Re: [OPE-L] workers' consumption and capitalists' consumption

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Wed Jun 14 2006 - 16:29:52 EDT

Hi Andy

Sorry for the delay in replying.

> The bottom line is that this is a very complex issue involving aspects from vol 1 to vol 3. In
> short, in my view, interest is a 'price' of money capital but this price, unlike that of
> labour-power, is *not* deternmined, on my understanding of Marx's theory, by the labour
> time required to produce the items it enables capitalists to consume.

OK. I'd like to emphasise that a set of simultaneous equations has
very little to say about cause and effect, only simultaneous mutual
consistency. In a state of self-replacing equilibrium, the equality of
all the following quantities can be deduced in Sraffa's framework:
(i) the price of money-capital
(ii) the rate of profit
(iii) the total price of capitalist real consumption rate
(iv) the total value of capitalist real consumption rate multipled by wage rate
(v) the value rate of profit S/(C+V),  a function of the rate of
exploitation, e = S/V
... etc. These simultaneous identities do not imply that any is the
cause of any other. In my view,  the above equalities do not
contradict Marx's causal claims regarding the determinants of the rate
of profit. They do show, however, that Marx's theory of value is both
consistent and non-redundant within a simultaneous equilibrium

> Actually, you agree with Fred on a more broad issue. The key for you and Fred and many
> others (including Ajit I think) is that you think that *if* total profit a different magnitude
> from total surplus value, *then* as Fred put it in a recent post, the latter total does not
> 'solely determine' the former total. More generally this means that you, Fred, Ajit and
> many others believe that if a given quantity is the sole determinant of some other quantity
> then there must be a one-to-one mapping between the two quantities. I think this is
> wrong!...

I think that the whole issue of the transformation problem is
essentially a controversy over conservation laws in classical
economics. I will try to expand on this point when I get some free

Best wishes,

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