[OPE-L:1354] Re: Better Machines

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 08:14:11 -0800

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I see I didn't clarified my point in my latest post[1317] .
My point is and was dependency of moral depreciation
on capitalist speculations. I've just read up to 1341.
Sorry if followings are entirely moraly depreciated.

John repeatedly emphasized that 'better machines' cause
moral depreciation. Also Alan[1325] asserted that the vanishing
value is a transfer from the owners of old machines to
producers of cheaper machines. This would also assert
that moral depreciation doesn't come from cheaper machines
if we distinguish depreciation and 'vanishing value' (=transfer
occurs when machines get cheaper). In [1325], Alan counted
this type of transfer as *depreciation*, but I see his use
of terminology there was only for convenience. Is it right?

If economic lifetimes of machines depend on speculations
on when better machines are available, a change of these
speculations may cause value transfer.
A very extreme example:
At the beginning of the 1st year, a machine worth $100
is purchased and its economic lifetime is anticipated as 5
years though its physical lifetime is 100 years. They expect
an entirely better machine would appear 5 years later in
average. At the beginning of the 2nd year, suddenly
an entirely better machine is reported to be available at
the beginning of the next year. What would happen?
That existing machine should be economically used up
in a year. In the first year the machine is *depreciated*
at the pace of $20/year and the amount must be contained
in the products of the year in the capitalist account. In the
2nd year the machine should add $80 to the products.
If price of the product in both period reflect these account,
can I say that $30 sould have transferred from purchasers in
the 2nd year to purchasers in the 1st year retrospectively?

in OPE-L solidarity,


Iwao Kitamura
E-mail: ikita@st.rim.or.jp