for why there is an average rate of surplus value for the
macroeconomy and separate rates of surplus value in different
branches of production and sectors.  Let me explain.

Obviously, to be able to arrive at a macroeconomic rate of surplus
value conceptually and empirically, aggregation must first be done.
I understand your point to be that if we took that raw data from the
industry level, it wouldn't show the transfers of value and surplus value.
I agree that if we looked at that data out of context, it would be

Once a macroeconomic rate of surplus value has been empirically
calculated -- using the data from different branches of the economy --
it should *now* be possible in principle to *disaggregate* and to
show the transfers of value and surplus value among capitalists and
among classes (with, for example, surplus value being transferred
from capital to landed property in the form of rent).

Conceptually, I see no reason why such disaggregation should not
be possible.  It may be, however, that from the standpoint of
empirical research, there might be practical problems with the national
income data that make this task problematic.

If this is not possible, then how would it then be possible to show
-- conceptually and empirically -- that surplus value transfers have
occurred?  If we can't show how this mechanism works more
concretely, then the concept of the transfer of surplus value might
be considered to be just a metaphor.

In solidarity, Jerry

>   In capitalist mode of production proper (CMP), given the frequent
> transfering of value among the existing sectors of the economy (i.e.,
> formation of prices of production in conjunction with uniform rates of
> profit), one would not know in advance how much value (and thus surplus
> value) will be transferred from one sector to another, and which sector(s)
> will be exactly the receivers and which sector(s) the producers of such
> values.  Moreover, the notion of 'average' sector is an ideal one.  We do
> know, however, that those sectors with the larger (than 'average')
'> capital'
> advanced are in the receiving end of such 'value transfers'.  Thus, both
> theoretically and empirically, speaking of the rate of surplus value at
> the
> levels of the firm and industry does not make any sense.  The question,
> therefore, is not whether the 'relationship' [i.e., statistically] between
> value and prices is 'weak' or 'strong,' but whether it is conceptually
> relevant.  Therefore, I repeat my earlier point that the Rate of Surplus
> Value, as a category, is relevant to the realm of macroeconomy alone.

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