re-market socialism

Paul Cockshott wpc at
Fri Feb 2 15:34:31 MST 1996

I am assuming all personal savings will be used to finance
consumer and housing loans or government spending on "social
consumption" (e.g. subsidies for arts, sports, etc).  So there
consumer and housing loans or government spending on "social
consumption" (e.g. subsidies for arts, sports, etc).  So there
need be no net savings in the personal sector--one worker's savings
will be another worker's loan to buy a house or some furniture.  And
if private savings rise, the cost of loans should fall.  At any rate I
am not assuming *net* personal savings.

So you do not assume net personal savings, and you are of course
at liberty to refrain from so doing, but at the same time you
economic speculations become less and less plausible.

It is of course possible in principle for an economy to exist
with no net personal savings. But this would be a most adventitious
occurence. It would certainly not represent any kind of stable
equilibrium. What are supposed to be the equilibrating forces.

Behind your assumption lurks the fallacy of Says Law, common enough
among capitalism's appologists, but something that even a market
socialist should be wary of.

There was no prior assumption of net personal savings.  And
why must using available funds to finance consumption and housing
needs imply an *unproductive* use of financial surpluses?  Why
must all saving be invested in machinery, even when there are
workers whose consumption and housing needs are not capable of
being met from their current income?  And must governments never
borrow money from the public?  This sounds a wee bit like the
capitalist nostrums against working class consumption and public
borrowing, which I'm sure you didn't intend it to.

You are evading the questions at the heart of this:

1. Given that entreprises will have bank accounts will
   they earn interest on their credit balances.

2. Against what assets will these credit balances be secured.

My point about unproductive use, is that the assumption that
the credit balances of enterprises are secured against consumer
loans, means that this is the most primitive and regressive form
of capitalism - usury - where loans are made not against capital
but against future labour incomes. The critique of the unproductive
use of the surplus by Smith was one of the progressive features
of classical political economy that is generally admired by

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