"Peanut" theory of value

guest account guesta at econ.utah.edu
Sun Nov 6 16:48:16 MST 1994

Guesta wrote:
|How can one be a marxist without a LTV?  -- like without LTV, tell me where
|profit comes from? ? ?
|It would be like a neo-classical minus utility trying to explain demand

>Guesta may have missed the earlier LTV debate, but there's no difficulty
>in explaining where profit comes from without an LTV; it's a trick that
>the Sraffians have been doing for a long time, and that I argued exists
>in Marx's own analysis. But I had enough of elaborating it last time
>to bother doing so again.
>Steve Keen

Justin Schwartz wrote:

>>In my view, the main implication of the labor theory of value is that
>>workers are exploited in the precise sense that they produce more value
>>than they are paid, i.e. that profit is produced by the surplus labor of

>This claim can be expressed and defended without an LTV.

> >Moreover: your result here looks like at best an empirical puzzle
> >for the general exploitation theorem, that you can plug anything (corn,
> >iron, etc.) in as a value numaire.

Louis Proyect wrote:
So could anybody in the anti-LTV crowd put their ideas into simple terms
that are understandable by a novice like myself.

Steve Keen wrote:
To "prove" the logic that labor is the only source of surplus,
you must not only show that it is _A_ source; you must show that all other
inputs are not. This Marx did not do.

The wash is that all commodity inputs to production are potential sources of
surplus, as the Sraffians have been arguing for decades. But, as Justin
has noted previously, the fact that capitalists own the means of production
is no justification for them receiving the largesse they generate.

Steve Keen

Louis, I believe the anti-LTV'ers are referring to the so-called "peanut"
theory of value -- no disrespect intended.  It's the solution in which profit
is shown to derive from another input other than labor.  So as I remember it,
profit is shown as deriving from the growth of the peanut or any other input
you choose.



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