[OPE-L:4360] Re: produced and realized profit

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 10:58:09 -0800 (PST)

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Previous message: john ernst: "[OPE-L:4359] Re: Problems in Vol. III"

Paul C wrote in [OPE-L:4358]:

> Marx may not have been aware of it, but if you read volume 2 in the light
> of Kalecki you can see that it is logically implied by the reproduction
> schemes. Kalecki draws his analysis directly from a vol II type
> reproduction scheme.
> I think that disagreement on this is very significant, as, in my opinion at
> least, any attempt to extend Marxs analysis to the dynamics of the
> capitalist economy is almost bound to either end up looking like
> Kalecki or be directly derived from Kalecki.
> Kaleckis most important discovery, one of the most significant discoveries
> in economics this century, was that profit depended causally upon
> capitalist expenditure.
> If people think that Kalecki was wrong on this then we should discuss it,
> as we will not get very far in discussing the effects of international
> trade and state expenditure unless we agree on it.
> In my opinion Kalecki made the most important contribution towards an
> understanding of volume 4 topics.
> The isssue should not be whether Marx realised everything that Kalecki was
> able to draw out from the reproduction schemes, but whether Kalecki was
> right in his deductions.

I have a few tentative comments, made without reference to Kalecki:

(1) The rate of accumulation depends on the conversion of surplus-value
into profit and then the subsequent re-investment on an expanded level of
c + v. If we allow capitalist consumption to be greater than -0- (i.e. if
there is some level of unproductive consumption of s by the capitalist
class), then this decreases the amount of money that can be advanced by
capitalists for c + v.

(2) On the other hand, if capitalist consumption increases, then the
demand that capitalists have for consumption goods (so called "luxury
goods") increases. If, then, the demand for these commodities increases,
one would anticipate that the demand for labour-power and means of
production by the capitalists producing luxury goods will increase.

(3) The mark-up in price by oligopolies could be initially thought of as
leading to a redistribution of s among capitalists. However, if what is
being marked-up are means of consumption purchased by workers, then the
mark-up could lead to a decrease in real wages. If what is being marked-up
are "luxury goods", then this would lead to a re-distribution of income
among capitalists.

(4) Increased taxation of capital means that capitalists will have less
money capital that they can use for productive investment and
accumulation. From that perspective, increased taxation if the money then
goes towards increasing employment of unproductive labor by the state,
leads to a decrease in accumulation. It might be possible, however, that
the increased taxation might in certain circumstances lead to a
redistribution of income such that the real wage of workers (including the
"social wage") increases.

In solidarity, Jerry