[OPE-L:1629] Re: Do bears accumulate in the woods?

Paul Cockshott (wpc@cs.strath.ac.uk)
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 01:22:39 -0800

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Alan wrote:
>Thus when Gil writes
>"For example, if the rate of profit is below the "steady state" level
> Marx speaks of in section 1 of Ch. 25, the rate of profit will rise
> in an accumulating economy as long as the rate of capital
> accumulation is below the (exogenously given) rate of labor force
> growth, net of the rate of capital depreciation. Nothing absurd about
> that. Indeed, if the temporal approach doesn't deliver the same
> result under such conditions, I'd say it's a defect rather than a
> virtue of that approach. Conversely, if the rate of profit is above
> this "steady state" level, the rate of profit will fall."
>he takes it for granted (or cites as an unquestionable result) that
>capital depreciation is large enough to offset the very large sums of
>gross investment with which the capitalists augment their stock each

I dont see that Gil is making this assumption. One can hypothesise a
situation, say in the early stages of industrialisation of a country
where the working population is growing at a rapid exponential rate,
and depreciation very low - the capital stock being small,
where accumulation does not keep up with the growth of the workforce.
Under these circumstances the organic composition would fall, despite
net capital accumulation.