Re: [OPE-L] Ajit's Paper on Sraffa and Late Wittgenstein

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Fri Jun 09 2006 - 20:03:26 EDT

Hi Allin

> Ordinary prices have got nothing to do with time, agreed.  But
> what you're calling the "price of money-capital" is not, in my
> view, a price at all.  It's a rental charge.  And rental charges
> have everything to do with time: how long do you get to keep
> whatever it is you're renting?

The length of the production period.

I answered this question in my last message, but I'll try again from a
different angle. I hope this helps.

If I rent a tractor for a month at $10, which of the following
statements is true?
(a) I am renting a tractor and paying $10 per month.
(b) I am renting a tractor for a month and paying $10.

You say case (a) and assert that the price is $10 per month. So the
price is quantified with respect to time. I say case (b) and assert
that the price is $10. So the price is not quantitied with respect to

Now replace "tractor" with "money-capital" in the above.

In a circular flow model of simple reproduction case (b) is the
natural interpretation because the money-capital is returned to
capitalist accounts at the end of period (although, as this is a
circular flow, it is immediately used to fund another period). Case
(b), as I have demonstrated, is also dimensionally consistent with
Sraffa's concept of prices, which are not quantitied with respect to
time, and Sraffa's concept of the rate of profit, which is also not
quantified with respect to time.

Terms such as "rent", "borrow", "rental charge" etc. are not in my
view good ways to describe the social relations that implement

I think it is time to acknowledge that there is no dimensional
inconsistency, or conceptual problem, in the notion of the price of
money-capital. If we go much further with this we will enter the realm
of sophistry. Call r a "price" a "rental charge" or "grue", whichever
takes your fancy.

Best wishes,

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