[OPE-L:7242] [OPE-L:767] Re: Re: On capital saving technologies

Michael Perelman (michael@ecst.csuchico.edu)
Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:44:55 -0800

the idea of the Marx quote was that the first generation of capital goods to
be used in the production of consumer goods is produced by handicraft
methods. Only later are revolutionary techniques (e.g. robots) used to
produce the robots.

Gerald Levy wrote:

> Michael P wrote in [OPE-L:761]:
> > In the recent debate about new capital, I think that it is important to
> > differentiate between capital used to produce consumer goods and
> > capital use to produce capital goods.
> Yet it is also important to note that the same fixed capital can be used
> to produce Dept I and Dept II commodities. E.g. industrial robots can be
> used to produce means of consumption (like automobiles) or means of
> production (like industrial robots). The flexibility of this type of fixed
> capital allows it to re-programmed relatively easily (in contrast to "hard
> automation" which was designed and engineered for only 1 purpose).
> Moreover, this type of means of production can be relocated to another
> plant or branch of production relatively easily (which causes it to
> depreciate less quickly and enhances its re-sale price).
> btw, industrial robots were introduced in consumer goods industries before
> they were applied to produce means of production (as in, e.g., a flexible
> manufacturing system that produces other robots).
> In solidarity, Jerry


Michael Perelman Economics Department California State University michael@ecst.csuchico.edu Chico, CA 95929 530-898-5321 fax 530-898-5901