[OPE-L:1534] Re: "General", "average" and accounting rates of profit

John Ernst (ernst@PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 22 Oct 1999 12:26:37

Ther are two immediate problems in choosing which rate of
profit we are dealing with in reading Marx:

1. Do any of the rates you mention include "rent"? Clearly, Marx
    abstracts from the rent producing sectors as he transforms
    values into prices of production. Further, the debates
    about the falling rate of profit generally refer only to
    the rate of profit he uses in that transformation. Yet Marx
    tells in his discussion of the falling rate of profit that
    rent is part of profit in the numerator. Hence, to his defenders
    and critics one might say --- Where's the rent?

2. Rent presents a unique problem as one attempts to look at matters
    in terms of labor time expended. For example, if we focus on
    differential rent, then the labor hours spent on the most productive
    means of production in a sector count for more than those spent
    in that sector. Can we say how much more without reference to prices?


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