[OPE-L:1537] RE: Re: "General", "average" and accounting rates of

Fri, 22 Oct 1999 18:03:40 +0100

John wrote:

> 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?
        Julian replies:

        My current interpretation is that the general rate of profit (=
weighted average of individual company rates of profit), being the overall
social rate of profit and equal to the total rate of surplus value, includes
rent -- and that the company ARRs also include the effects of rent on price
formation, plus or minus according to whether they are, e.g. in the energy
extraction sector, etc., or otherwise.

        A question: would you regard it as fair comment to say that Marx's
exclusion of rent from the transformation procedure is in order to
demonstrate the general possibility and method of the transformation, i.e.
is a simplifying assumption rather than some other kind of abstraction?

        If one could answer "yes" then it would seem that the implied
inconsistency between what Marx does w.r.t. the transformation procedure on
the one hand, and the falling rate of profit on the other, would disappear
(and if "no", then not).
> 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
> elsewhere
> in that sector. Can we say how much more without reference to prices?
        I'll pass on this one, for the time being


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