[OPE-L] Capital reproduction theories and the facts - addition

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 14:22:31 EDT

The estimated market value of land + buildings of US farms, according to the
US Agriculture Census 2002, is $1,144.9 billion, which, using the previously
mentioned Budget estimates, would represent somewhere around 8.5% of the
value of all privately owned land in the US (about half a billion dollars
per farm, on average).

The 2002 value of capital tied up in farm machinery and equipment is about
$136.6 billion, so then you have a total stock of physical farm capital
worth about $1.3 trillion. The actual net income specifically from farm
operations is just $40.5 billion.

I cannot find any data on the total market value of industrial-zoned land in
the US, presumably because there is no standard surveying procedure.

Rural land comprises 2.2 billion acres (about 78 million acres, or 3.5%, in
the national park system), and urban land 60 million acres (about 3% of the
total). http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/LandUse/majorlandusechapter.htm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (Fixed asset table 1.1) provides
current-cost fixed capital estimates (excluding land) for 2005 as follows:

Total stock of US fixed assets $37,250.6 billion
Total private non-residential (productive) fixed assets $13,543.8 billion
Total private residential fixed assets $15,800.1 billion (42.4%)
Government fixed assets $7,906.7 billion (largely non-residential) (21.2%)
(additionally, the stock of durable consumer goods = $3,738.0 billion)

The order of magnitude given is broadly similar to the US Budget stats.
Clearly the value of the stock of capital tied up in residential buildings
is again estimated to be worth more than the stock of fixed assets tied up
in production, so it is not inappropriate to talk about "real estate
accumulation". Of course, if we assume that the residential stock is
currently overvalued by about 20% then the two stocks would be more or less
equal. Basically, rentier capital and property income are not welldescribed
in the national accounts, as I mentioned before, which tends to distort the
macroeconomic picture. It's a fairly safe bet that on average about 1 in 5
dollars of business income earnt is rentier income of some type.

As regards the portion of the total social capital tied up in financial
assets, you can get data on this e.g. from the "flow of funds" tables
(http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/Current/z1.pdf)  Despite the fact
that the US savings rate is very low, in fact savings deposits in US banks
are very substantial, didn't have time for the totals at this moment though.
Whose money is it? Well, not mine.


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