[OPE-L:4338] Re: Mandel vs. Baran-Sweezy

Allin Cottrel (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Mon, 10 Mar 1997 12:28:20 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]

On Mon, 10 Mar 1997, Michael_A._Lebowitz wrote:

> But, Kalecki proposes (in Theory of Economic Dynamics) that:
> "Imagine, for instance, that as a result of the increase in the degree of
> monopoly the relative share of profits in the gross income rises. Profits
> will remain unchanged because they continue to be determined by
> investment.... The level of income or product will decline to the point at
> which the higher relative share of profits yield the same absolute level of
> profits" (61).
> This statement is consistent with Marx and with
> Baran/Sweezy... [and] I think, the rational kernel in the
> Baran/Sweezy Monopoly Capital argument.

It's logically consistent, but, to me, puzzling. In Marx,
monopoly engenders a _transfer_ of surplus value in favour
of the monopolist, whose product is sold above its value (or
price of production). Generalizing this is problematic: Are
we supposing that under 'monopoly capitalism' _all_
commodities are sold above their values, or what? (Another
problem with the MC argument is that the degree of monopoly
has fallen quite substantially over the postwar period as a
whole, in the USA, if you place credence in the figures
generated in the 'industrial organization' literature.)

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University