Re: [OPE-L] basics vs. non-basics

From: Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 21:57:32 EDT

(another case of re-writing a lost -- "destroyed"? -- message:)

Hi Phil:

> In the example I gave no value was destroyed -- aggregate value added
> was positive.

You're example was a bit vague on details.  You previously wrote:

> Suppose we have an all agricultural economy and there are bad harvests,
> so that the physical net product is all negative.

The following numerical example is a special case of your example.

Let's stay at the aggregate level.    If I recall correctly, you like
numerical examples.   OK ...

Previously -- in the last harvest before the 'bad harvest' -- the value of
the total product was $150  where C=50, V=50 & S=50.

Assume that the entire S is then productively consumed.  So,  'before the
harvest'  the total capital invested equals $150 -- $75 V and $75 C.

Assume further for now that C consists entirely of constant circulating
capital (but see 'PS' below).

Now assume -- as a result of bad harvests -- that the value of the total
product now equals $50.   In this case, there is a decline in the value
of the total product from $150 to $50.

Hasn't  a value equivalent to $100 been destroyed in this case?

In solidarity, Jerry

PS: If we go on to also consider constant fixed capital, we have to factor
in  the (physical and moral) depreciation of the fixed capital.  Then, of
course, we have to consider the question of technological changes in the
means of production and whether this represents a destruction of value
or as, for instance, Alan Freeman claims,  merely a redistribution of
surplus value among capitalists.

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