[OPE-L:3297] accumulation of capital revisited

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Sun, 6 Oct 1996 14:35:51 -0700 (PDT)

[ show plain text ]

John wrote in [OPE-L:3282]:

> 4. The basic issue is : if Marx holds that tech change is
> both capital saving and labor saving in the period of
> modern industry, why would the rate of profit fall?

Allin responded in [OPE-L:3292]:

> Tech change cannot be both labour- and capital-saving, at
> the aggregate, macro level, so long as accumulation is
> proceeding. (Although, as Paul C has pointed out more than
> once, one cannot assume that accumulation always proceeds.)

John asks in [OPE-L:3293]:

> Why not? Given accumulation is proceeding, why can there
> not be less living labor per unit output as well as less
> constant capital per unit output as we move from one period
> to the next?

If one accepts Paul Z's definition, then accumulation of capital occurs
when s is converted into increasing c + v.

This presents a couple of significant theoretical problems for the model
under consideration:

(1) If v is assumed to equal 0, then accumulation can not happen since v
at time t + 1 would have to be *greater* than at time t. Yet, this can not
happen by assumption -- so accumulation is impossible by assumption.

(2) Unless we are to allow v to be *less than* 0 at time t + 1, why would
capitalists introduce labor-saving innovations at time t?

In Solidarity,