[OPE-L:6365] Re: (Monopoly) Rates of Profit?

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 20:13:28 -0500 (EST)

On Fri, 27 Mar 1998, Gerald Levy wrote:

> Allin wrote on Tue, 24 Mar:
> > You're saying that capitalists can jack up prices to the extent
> > that, in the aggregate of wage goods, price exceeds value.
> No I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that if the firms
> producing means of consumption for workers sell their
> commodities at a price in excess of value...

This, it seems to me, is just what I ascribed to you: "...in the
aggregate _of wage goods_..."

> It matters (of course) what happens in the market for
> labour-power. It also matters to workers what happens in the
> markets where they spend their money wages.

Given a customary standard of living, workers will tend to react
to a rise in the aggregate price of wage goods by demanding a
rise in wages to match. Under what conditions will they fail to
achieve this? To my mind, the major possibilities are: because
unemployment has increased for some reason; because there has
been a shift toward a greater degree of monopsony in the labor
market; because there has occurred, for whatever reason, a fall
in the rate of profit that makes capitalists less "able" to
"grant" the previous level of real wages... But I don't see a
sound economic reason why an increase in the degree of
product-market concentration, for wage goods, as such, should be
on this list.