[OPE-L:3130] Re: The Maximum Rate of Profit and v = 0

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 14:37:41 -0700 (PDT)

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... and right when I thought we put this issue to bed, Duncan asks me a
question in [OPE-L:3129]:

> I'm not sure I follow you here. If v is very small, won't the profit rate
> will be close the maximum, whether or not the capitalists invest or consume
> the surplus value?

The issue I was posing didn't concern what the rate of unproductive
consumption of surplus value was re the accumulation of capital. The issue
was whether there is or can be accumulation of capital where v = 0. So long
as there is a stipulation that v is "very small" (or the like), the profit
rate can be "close" to the maximum rate. This is why in recent days when
John, Andrew, or yourself stipulated "very, very, very ..." et al., I did
not object.

Although this issue sounds trivial, it concerns the implications of
assumptions specified in models. The differences between v = 0 vs. v =
"approaching 0" may be very small quantitatively, but the v = 0 assumption
carries with it all kinds of ramifications which conflict with the ability
of the model to allow for any "fundamental insights."

In OPE-L Solidarity,