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

From: Ian Wright <>
Date: Thu Apr 08 2010 - 16:59:36 EDT

Hi Dave,

> But I think this misses the point that I raised. The basic problem
> with net savings of workers' in the orthodox formulation is that
> 'total surplus value' no longer equals 'monetary value of surplus
> product'

Yes, out-of-equilibrium, there must be a mismatch (but then again I'm
not "orthodox" in this sense). That's because market prices are in
general below or above current labor-values.

> which was the main point of the theory of surplus value (Volume 1, ch.
> 18), i.e. to show how the extraction of surplus labour-time worked in
> capitalism.

But Marx is assuming price-value proportionality here. So your case can't arise?

> The following numerical example may illustrate this further. Suppose the
> total labour performed during a period is 1000 worker-weeks. Suppose that
> the net product (RHS)
> Investments + Capitalist consumption + Workers' consumption = 500 + 500 +
> 1000 CU
> Hence, the monetary equivalent of labour is 2 Credit Units per worker-week.

Is this the Foley-Dumenil MELT you are using here? I think there are
problems with it.

> This illustrates the non-equivalence between real and symbolic appropriation
> in the orthodox formulation which does not deal with credit/debt.

I agree with your point.

Coincidentally I am working on a dynamic model at the moment where
exactly this situation arises. If you press me further it will force
me to think and map my model to your question.

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Received on Thu Apr 8 17:01:05 2010

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