[OPE-L:6448] Re: [OPE] What is prior? Response to Paul C

Allin Cottrell (cottrell@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu)
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 15:56:54 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 9 Apr 1998, Alan Freeman wrote:

> I think that in Paul's concept of value ... production is a
> process that takes place independent of exchange, and
> therefore can embody only labour-time in the commodities. The
> monetary expression of this labour-time for him arises only
> when the goods actually enter circulation, that is, when the
> price ticket is placed on them.
> However Allin's statement as phrased is in contradiction with
> this view. Allin does suggest that the labour-time in the
> goods has a monetary expression when the goods emerge from
> production. He writes:
> > The price marked on
> > an item in a store need bear no relation to the monetary
> > 'translation' of its value as determined in production (which is
> > what Alan was talking about).
> Thus, the value determined in production does indeed have a
> monetary translation, though this is not in general equal to
> the money price placed on the goods when they are offered for
> sale.

I don't _think_ that Paul and I are in disgreement here.
Clearly, there's nothing to stop one from 'translating' from a
labour-hours value figure to a money-denominated counterpart,
given a suitably-dimensioned multiplier (the MELT). Insofar as
there is a given MELT to calculate with at any point in time,
however, this is presumably an ex post construction, i.e. it is
based on the aggregate labour-hours embodied and the aggregate
selling price of commodities over some earlier period. Thus
when one converts the labour-hours embodied in a current
commodity via the MELT, the number one comes up with is "the
price for which this commodity would have sold, had it sold in
correspondence with its value, under the monetary conditions of
the earlier period on which the MELT is based." It's not
obvious to me that this is a particularly useful measure.

Allin Cottrell.