From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 12:27:11 EST
Hi Paul, I found you question interesting about why if surplus rising investment does not rise to raise absolute levels of employment. Years ago in exchange with Gil on pen-l, I sent this. Why is there economic scarcity, a shortage of capital with respect to labor and hence unemployment ? It is the scarcity of surplus labor in the production process that ensures the relative scarcity of capital with respect to labor: the diminishing flow of surplus value relative to rising minimum capital requirements constrains and discourages the rate of accumulation that would be needed as the OCC rises to absorb not only a growing population but also the proletarians, artisans and peasants continously displaced by technological change and the expansion of commodity production. To say that additional capital is increasingly in short supply vis a vis the new and displaced laboring population as accumulation progresses only means that in the course of accumulation the primordial source of this capital, surplus value, becomes progressively more scarce, too small, in relation to the already accumulated mass of capital Production (P) is explanatorily fundamental to the Scarcity of Differentially Owned Productive Assets(S) and thus the persistence of exploitation (E). That is, P=>E implies P+S=>E It's into the hidden abode of production one must enter to explain the persistence of scarce DOPA relative to labor, no? Production, not private property, is explanatorily fundamental to the continuation of exploitation. Economics is focused on ownership and relations of exchange, not Marxism. Rakesh ps what has been maintaining profitability, putting aside the question of accounting tricks? It seems that the two main factors have been the centralization of capital and a rising rate of exploitation (wages lagging behind productivity gains). It does not follow from the law of value that the rate of profit must decline.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Dec 31 2006 - 00:00:04 EST