[OPE-L:7090] [OPE-L:589] RE: POP goes the general r

Brendan Tuohy (Reg@ReddFish.Co.NZ)
Thu, 4 Mar 1999 11:53:20 +1300

Jerry asks

> > It struck me that this could be relevant to one live issue: the
> extent
> > to which actual price systems reflect values or prices of production
> > based on profit equalization.
> > The existence on the market of commodities not produced under
> direct
> > capitalist relations of production would tend to reduce the
> bandwidth
> > of the channel between prices of production and actual prices. If
> > capitalist industry is factually and even institutionally excluded
> from
> > (a monopoly of) the production of some commodities, then the
> mechanisms
> > of capital mobility that are supposed to underly the formation of a
> > single rate of profit via changes to prices can not apply to those
> > commodities.
> Two questions:
> 1) Is there any theoretical reason to believe that products produced
> under
> non-capitalist relations will enter into the formation of a general
> rate
> of profit? (relatedly: doesn't Marx explicitly exclude monopolies from
> the
> formation of a general r?).
Brendan: well, I wouldn't have thought so either. But the question is
whether they go into forming the general system of prices. As I
understand it, the tendency to form an equal rate of profit biases the
actual exchange ratios of commodities, away from their values.

Paul Cockshott and Allin Cottrell have empirical evidence suggesting
that actual prices lie in a sense "between" values and prices of
production, i.e. that the distortion of prices from values towards
prices of production is a process that does not go to completion. My
suggestion was that the exchange of commodities produced by non-wage
labour might play a part in this effect.