Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

From: Allin Cottrell (cottrell@WFU.EDU)
Date: Tue Oct 04 2005 - 21:18:39 EDT

On Mon, 3 Oct 2005, Ian Wright wrote:

> Before talking of "beans" again, I just want to reiterate that the
> problem can arise with an arbitrary number of commodities, because
> the difficulty arises from the existence of self-reproducing
> non-basic systems, of which there are arbitrary hierarchies....

OK, but let's consider the "beans" a little further.

> Sraffa wants to investigate uniform prices and uniform profit
> rates. He knows that beans cannot fulfill these conditions. So
> Sraffa argues that a producer of beans can fulfill these
> conditions if beans are sold at a higher output price than the
> input price attributed to them as means of production "in his
> book-keeping".

My point is that if this is to make any sense, it has to mean that
there's a continuous appreciation in the price of "beans."  That
figures: by virtue of the technical structure of production a
certain non-basic (or class of non-basics) cannot earn the average
rate of profit, at constant prices; but they _can_ achieve that rate
if they are progressively appreciating relative to other

Then my further point is that any commodity that is continuously
appreciating relative to others is probably not long for this world.
The demand will be choked off.

Allin Cottrell

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