Re: [OPE] defining 'recession'

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Wed Dec 03 2008 - 11:01:44 EST

> A concept like GDP tells us little about income distribution, and depending on whether you are rich or poor,
> the concepts do not have the same meaning or implications.

Hi Jurriaan:

That's true, but the alternative measure which Paul A asked about - GDP/capita - also tells us little,
if anything, about income distribution.

> Marx remarked that the ultimate barrier to capital was capital itself. It is not that the resources are not there,
> but that they cannot be bought or sold.

I don't think that's what Marx was referring to what he wrote that "the *true barrier* to capitalist production
is *capital itself*" (Volume III, Ch. 15, Section 2, Penguin ed., p. 358, emphasis in original).

In solidarity, Jerry

> This means, most generally - contrary to equilibrium theory - that capitalist development is unable to maintain
> the economic proportions necessary for balanced development in space and time, so that endogenously too much
> capital and income entitlement end up in the "wrong" place. As long as everybody can make gains, it doesn't matter,
> you can to an extent be generous and individual interests appear to match social interests seamlessly and effortlessly;
> equilibrium seems to have been achieved - but in a serious economic breakdown, there is nothing much left anymore
> of the equilibrium theory and the previous generosity or social solidarity, people stick to their own kind.

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Received on Wed Dec 3 11:05:09 2008

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