Re: (OPE-L) can the sum of avg. profit + rent be greater than the sum of s?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (andromeda246@HETNET.NL)
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 19:05:00 EDT

> This is a rather different point from the one Gerry was making.
> I agree that intrest payments are flows, but they are surely
> transfer payments and as such sum to zero across the economy
> as a whole.

Not in Marx's theory, since interest payments incurred or paid in respect of
producer enterprises are a component of surplus-value, and interest payments
realised outside of the sphere of production signify a transfer of
surplus-value. In UNSNA-type accounts, indirect taxes paid are offset
against government subsidies to enterprises (which are not regarded as
transfers). Total domestic net interest receipts are at least in part a
component of the value of the new net output, and that net value is normally
always positive. In official accounts, transfer payments are typically
defined as payments in respect of a transaction in which one institutional
unit provides a good, service or asset to another unit without received from
the latter any good, service or asset in return, i.e. a unilateral
disbursement which is not an exchange. These transfers could be in cash,
subsidised prices, or in kind.
> In determining the mass of surplus value one should ideally look at
> what is actually consumed by the working class as opposed to
> the net value product. It is relatively difficult to do this and most
> empirical studies, based as they are on post-processing national
> accounts data rather than on primary sources, are forced to use
> approximations. But it is not in principle impossible to do.

In the first instance, the concept of the mass of surplus-value applies to
the valuation of the net new product in an accounting period, i.e. it is a
component of the total value of the net new product. But surplus-value is
also realised external to the sphere of production as defined by
institutional units producing goods and services, both domestically
generated net interest claims and net interest claims realised through
foreign transactions. This is partly not captured in the calculation of GDP
since some interest flows for example are considered unrelated to
production, which affects the valuation of the Marxian net product.  That is
just to say that in the netting of the gross output to arrive at new value
added, some incomes are disregarded either because they are treated as
transfers, or because they are considered unrelated to production as such.
This means that in estimating surplus-value different circuits must be
distinguished in a system of transactors which differs somewhat from the
official system, and that it is insufficient to consider just the components
of gross output - one must also consider the net incomes realised by the
social classes in the population, government revenue and expenditure, and
the capital expenditure and revenue account.


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