[OPE-L:7315] [OPE-L:844] Aggregate

John R. Ernst (ernst@PIPELINE.COM)
Wed, 07 Apr 1999 14:41:16

In OPE-L835, among other things, Ajit wrote:

I think we need to think about aggregation and disaggregation issue
here. The necessary and surplus labor distinction can be understood
and calculated only when all the productive sectors are taken into
account simultaneously. So let's call this aggregative analysis.
Now the question is that the reproduction of the system requires
exchange of commodities between sectors. The question is: what does
one gain by defining commodities in labor time units. And how does
one get over the transformation problem. The labor accounting at
the aggregative case seems okay, but at the dis aggregative level
there seems to be a problem. We need to think, what does one gain
by defining a commodity as so much of labor time?

My question: I'm not sure what you mean when you say that as we
consider the aggregate -- the labor accounting seems okay.

Do you simply mean that we know the sum of living labor time
spent in all sectors? If so, what do you do with constant
capital -- advanced and used up? How do we know labor time
involved in the aggregate?

It seems to me that for the aggregate we would agree that what
we know is the total labor time, the total price of all the
constant capital, and the total price of all outputs including
the fixed capital that can be used to produce the next aggregate.

That's it. I'll stop here as I'm not sure what you "see" at
this level.