[OPE-L:5169] Re: Censoring Ajit?

Ajit Sinha (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 11:02:21 -0700 (PDT)

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At 09:18 AM 5/29/97 -0700, Andrew Kliman wrote:
>The subject line was intended to get your attention.

I doubt that Dr. Freud would read it that way, Andrew. I suspect that there
is a deep desire in your heart to censor me, which has shown up in a manner
of Freudian slip.
And this post is indeed
>about "censoring Ajit?" though perhaps not in the way you thought. I have
>challenged him to demonstrate that his price theory isn't internally
>consistent. He has not yet produced a set of numbers that would do so. He
>keeps bringing up the fact that I did not reproduce part of a post he wrote,
>as if this means that I am censoring him, and as if the numbers contained
>therein do constitute an adequate response to the challenge.

I think, I'm going to demonstrate the phoneyness of your so-called challange
once and for all, if it is already not clear to everybody out there, which i
seriously doubt, given that most of the people can distinguish sense from
total nonsense. As far as your claim that I'm suggesting that you are
censoring me, let me tell you that I do not consider you all that powerful
for even a second. I know you desire to censor me, but I also know that you
cannot. So keep your power politics out of my computer.
>They do not.
>Here is the "censored" passage, from his ope-l 5086.
>"Your argument seems to run this way: Let's suppose y is chosen as the money
>commodity. And given the prices in period -1 equal to 1y = 2x ( and mind
>you, you have arrived at these prices by assuming same input-output prices
>and equalizing the rate of profit, otherwise you have absolutely no way of
>arriving at the prices in period -1, and your whole exercise will become
>void and absurd), you want to calculate the capital investment of period
>zero on the basis of this exchange ratio. Thus the capital investment in
>department one becomes 5 and in department 2 it becomes 7. Now what you want
>to do is to put the equation for period zero as:
>Department 1: 5 (1+r) = 12x
>Department 2: 7 (1+r) = 12y
>"Now, to determine the three variables from the two equations, you would
>again want to put the value of y =1, which basically amounts to saying that
>the technical change had no impact on the money commodity, which would be an
>absurd claim. The absurdity of the whole thinking process becomes quite
>clear when we alternately chose y as money-commodity, and then x as money
>commodity. When we put y = 1, the rate of profit r becomes equal to 5/7, and
>when we put x = 1, the rate of profit r becomes equal to 7/5. I hope by now
>you must have started to see the light."
>I made no argument, so the whole passage is irrelevant to the challenge, as I
>have noted before. That is a sufficient answer, but Ajit wants more, so I'll
>give him more.

You did not make an argument because you don't have one.
>What is at issue is the internal coherence of Ajit's OWN price theory, so I
>began with the prices that HE accepts. Whether these are the prices that *I*
>would "arrive at" are irrelevant. The stuff about me wanting to calculate the
>investment on this or that basis is a red herring. I am not calculating
>anything. Ajit is the one being challenged to show that HIS price theory is
>not internally incoherent. Moreover, even he is not *required* by the
>challenge to calculate the investment of period 0, though he may do so if he
>Ajit then goes on to protest, rightly, against the notion that one can
>arbitrarily adopt a numeraire (hold constant the price of my good 2, which he
>calls "y"), but he somehow manages to attribute that notion to me! The TSS
>interpretation is *rooted* in a denial that Marx held this notion!
>Thus, what Ajit takes to be the TSS equations are not. Given a uniform profit
>rate and the exchange ratio 2 good 1 = 1 good 2 at the end of period -1/start
>of period 0, the TSS equations are
>5*P2[-1,0]*(1+r) = 12*P1[0,1]*(1/[1 + 0m])
>7*P2[-1,0]*(1+r) = 12*P2[0,1]*(1/[1 + 0m])
>where 0m indicates the percentage change (in decimal form) in the monetary
>expression of labor-time (MELT) between the start and the end of period 0. I
>count 2 equations in 5 unknowns. The example does not provide enough
>information to determine the input prices, the output prices, or the profit
>rate. (But we can say that *if* the profit rate is equalized, P1[0,1] =
>(5/7)*P2[0,1].) Again, no adherent of the TSS interpretation would hold that
>the value of ANY commodity, including a money commodity, remains constant when
>technology changes. Quite the contrary.
>Since Ajit's charge of absurdity is based on an elemental misunderstanding of
>the TSS interpretation of Marx's value theory, the charge is baseless.

If anybody could understand the above two equations, then in my opinion you
are deserving of Nobel Prize! In the first equation 5 is multiplied by P2 of
time -1 and 0. And where did 5 come from? If you recall, it came from
putting P2 = 1 for the time period -1 and 0. So there you go, first
redunenancy of P2 there. Similar redundency for 7*P2 in the second equation.
But let's go on. The last terms in both the equations falls from heaven. In
the challenge example given to me, no MELT (which to me means the meltdown
of the TSS process) was given, so how could one measure a change in
something which is not even given to begin with? But as we go on, it gets
even more interesting. He counts five unknowns and two equations, and
declares that there is not enough information to determine "the input
prices, the output prices, or the rate of profit." Then he goes on to say
that "If", with an emphasis of if, profit rates are equalized then, .... If
you look at the equations, you will find that both the equations have a term
r, which stands for profit rate, so equalization of the profit rate is
already assumed in the equations. So his "if" clause is redundent and would
not reduce any unknown in the equations, and he reckons that there are five
unknowns for some reason. Anyway, why bother disecting this mumbo zumbo of
equations with no unit of measurement given etc., because in the end it
dosn't matter. He is going to divide the two equation with one another, and
all this smoke and mirror somehow cancells out, and we are left with the
long awaited RESULT, "the numbers where his mouth is": P1 = 5/7 p2.
Now folks, please scroll up and take a look at the numbers I gave him months
ago. There the two equations stand as:

5(1+r) = 12x (1)
7(1+r) = 12y (2)

Divide equation (1) by equation (2), and you get x = 5/7 y. Surprise!
Surprice!! The only difference is that my formulation for him is more
regorus than his. And I have already pointed out the fatel flaw in this kind
of reasoning, as you can see in the passage he quoted from me. Sometimes I
feel like playing chess with such opponents that I have to make the best
move for them, and when I do so they protest angrily and make a much worse
move. When I gave Fred the strongest possible move he could have. He
protested angrily, and said that no, he maintains that value of money is
given and remains constant when prices change. So I checkmated him in the
very next move. The one question I wanna ask Andrew is: how many people
responded to his prize challange about how many days it would take Ajit to
put some numbers where his mouth is? If he did not get any response, he
should know that his game is over. Everybody on this list now knows that his
so-called interpretation of Marx's transformation problem is phoney baloney.
My only advise to you, Andrew, is that you should do some homework before
coming up with your pathetic challenges, and proof of Sraffa's "non-proof" etc.

Cheers, ajit sinha