[OPE-L:4599] Re: Transformation

Ajit Sinh (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Fri, 28 Mar 1997 23:15:35 -0800 (PST)

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At 06:42 AM 3/27/97 -0800, Alan Freeman wrote:
>With regard to the following from Ajit's [4556] I reply
>"If we assume that the system is in simple reproduction
>schema and everything in the world, leaving prices out,
>remain constant from period zero to period one, then
>wouldn't you agree that the prices would also remain the
>same in period one as they were in period zero. So in
>this hypothetical case, you simply don't have to
>determine prices in period one if you take the prices in
>period zero as 'given'. Therefore, according to your
>position, a theoretical problem of transforming values to
>prices of production should not arise in this situation.
>Does not it go against the fundamental grain of Marx's
>transformation problem?

>a)The money paid for inputs represents the amount of
> labour-time transferred by constant capital to the
> outputs

How can you do that, unless you specify money in labor-time units.
>b)The labour-time expended in period zero stands for
> itself
>c)Add (a) and (b) and we have the value of outputs in
> hours

Not unless you specify the "value of money" in labor-time units.
>d)The money paid for the outputs represents the amount of
> labour-time realised by these outputs after sale - their
> price, expressed in hours
>e)The sum of (d) over society is clearly equal to the sum
> of (c), Marx's first equality

You mean prices of all the input plus amount of live labor-time would
"clearly" be equal to total prices of gross output? What is so "clear" about
it? First of all, you got prices, which are amount of money commodity (say
gold) and then labor-time. How can you add them unless you have reduced one
into another. Whether the two sides of your equation will be equal or not
will depend on what condition you impose on value-price relation, which
translates your amount of money into amount of labor-time. You cannot escape
this problem, which is the old Bortkiewicz's problem.

Let me add one more question, the same question I added to Andrew's post.
You seem to say that your output prices are the prices at which the
commodities are *actually* sold. But you *derive* these prices from 'given'
input prices and the labor-time spent in production. How do you know that
your *derived* prices would be the prices at which the commodities would be
*actually* sold, in your given topsy-turvy dynamic world? What makes you so
confident about your prices?

Rest of your points from f to i begs the same question. So I'm going to
delete them to keep the focus and save the space. Cheers, ajit sinha