RE: [OPE] Understanding Value and Use-Value

From: Philip Dunn <>
Date: Sat Apr 25 2009 - 15:00:23 EDT

On Sat, 2009-04-25 at 17:45 +0100, GERALD LEVY wrote:

> Let's stick to moral depreciation. Whatever value individual elements
> of constant capital had at the time of the exchange, there can be a premature
> loss in value and exchange value due to technological change.
> The technological change means that the USE-VALUE of the older means
> of production has been reduced.
> It's not a question of what we think or what Marx thought; it's a
> question of what actually happens. What actually happens is that the
> USE-VALUE of the means of production deteriorates and it is the
> reduction in USE-VALUE which causes a re-evaluation of individual
> value and exchange-value which occurs in the market.
> When you are referring to the price of milk, you are talking about
> a homogeneous product (no pun intended) for a commodity which is a
> means of consumption in the absence of technological change. If you
> consider elements of constant capital and technological change
> then the situation becomes more complex.

I take an different view. To account for moral depreciation all that is
needed is to depreciate long lasting elements of constant capital in
proportion to revenue (in value terms, of course).

Suppose an asset is anticipated to last 5 years and revenue is expected
to be flat. This would lead the accountants to depreciate it at 20% per
year. If due to unanticipated technological change, the firm decides to
scrap the asset after 4 years, given flat revenue for those 4 years, the
depreciation should be 25% per year. The accountants should make prior
year adjustments.

Use-value has nothing to do with it.

ope mailing list
Received on Sat Apr 25 15:02:14 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue May 12 2009 - 15:26:04 EDT