From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 12:55:32 EST
Hi Andy Andy: "The (to my mind) 'clinching' point runs as follows. You [that is with your neo-R hat on] have a scalar magnitude (price), attached to each commodity, continually giving rise to a complex matrix, viz. the input-output matrix of an economy. Variations in price, on your account, are causing variations in this input-output matrix such that the resulting matrix is always a member of the set of feasible reproduction proportions. However, and this is the key point, it is impossible, or miraculous, for variations in a scalar magnitude across commodities (and through time) to cause variations in a matrix, the input-output matrix, such that these variations continually conform to feasible reproduction proportions. Impossible, that is, *unless* there is a way of reducing, or necessarily relating, the set of matrices representing feasible reproduction proportions to a scalar varying in magnitude from commodity to commodity. Only if such a scalar exists and tethers price magnitude can the continual reproduction of capitalism be possible, on this argument." I don't understand your argument. It is the "unless" step that I don't understand. Why do you think that an economic structure (e.g. i/o matrix) *must* be reduced to a non-price scalar in order for the economy to reproduce over time? There are simple models of price/quantity dynamics on i/o structures, although this is not an area I have studied. Goodwin, for example, developed some models based on diagonalizing the commodity space into independent eigencommodities, which helped him simplify the dynamics. The stability properties of such models is, I think, problematic; but nonetheless, I don't see how you've established that the idea of an economy reproducing through time via interactions between prices and quantities on an i/o structure *necessarily* implies there is an underlying value substance. I am sorry but I am not getting your argument. > Note there is nothing in this argument to suggest that we are dealing with a 'substance'. We are dealing with a 'something', a 'something' that must tether price magnitude. Why does that "something" have to be a "substance". Why can't it be a structure? The latter cannot be represented as a scalar. I note your point about time, which is linked to an invariable measure of value; but let's not pursue this now, as you suggested earlier. Best, -Ian.
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