[OPE-L:4712] max and actual profit rate

Allin Cottrel (cottrell@wfu.edu)
Thu, 10 Apr 1997 05:47:00 -0700 (PDT)

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I have a question for Andrew following his presentation at
the IWGVT sessions in DC.

Andrew drew up an illustration of the point that, with a
constant workforce and V = 0, accumulation of capital (in
value terms) is a necessary and sufficient condition for a
declining rate of profit (in value terms). It just doesn't
matter how you fill in the use-value side of the accounts
(i.e. what is happening to physical productivity). This
seems right to me, but I'm wondering about the relationship
between this demonstration and the trajectory of the
'actual' rate of profit. As I recall, Roemer makes the
argument that the trajectory of the _maximum_ rate of profit
-- and it's the maximum we're looking at, by setting V = 0
-- is 'irrelevant', in the sense that the max rate can
decline indefinitely while the actual profit rate (given V >
0) rises indefinitely, with the two approaching a common
asymptote from different directions.

Allin Cottrell