Re: [OPE-L] The importance of the sraffian standard system in relation with the transformation problem

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Thu Apr 26 2007 - 17:01:04 EDT

Hi Robert

> As I understand it, an economy in standard proportions need not be growing
> at the maximum rate of growth. Think what happens if workers all their
> wages, and capitalists consume some of their profits. Assume both workers'
> and capitalists' consumption baskets are in standard proportions.

Thanks for correcting what I said; it was garbled.

Assume that the technique is augmented by workers consumption,
capitalists do not consume and the net product is reinvested for
proportionate growth. In this case is the net product that generates
the maximum rate of growth in standard proportions?

> Nor are Sraffa's prices proportional to labor values when the economy is in
> standard proportions. What one can say then is that all of Marx's volume 3
> invariants hold.

Including the equality of the rate of profit in the price and value systems?

> It is true than when an economy is in standard proportions, it can
> theoretically grow smoothly. But the economy can theoretically grow
> smoothly, with Sraffa's prices prevailing, when the economy is out of
> standard proportions too. Think what happens if consumption baskets are not
> in standard proportions, but levels of operation of each process are such
> that needs for use are exactly met.

Yes agreed.

VicenÁ is exercised by this special-case. However, if in general
prices can change independently of a change in labour-values, which is
the case when we compare prices of production and standard
labour-values, then labour-values cannot account for price phenomena.
The existence of certain special cases do not help.

In my view, the transformation problem derives from a labour-cost
accounting error, specifically an erroneous treatment of the
labour-value of money-capital. Standard labour-values don't measure
replacement costs for a capitalist economy. They measure replacement
costs for an economy without a capitalist class.


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