[OPE-L:2092] Re: Kliman-McGlone interpretation of the transformation problem

riccardo bellofiore (bellofio@cisi.unito.it)
Mon, 6 May 1996 11:47:49 -0700

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At 2:42 6-05-1996 -0700, Alan Freeman wrote:
>Allin [2070] writes
>"The variable that, as I claim, is _not_ equalized (prior to convergence
> of input and output prices) is: (income from sales of output - the outlay
> required to continue production on the same scale)/(initial outlay)."
>Couldn't agree more. The variable which _is_ equalized is:
>[(income from sales of output)
> less (the outlay made to produce this output)]
> /(initial outlay)
>The numerator here is what most capitalists call 'profit', that is
>revenue minus cost. It is what you get, less what you paid: not
>what you get, less what you might pay if you started all over.
>I have never met anyone in business who defines profit as the variable
>Allin refers to, and if they did, they wouldn't stay in business for long,
>unless perhaps they were teaching marxist economics. I am sorry it isn't
>equalised but there is no reason it should be. Marx certainly never claimed
>it was.
>If I could define my profits as my sales revenue minus what I would
>*now* pay for the computers on which I do my business, I would
>be extremely happy, especially if I could persuade my banker to agree
>with me.
>The numerator I give above is what Marx equalises in Volume III.
>Indeed in Volume III we can't even calculate Allin's variable because
>we don't know which outputs serve as inputs.
>The superposition of Marx's schemes of reproduction on Marx's
>transformation procedure was not done by Marx but by his little
>The idea that profit is 'what would be need to continue production
>on the same scale' is a wholly Dmitriev/Tugan/Bortkiewicz invention.

Let us accept your point, and let me see if I understood something more.
>From here you would go on calling the initial outlay for constant capital
[expressed in what would be called 'prices' according to the standard,
simultaneist, version of this issue] as the 'value' of constant capital.
But this has nothing to do with labour _embodied_ in constant capital. Then
the wage goods will be sold at prices which, though reached through Marx's
procedure, have nothing to do with labour _embodied_ in those same wage
goods [here again the wage is expressed in prices for the standard
terminology]: and we call this magnitude the 'value' of labour power.
Hence, your values at the beginning are simply the prices of the previous
period. Am I right? [May be that your treatment of the wage is more
sophisticate, but I am simply willing to understand if in fact your value
of the labour power measures the labour commanded by the wage rather than
the necessary labour interpreted as the labour needed to reproduce in this
period the working class. On this path it is not guaranteed from the
beginning that the Marxian tranformation will meet no difficulties?

Another curiosity. I am accustomed to think that to answer the charge of
redundancy one has to show that Marx's value theory is essential *even* for
the equilibrium, simultabeous solution. In other terms: what if it happens
that the system goes on truly 'on the same scale' for a while. Value theory
now disappears? It is true only out of equilibrium, while it is wrong in
equilibrium? Or your point is that we are never in equilibrium?

Or rather: should not we find an 'out of equilibrium' ground for the
equilibrium solution, so that value theory is fundamental to understand
*both* the tendency to equilibrium [expressed in pure terms in the
simultaneous solution] and the tendency to disequilibrum?

Just to know


Riccardo Bellofiore e-mail: bellofio@cisi.unito.it
Department of Economics Tel: (39) -35- 277505 (direct)
University of Bergamo (39) -35- 277501 (dept.)
Piazza Rosate, 2 (39) -11- 5819619 (home)
I-24129 Bergamo Fax: (39) -35- 249975