[OPE-L:75] [OPE-L:311] Re: Re: Negative Value Added and the MELT

Ajit Sinha (ecas@cc.newcastle.edu.au)
Mon, 09 Nov 1998 15:39:03 +1100

I had a feeling that my intervention was going to be a waste of time, and
indeed it has been. So I'm not going to waste any more time on this one.
Cheers, ajit sinha
At 21:29 6/11/98 -0500, you wrote:
>A reply to OPE-L 296.
>I'll get to the technicalities below, but first let me point out
>once more the fundamental flaw in (and the overall irrelevance
>of) Ajit's line of argument. As I've shown, simultaneous
>valuation implies that surplus-labor isn't necessary and
>sufficient for profit to exist. Moreover, no one disputes this.
>Simultaneist interpretations of Marx's value theory are therefore
>incompatible with his theory of the origin of profit. A choice
>must be made.
>In order to try to evade this choice, Ajit is trying to impose
>extraneous conditions (first, equal profit rates, and now, no
>negative net products). By employing such strategems, one can
>certainly ensure that profit is positive if surplus-labor is
>positive, and vice-versa. But, as I've noted already, this
>simply does NOT imply that surplus-labor is necessary and
>sufficient for positive profit. Rather, surplus-labor TOGETHER
>WITH the extraneous conditions are necessary and sufficient for
>That's something very different. That someone is an adult is
>neither a necessary condition nor a sufficient condition for that
>person to be female. If, however, I impose the extraneous
>condition that the person is also a woman, then this condition
>TOGETHER WITH the person's adult-ness is both necessary and
>sufficient for the person to be female.
>In any case, I'm happy to see that he has abandoned his objection
>to my use of market prices to test the implications of theorems
>that deal with profits under market prices.
>Now to the technicalities. Ajit writes:
>"First of all, in the example you give below, the production
>price ratio of
>the two commodities is not 1:1 as you suggest, but it is: the
>price of
>bread in terms of wheat is equal to 1.00009."
>No, this is wrong. I suggest that Ajit re-check his figures.
>"In both the examples, that is the example in this post as well
>as the
>earlier one, your given systems are irreproducible, and that's
>the source
>of your results."
>If "irreproducible" means that a negative net product of some
>good is produced, this is correct. That is indeed the source of
>my results.
>If, however, "irreproducible" means that an economy could not
>reproduce itself in the long run if it had the technical
>coefficients implicit in the example, the statement is false.
>"For example, in your earlier example, the system needs 104
>units of wheat for simple reproduction but produces only 101
>units of
>wheat. The system cannot go on reproducing itself. Similarly, in
>current example your system needs 20,000 units of wheat as input
>produces only 10001 units of wheat (I have scaled down your first
>by 100 to make it clear--in your original example it will take a
>bit longer
>time for the wheat sector to wind down to nothing)."
>Again, this is false. Simple or expanded reproduction on the
>basis of the technical coefficients implicit in the example is
>quite possible.
>I have already posted an example in which some net product is
>negative in each and every period, yet expanded reproduction
>occurs indefinitely. Although surplus-labor is always positive
>in the example, "profit" as defined by simultaneism is negative
>in each period. Moreover, the percentage deviation of prices
>from production prices is always very small.
>"Nobody works out properties of an economic system which is
>structurally irreproducible."
>Well, again it depends on what is meant by "irreproducible." The
>economy of my example is perfectly capable of reproduction in the
>long run. Some net products are negative, but I would hope that
>people would find it important to work out the properties of such
>economic systems, because ALL (actual) economic systems produce
>some negative net products.
>And even were Ajit right that reproduction requires all-positive
>net products, this would still be an evasion of the question at
>hand -- the necessity and sufficiency of surplus-labor for
>positive profit. Again, if "reproducibility" must be smuggled
>in, in order for positive profit and positive surplus-labor to
>coincide, then surplus-labor itself isn't necessary or sufficient
>for positive profit. In contrast, the TSS interpretation of
>Marx's value theory implies that -- under completely general
>conditions, no strings attached -- surplus-labor is indeed
>necessary and sufficient for (real) profit to be positive.
>Your choice.
>Andrew ("Drewk") Kliman Home:
>Dept. of Social Sciences 60 W. 76th St., #4E
>Pace University New York, NY 10023
>Pleasantville, NY 10570
>(914) 773-3951 Andrew_Kliman@msn.com
>"... the *practice* of philosophy is itself *theoretical.* It is
>the *critique* that measures the individual existence by the
>essence, the particular reality by the Idea." -- K.M.