Re: [OPE-L] why does the debate on the "transformation problem" continue?

From: Charlie (charles1848@SBCGLOBAL.NET)
Date: Mon Mar 26 2007 - 18:49:18 EDT

At least one reason for the transformation problem is a challenge that
any honest investigator must consider: If commodities do not sell at
their values, then what can we conclude about the phenomena of
capitalism, including exploitation, from the labor theory of value?

There are two answers in defense of the labor theory of value.

One is that we can conclude quite a lot from two conservations: total
prices = total value and total profits = total surplus value. I tried to
lay out these conclusions throughout From Capitalism to Equality: An
Inquiry into the Laws of Economic Change.

The other answer is that with minor exceptions commodity prices are
close to their value.

The first answer shows how far you can go without getting into disputes
over the evidence underlying the other -- quite far, as it turns out.
The second answer is based on additional investigation, which should
always be welcome. ("Additional" because the labor theory of value is
empirically based, not pure speculation.)

Charles Andrews

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