From: Diego Guerrero (diego.guerrero@CPS.UCM.ES)
Date: Wed Sep 28 2005 - 16:55:48 EDT
Paul C. wrote: Table 1 iron corn labour output surplus iron 440 1100 110 825 185 corn 100 500 50 2250 550 silk 100 100 20 1000 1000 totals 640 1700 180 But how do you sum the different physical inputs in order to obtain those "totals"? Total of what? You need to use either (labour) time or another unknown physical property (common to all commodities) that you should mention. If not, you must be using monetary prices (ie, ratios of labour times used in producing commodities and money). Yours, Diego ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Cockshott" <wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK> To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 5:37 PM Subject: Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics Diego -------- Dear Ian, Rakesh, Paul C. and Jerry: I have been travelling, therefore I have had to postpone my answer: The only point I want to make is this: In a real economy, not one where there is proportional growth in every branch (like the one implied in Paul's Mole-Sraffian notion), we have only one way to know which has been the rate of growth of the economy in physical terms. We have to use labour and measure its quantities in a physical unit: hours, etc. The other possible way is starting from money quantities and deflacting them, but this is not a "real" mesure. So, when we speak of a physical surplus for an economy (real economy) as a whole we have to be conscious that there can be no other physical measure that quantities of time (of labour) unless we renounce to know if this economy is growing or decreasing, etc. Marx once wrote about Adam Smith being too Scottisch. I would say that those who can conceive of an aggregate physical surplus in terms others than labour-Time are too Scottisch as well. _____________ I can not deny that I am Scottish, but I would deny that one can be too Scottish. But more seriously: Do you require a fully balanced economy on a von-Neumann growth path for the notion of a standard system to be relevant. No. Consider the following economy with a surplus but which is not balanced. Table 1 iron corn labour output surplus iron 440 1100 110 825 185 corn 100 500 50 2250 550 silk 100 100 20 1000 1000 totals 640 1700 180 Sraffa wrote that every economy contains a standard system, which can be discovered by : 1. Discarding all non-basic industries. 2. Scaling back those basic industries whose share of the output mix is excessive compared to their share of the input mix. Table 2 shows the result of applying this rule to the economy in table 1. We have first discarded the silk industry as non basic. Then, observing that the ratio of iron to corn in the output was 825/2250 = 11/30 but the ratio of iron to corn in the input of the basic sector was 540/1600 = 11/32<11/30, we scale back the iron industry until the iron/corn ratios are equal in both the input and the output at 1/3 giving the Standard System shown in Table 2. Table 2 iron corn labour output R iron 400 1000 100 750 0.5 corn 100 500 50 2250 totals 500 1500 150 Note that the iron/corn ratios in both input and output are 1/3, and the the ratio of the total output to the total input is 3/2. This gives an expansion rate R of 0.5 or profit rate of 50%. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul Cockshott" <wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK> To: <OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU> Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 10:20 AM Subject: Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics > Diego Guerrero wrote: >> Is not R in Sraffa's theory the maximun rate of profit? If so, it is a >> ratio or quotient between two "things" that must have some (physical) >> dimension. For instance, in Marxian theory, the rates of profit and >> surplus value are also quotients. They have no dimension but are the >> ratios of quantities of labour or money (measured in hours or euros). >> So, the rate of profit is an (maximum) eigenvalue as well, but this pure >> number is the quotient of two units that are in fact the same "thing". >> But again: which is the physical unit of the standard commodity? It must >> have one and I cannot conceive of nothing different from labour. >> >> Diego >> > > Fair point about R being a ratio. The things of which it is a ratio > are vectors of commodities. I dont have any difficulty thinking of this. > Many ordinary commodities are themselves vectors of their components. > Consider NKP fertilizer used on farms, this is a simple mixture of > nitrate, > potassium salts and phosphates. Despite being a mixture it > has physical bulk and can be quantified. > > Sraffa's abstraction is essentially similar to the chemists notion > of a Mole, a gram of a compound specified in fixed proportions > corresponding > to the molecular structure.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Sep 30 2005 - 00:00:02 EDT