[OPE-L:939] RE: Revaluation of inputs

Michael A. Lebowitz (mlebowit@sfu.ca)
Sat, 3 Feb 1996 21:57:57 -0800

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In message Wed, 31 Jan 1996 18:39:22 -0800,
Alan Freeman <100042.617@compuserve.com> writes:

> Mike L writes: [OPE 895, 31/1/96]
> ===============================================
> Fred (805) is very clear in showing the consistency of
> Marx's position--- that the value of constant capital is
> determined by replacement value rather than historic value.
> I think there is no question about this.
> ===============================================
> Oh, but there is a question about this.
> *At what time* is the replacement value estimated?
> - At the time when the inputs are consumed?
> - Or at the time when the outputs are produced?

I would say neither. How about--- at the time when the question is asked?
Ie., at that instant, how much of society's labour would be necessary to
produce the inputs being consumed?
> But I don't think, after all the discussion we have had and
> are having, that I can really let pass a statement that there
> is 'no question' about this - paticularly when two posts are
> outstanding giving detailed numerical examples showing that
> contradiction immediately arises, if by the term 'replacement
> value' we understand, as we must if we use the simultaneous
> equation method, that the value of constant capital is given by
> its value - whether replacement or reproduction value - at the
> time of sale of the outputs it produces.

I don't think the "detailed numerical examples" provide an answer to the
question of what did Marx think, which is what Fred detailed and which I
think he did accurately. The said detailed numerical examples may, however,
demonstrate that Marx was *wrong* to think what he thought. That may be so,
and I have an open mind on that-- ie., can be convinced. I suspect, however,
that these questions may tend to be confused by the sequentialists among
us--- their arguments may differ from the ones Marx made and they may feel
that these are the ones Marx *should* have made in order to get his results,
but I do think we need first to be clear on what Marx did say.
Michael A. Lebowitz
Economics Department, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6
Office: (604) 291-4669; Office fax: (604) 291-5944
Home: (604) 255-0382
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e-mail: mlebowit@sfu.ca