fred's theory

donna jones djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Sun Sep 25 11:48:13 MDT 1994


>From Fred's introduction:
>.  The relative increase of unproductive labor meant that a larger
>share of the surplus-value produced by productive labor had to be used
>to pay the wages of unproductive labor and thus a smaller share was
>left over as the profit of capitalists.  This relative increase of
>unproductive labor had a greater negative effect on the conventional
>rate of profit than the increase in the composition of capital.
>

Fred, I have been reading  (and learning much from)your  interesting
exchanges in RRPE and Science and Society, and I am writing a longer post
to you.  But I have a few quick questions. (And I really liked your piece
on the transformation problem, though while I have understood the prior
determination of aggregate surplus value, I have yet to understood fully
the critique of linear production theory). OK here are the quick questions:

1) Wouldn't declining profit rates force a thorough-going rationalization
of unproductive expenditures?

2) Couldn't increased circulation expenditures be explained (somewhat)
independently of competition?  That is, as unit values decline and must
thus be spread over a greater mass of use-values, mustn't  commercial
activity rise in order to dispose of them?  Isn't it this pressure to
realize a greater sum of use-values that explains the rise in unproductive
expenditures?  Another way of putting the question: is the rise of
unproductive expenditures an independent variable, or itself the outcome of
the mass production made necessary by  declining unit values which are
achieved (for the most part)through increases in the organic composition of
capital? I actually think something important hangs on this question, but I
haven't yet been able to articulate it.

By the way, I have told most people on this line, but rakesh bhandari
(that's me) is using the line of djones whose name is automatically signed
to every post.
d jones



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