RE: [OPE-L:3507] Marx and historical costs
Sun, 1 Feb 1998 23:03:19

A brief note on Andrew Kliman''s PIAF:

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 98 00:55:24 UT
From: "andrew kliman" <Andrew_Kliman@CLASSIC.MSN.COM>
Subject: RE: [OPE-L:3507] Marx and historical costs
Commenting on Fred''s questions, Andrew K. says:

> Stuff that was bought in the past but which is used as means of
> production only after the change in value does not transfer its
> original value (or price) to the product. It transfers a sum of
> value equal to (the labor-time represented by) the price it has
> when it enters production, i.e., when its use-value is destroyed.

I think this is why the term "historical cost" could be confusing.
"Historical" is *usually* understood as something "fixed" in the past.
It seems to me that many people (maybe Fred himself) think that the
TSS approach position implies that the value (or price) of "stuff
that was bought in the past" cannot change, which is absurd.

The value of the "stocks" of the means of production can indeed
change, and the value transferred to a new commodity corresponds to
the labor-time necessary to RE-produce the input at the time when it
is effectively *consumed*, not when it was *produced*. I think the
common (erroneous) interpretation of the TSS position is that the
value transferred by inputs is the labor-time that *was* necessary to
produce it in the past, a magnitude that, supposedly, cannot change.
This is what is usually understood as "historical". Perhaps Fred
could tell us how has he intepreted the term "historical cost".

(b) My paper, presented at the EEA 1997, "Labor, Money, Labor-saving
Innovation and the Falling Rate of Profit", deals with aspects
related to Fred''s question on the "changes in the value of money".

Alejandro Ramos

P.S. Jerry: Any news about our beloved "historical" identifying