[OPE-L:1267] Gold & Rent -- Questions

John R. Ernst (ernst@pipeline.com)
Fri, 1 Mar 1996 00:11:19 -0800

[ show plain text ]

In 1262, Duncan says:

The cost of production will coincide with embodied labor coefficients
if the organic compositions of capital in all sectors are equal or the
profit rate is zero, but in general will deviate from embodied labor
coefficients, as Marx shows in his treatment of the "transformation
problem". Thus the appropriate natural prices are prices of production,
which take into account the different conditions of production of gold
and commodities. To put this another way, gold is produced like any other
commodity, and in the long run there is the same tendency for the profit
rate in gold production to equal the profit rate in other commodity
production as for any other commodity. (Of course, it might happen in
reality that gold is monopolized, or subject to a tariff, or whatever,
and that as a result the profit rate equalization is frustrated. In this
case the basic theory would have to modified to take account of these
higher-order determinations.)

John asks:

1. Is gold production like that of other commodities? Is there no
rent "produced" in gold production?

2. Does the value produced in the gold industry enter into
the process of equalizing the rates of profit? Do any "natural
monopolies" enter into the equalization of the rate of profit?

3. Should we not, like Marx, assume that the organic composition
of the gold producer is less than the average as it is
producing both absolute and differential rent?