Re: [OPE] Open problems in Marxist economics: Workers' savings

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Thu Apr 08 2010 - 15:15:40 EDT

On 2010-04-08 16:40, GERALD LEVY wrote:
> the 'othodox' one, or another perspective?
By 'orthodox' I simply meant formulations about surplus value and
surplus product that are identical to what Marx gave in Vol. 1. They may
have served for didactic purposes but are imprecise and require refinement.

One 'orthodox' stipulation is that "total surplus value = monetary value
of surplus product". Total surplus value is of course equal to what I've
written as 'Profits' in the two-class model, it's the incomes of the
capitalist class.

> For instance, you wrote
> previously that "profits = the monetary expression of the surplus
> product"
No, that was only *if* workers' net savings equals zero, as
traditionally assumed. But otherwise it is not true, and that is
precisely the problem (recall original question, do workers' savings
form a part of the surplus value?).
> you also wrote that "[historical materialism, JL] takes
> the investment goods and capitalist consumption goods as the 'surplus
> product'". Doesn't this literally mean that part of profit is the monetary
> expression of the stock of investment goods?
Yes, profits are partly the monetary realization of the flow of
investment goods and hence also a fraction of the capital stock (which
is an integral). This is what Kalecki showed from Marx's reproduction
schemes long ago.

//Dave Z
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Received on Thu Apr 8 15:18:22 2010

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