[OPE-L:7228] [OPE-L:753] Re: TSS and the Okishio Theorem

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 08:38:42 -0500 (EST)

John wrote in [OPE-L:751]:

> John comments: But, once again, we are stuck with "capital-using"
> new investments. TSS folk do not insist on this. To be convincing
> on this matter, we need to look at the prices of machines that replace
> other machines as well as those that replace living labor. We also need
> to take Marx a bit more seriously when he tell us that the replacement of
> machines with new machines is capital-saving.

Perhaps you have answered this question previously, but what are the Marx
references where he "tells us" that the replacement of machines with new
(better) machines is capital-saving? Also: what type of savings are we
talking about here (e.g. savings in constant circulating capital due to
more energy-efficient machinery?)?

I just want to be sure that I understand what you are saying correctly

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: 1) (re Andrew's [748]) "reference to numbers" isn't required to
answer and critique a numerical example concerning quantitative
determination if a) one can argue convincingly that the assumptions
that went into the numerical illustration are inappropriate for
understanding the matter at hand (e.g. if the numerical results
depend critically on the assumptions made) or b) the result
depends critically on the particular math method selected (e.g. a
"razor-edge" problem that happens in 1-sector linear growth models,
but not 2-sector models). These, of course, could be seen as
methodological challenges to a numerical illustration. Yet,
methodological issues are frequently at the heart of quantitative

2) (re Fred's [744]): Fred argues that whereas Marx held that there
can be changes in prices of production due only to changes in the
productivity of labor and/or the real wage, Andrew and Ted have
argued -- in effect -- that there is a third cause: "the ongoing
process of equalization of profit rates from period to period".
I don't really understand Fred's reasoning here. Isn't the process
of the equalization of profit rates an ongoing process in Marx's
theory (at least within the context of Vol 3)? Furthermore, since
you believe that POP is a long-run tendency where POP functions as
"center-of-gravity" prices, how can POP develop in the first place
*or* be restored if there is a movement away from the "equilibrium
prices" *unless* the process of equalization of profit rates is
ongoing? Indeed, isn't this idea of the equalization of profit
rates as an ongoing process embodied in the concept of POP serving
as "center of gravity" prices? Doesn't one have to show -- if one
is asserting a long-run tendency -- not only how a tendency is
brought about but also how it continues to act and manifest itself?
Furthermore, doesn't a long-run tendency require a short-run
adjustment mechanism?

3) I apologize for the long postscript. I wanted to write 1 post
rather than 2.