[OPE-L:4105] Re: Another Sheep

john erns (ernst@pipeline.com)
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 01:39:53 -0800 (PST)

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No, your response in OPE-L 4096 did not depreciate as new
posts were introduced. It held its value. Perhaps, you
correctly anticipated the "moral depreciation" and included
in the output. Here are some initial thoughts.

1. Thanks for the correction. One day, I will make sure I am adding
the right cells on a spreadsheet.

2. It seems I gave you an inch and you took a bit more. That is,
I did not expect that you would see the anticipated falling output
prices iff no new machine were introduced. (Your first table)
I suppose I could have made my intent more obvious by introducing
an improved machine (better or cheaper) at the end of each period
and kept the same pattern of falling output prices. The capitalists
seem to be able to intuit how many years a machine will last but
are hopeless when it comes to prices.

At the same time, I find your table interesting. The total
value added in all 4 periods is 668. Yet the value added
in each period falls by 100. In other words, the decrease
in the value added "explains" the decrease in output value
as all value advanced as fixed capital is recovered by
the capitalist or, in other words, fully transferred to the
output. Why are those output prices(values) falling?
Again, I would have assumed that the cheaper machine
was the cause for the falling output prices.

3. You seem to stick with straight-line depreciation no matter what.
Why? Recall that in Marx we really do not find a way to deal with
the separation of depreciation and profit. That is, he gives us
no formula to evaluate, either *a priori* or *ex post*, an investment in
fixed capital. Indeed, when Engels put Vol 3 together he found
nothing of Marx's concerning the turnover of fixed capital and
the rate of profit. This is, perhaps, all the more reason we should
be slugging our through this stuff.

Let me deal with your cases in a separate post.

I do hope that others are bothering to follow us in our
morally depreciating quest.