[OPE-L:4304] Re: TSS transformation procedure

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 08:26:02 -0800 (PST)

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Previous message: aramos@aramos.bo: "[OPE-L:4301] Re: variable capital and time"

In ope-l 4249 Andrew kindly answered some questions I raised.
I think he is right stressing that in my questions there was some
confusion about the "valuation" (labor-time or money magnitudes) and
the "input-output flows" (physical reproduction).

Andrew says:

> It is important to distinguish between variable capital, a sum of money-value
> used to purchase labor-power that expands value, and means of subsistence. If
> workers are hired at time t, the *variable capital* is committed at that time,
> and cannot be revalued retroactively. This has NOTHING to do with when
> workers are paid. The firms incur contractual obligations they cannot get out
> of (usually) once the workers enter the factory. Workers are simply extending
> credit if they are paid only later.
> Therefore the magnitude of variable capital is not altered by when workers are
> paid. It is not altered by when they consume. It is not altered by whether
> they are paid money, or in kind. It is not altered by changes in the value
> of labor-power.

However, it could be altered by changes in the amount of labor-
time represented by money. This also affects all kind of purchases
carried out by means of credit. This is not the "sphere" of physical
reproduction but, indeed, the "sphere of value" which we can split
into its two aspects: labor-time and money, substance and form of
value. A capitalist buys a machine by means of credit when $1=1hr and
the machine is worth $100 (so it contains 100hr). But when s/he pays
the credit $1=0.5hr. What is constant capital?

Alejandro Ramos M.

> Ale is imagining the situation in which variable capital is committed at time
> t, and workers receive money wages at time t+1. This is fine, and it happens,
> but this is not how Marxs schema of reproduction deal with the issue. And,
> to my knowledge, Bortkiewicz says nothing about it either. Note that,
> moreover, Bortkieiwicz does NOT make a distinction between how he treats the
> reproduction of the different parts of social output. So if were
> concentrating on the validity of Bortkiewiczs alleged proof of internal
> inconsistency, we cant start assuming this.
> I also think that it is a big mistake to conflate the issues of reproduction
> and the formation of production prices. As I have noted, if the physical
> quantities supplied and demanded are (un)equal, then the monetary supplies and
> demands must necessarily also be (un)equal. Thats whats needed for an
> equalized profit rate. The reproduction of any specific set of use-value
> relations, from the start of one period to the start of the next, is not.
> Andrew Kliman
> >