[OPE-L:5370] Re:Luxuries in the New Solution

andrew kliman (Andrew_Kliman@msn.com)
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 16:54:51 -0700 (PDT)

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I thank Rieu for his thoughtful discussion in ope-l 5369.

We seem to be in agreement on most aspects of the issue. However, at the end
of his post, he writes:

"Then andrew is right? My thought is somewhat different. Remember why Marx
argued that the production conditions in luxury sectors affect the genenral
rate of profit. I think it's because of the rate of profit equalization
process through the capital movement between sectors."

Actually, I think the point is even simpler: the general rate of profit is
the weighted average rate of all firms (or industries), and so a change in the
relation of surplus-value to capital advanced in any firm or industry implies
a change in the general rate. This is the case whether or not profit rates
are equalized or tend to be equalized.

In any case, however, Rieu and I seem to be in agreement that the logic of
Marx's argument has *nothing* to do with wages. Therefore, I reiterate that
an adequate interpretation must be able to replicate Marx's result -- changes
in production conditions in luxury industries affect the general profit rate
-- WITHOUT recourse to any argument about wages.

Yet this seems so obvious to me that I winder whether I have understood Rieu's
remark. If not, I hope he will clarify it.

Andrew Kliman