Re: [OPE-L] Marx on the 'maximum rate of profit'

From: Ian Wright (wrighti@ACM.ORG)
Date: Sun Oct 15 2006 - 13:14:43 EDT

Hi Ajit

> No. There is no logical problem with Sraffa's
> accounting

Applied to simple reproduction Sraffa's labour-cost accounting assumes
zero capitalist consumption during the period of replacement.
Therefore, it does not measure replacement costs for an economy with a
capitalist class. It applies only to simple commodity production. This
is "the elephant in the room".

In contrast, real-cost labour values, of which Sraffian labour values
are a special case, does calculate the correct replacement costs in
both cases (simple commodity production and simple reproduction).

Simply stating "there is no logical problem" does not get to grips
with my critique.

> and it is not different from Marx's accounting of labor-values.

Who mentioned Marx?

> I hope you would agree
> that logically two accounting systems cannot exist:
> one for simple reproduction and another for expanded
> reproduction.

Now at which point did you demonstrate that real-cost accounting
differs in these cases? You are relying on this point, but without an
analysis of real-cost accounting applied to proportionate growth it is
mere assertion.

> Now both Sraffa's and Marx's accounting
> system remain the same in both the systems so at least
> they are logically consistent on this score. You have
> not been able to apply your accounting system to
> expanded reproduction situations,

How can you claim that?

I'm concentrating on simple reproduction, not because real-cost
accounting fails to apply to expanded reproduction, but because I want
you to admit there is a problem with simple reproduction before moving
to the next stage.

Are you unwilling to discuss simple reproduction because you realise
the force of my critique in this case?

> the onus is on you to prove that your system is not logically inconsistent.

Isn't the onus on you to refute my claim that your labour-cost
accounting is incorrect in the case of simple reproduction? To
paraphrase Steedman, if the approach fails to hold in this special
case what reason is there to think it will hold in more general cases?
And remember -- the TP debate has traditionally been held in the
context of Sraffian models of simple reproduction (not expanded

Best wishes,


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