[OPE-L:7411] [OPE-L:943] value and price

Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Tue, 4 May 1999 07:16:47 -0400 (EDT)

Re Ajit's [OPE-L:941] --

Previously I wrote (in part):

> In the situation we are discussing where input prices do not
> equal output prices, the prices are a monetary expression of
> exchange-value.

(which I thought was a pretty straight-forward)

Now Ajit writes:

> What I intend to show is that the very idea of "input prices" not
> being equal to "output prices" is theoretically a suspect context.

It might save us all some time if you just proceeded to demonstrate that.

> That's why i need to get some straight answers to straight and
> simple questions. So let me ask it again. What do you mean by
> "prices"? Is it exchange ratios between two commodities at any
> given time or not? If not, then what is it?

Price is the monetary expression of the value-form. Yes, it expresses in
part a system of exchange relations among commodities (and people).

> The question is how does, let's say, a pound of cabbage is worth $1
> is established?

That's *your* question. It's not mine (although, I have some questions
about it -- see next comment) and I don't think it was Marx's.

> Is your theory of value (or prices) concerned with
> this question or not?

Not really (but, hey, if you want to talk about a pound of cabbage, that's
OK with me. Did you notice a big disparity in the price of cabbage in the
US, Australia, and India? If so, what accounts for these [systematic]
variations in price in different markets in the world economy?)

> If not, then what question your theory of value (or prices) is
> concerned with?

Soundbite answer:

The social relations characteristic of generalized commodity production
and exchange and the dynamic ("the law of motion") of capitalism.

In solidarity, Jerry