RE: [OPE] devaluation and revaluation of variable capital

Date: Thu Feb 21 2008 - 19:34:35 EST

> I'm sorry Jerry, I am just not sure what you are talking about in your last post beyond poesis. Most of that Marxian analysis - the world market, > the state etc. has already been done by various authors. It's just that nobody has pulled all the literature together yet in a really sensible and 
> comprehensive story. 
Hi Jurriaan:
I certainly didn't intend it as poetry.  On the contrary, I was trying to
be quite precise.
If one _wants_ to talk about poetry, then it seems to me to be wishful
poesis to believe that theory is but a matter of "pulling all the literature
together" to tell a "sensible and comprehensive story".  I would say that
just all that his been written by Marxians on the subjects of the state, trade, and
the world market have been merely suggestive or empirical: _at best_, mere parts 
to a much larger puzzle. I guess only Marxians would be content with _less
than_ 1/6 of a theory (_less than_ 1/6 because what was later published as
Volumes 2 and 3 of Book I were fragmentary drafts.) 
> Rent strikes are relatively rare (because difficult to organize) and you cannot defend yourself against the fall in the value of the house you own 
> title to. If many people lose their home through mortgage defaults, this increases the demand for rented housing, which means tenant rents will > rise. Although that lowers GDP, it increases the cost of living. It's not clear how this can reduce V.
The subject of the section under discussion was not merely devaluation -
it was _revaluation_ of V.  So I wasn't simply addressing how V can be reduced, 
I was addressing how V can be changed. To comprehend how V can be 
revaluated one has to look at the ability of all classes to bring about such a 
change: rents can increase because of the monopoly power of landlords, 
they can become cheaper as a consequence of technological change (e.g. in 
building technologies which reduce the cost of building new homes)
or higher or lower depending on the degree of separation of workers.
They can also change as a consequence of state policy (e.g. rent
control laws), foreign trade (e.g. obtaining elements of C at lower
costs thru trade which are inputs in the production process for housing) and
world markets (e.g. changes in the mobility of labour can affect the 
demand for housing and hence the cost of housing). There are also
urban and regional dynamics as well that have to be considered
(e.g. what determines the cost of housing in Mexico City?  This 
is not such a simple question to answer. One might want to begin by 
looking at rural to urban migration.) And, as I pointed out previously, the 
concrete character of competition and the credit system can affect the 
customary housing costs for workers and hence the VLP.
(As an empirical matter, btw, housing prices and rents tend to rise or fall
together rather than rents rising  when housing prices fall. That's been 
the case, at any rate, in the US.)
In solidarity, Jerry

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