[OPE-L:6262] Re: Historical Costs

John R. Ernst (ernst@PIPELINE.COM)
Wed, 11 Mar 1998 23:49:58 -0500 (EST)

Continuing the dialogue of Duncan's & John's "Re: Historical Costs"

In reply to a post of mine, Duncan wrote:

I guess I see depreciation as an entirely separate process from production.
In production living labor preserves the _current_ value of the means of
production, and adds new value proportional to the living labor time.
Outside of this process many other factors impinge on the valuation of
stocks of existing assets, which amount to _claims_ to value, among them
ordinary depreciation (wearing out) and moral depreciation (devaluation
because of technical change).

John comments: Maybe I'm not understanding something about the "New
Interpretation." At least, I do not see how your view fits into my
image of it. Let me explain. Let's say workers labor for 100 hours
in a given period and use a machine that has a value of $1000 at the
beginning of the period. At the end of the period, the output sells
for $500 and the value of the machine used in that period is $700.
In other words, $300 of the output represents all types of
depreciation; the other $200 new value. Would not the New Interpretation
use the ratio of $200 to 100 hours to determine the MELT? If so,
is not the amount of newly added value affected by the amount of

Be well,