Re: [OPE-L] equilibrium and simultaneous vs. sequential determination

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Thu Sep 13 2007 - 08:33:55 EDT

>  here are Ricardo's last written words. A letter
> to James Mill written on 5 Sept. 1823. Ricardo fell
> ill with ear infection on the 6th and died on the
> 11th. This might help you understand Ricardo better:
> "...John does not allow for profits increasing at a
> compound rate. The profits for 5 years are more than 5
> times the profits of one, and the profits of one year
> more than 52 times the profits for one week, and it is
> this which makes the great part of the difficulty. Beg
> him to consider this and let me know if I am wrong in
> my critique on his paper. I have been thinking a good
> deal on this subject lately but without much
> improvement--I see the same difficulties as before and
> am more confirmed then ever that strictly speaking
> there is not in nature any correct measure of value
> nor can any ingenuity suggest one, for what
> constitutes a correct measure for some things is a
> reason why it cannot be a correct one for others.
> Yours ever, David Ricardo". "John" in the letter was
> apparently John Stuart Mill. The paper Ricardo is
> referring to has not been found.

Hi Ajit:

Very interesting quote.  Thanks. It certainly shows that at the end of
his life, Ricardo was thinking about these "difficulties".  Isn't the
issue that he posed above related to *labor time* in addition to changes
in the turnover of (constant) capital?    E.g. changes in the
*intensity of labor* and changes in the *hours of work* (including
changes in the length of the working day) can help to explain (in part)
the problem that Ricardo was thinking about.

In solidarity, Jerry

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