[OPE-L:4627] Re: Surplus value and capitalist consumption

Ajit Sinh (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 22:01:56 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]

At 03:24 PM 3/29/97 -0800, Andrew Kliman wrote:
>A reply to Ajit's ope-l 4598.
>Ajit writes: "Good to see you in the sun light!"
>Please refrain from personal remarks.

Oh, I forgot. On ope-l we are all reduced to 'abstract' intellectuals, of
>Ajit writes: "My question concerns only two time periods. Forget the input
>prices of period zero. We got nothing to do withthat. You have an output
>price of period zero, which is "givn" and which is also the input price of
>period one. The second price we are concerned with is the output price of
>period 1."
>Perhaps your NEW question concerns only two time periods. Your ORIGINAL
>question, which is the question I answered, did not. Let me quote: "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[?]"
>Since Marx's simple reproduction schema deal with production periods one year
>long, and you were dealing with two such periods, you were dealing with what
>you would now call three "time periods." Why are you changing the question?
>But changing the question doesn't help you any. The issue remains the same.
>Now we have one period in a schema of simple reproduction. Say that this
>period is one year long, as Marx assumed. Call it 1997, because I don't like
>dealing with negative numbers. Ajit's NEW question is: "Now tell me what
>reasons you can think of that would make the output prices differ from the
>input prices?"
>Thus, I am to put forth reasons why the prices of Jan. 1, 1997 may differ from
>those of Dec. 31, 1997.
>But rather than putting forth some particular reasons, let me try to be as
>general as possible. In what year are the output prices of 1997 determined?
>If you admit that the answer is 1997, then that means that the output prices
>of 1996 are determined in 1996. And since the end of 1996 is the start of
>1997, the input prices of 1997 are also determined in 1996. Hence, any and
>all factors that cause the output prices of 1996 to differ from the output
>prices of 1997 likewise cause the input prices of 1997 to differ from the
>output prices of 1997.
>Sound familiar?
>Given that Ajit's new question has removed all constraints on what took place
>in 1996, do I really need to explain how the output prices of 1996 and of 1997
>can differ?
>Andrew Kliman

Why dance around such a simple question, which everybody, I'm sure, has
understood by now. The question is simple. Do you have a theory of prices?
If yes, then what are the determinants of your prices? Now, if you keep
those determinants constant, then wouldn't those prices come out to be the
same from one period to another? Or do you consider prices to be completely
arbitrary? Now, to take up your own iteration scheme: You start off with
arbitrary prices which produce different rates of profits across sectors.
Then you go on iterating till you get the prices which produce equal rate of
profit across sectors. Now, start off from this point and go one more period
with everything else remaining constant. Wouldn't the output prices be the
same now as was their input prices?

Alan, Got your message. We will resume the debate when you get back from
Washington. Have fun in DC! Cheers, ajit