falling rate of profit

Victor vrosado at ic.sunysb.edu
Fri Dec 28 12:28:25 MST 2001


on 12/28/01 1:28 PM, Les Schaffer at schaffer at optonline.net wrote:


> d.) in connection with c.) i had thought cappies use machinery to
> lower their costs of production. how does this square with the
> claim it causes rate of profit to fall. if ROP falls, why does
> the cappy do it (replace V with C)? ABC questions, undoubtedly.
>

The cappy's do it because of competition.  It's almost like independent of
their will they got to do it.  Otherwise, they go bankrupt and lose there
class positions.


To offset the TFRP, they figured out a way to offset it temporarily Post-
WWII:  the establishment of permanent war economy or military-industrial
complex.

>From my understanding, it is a sector that lowers the organic composition of
capital by (1)lowering the costs of constant capital through publicly
financed R&D and  (2) having almost full employment.  It is nice for the
caps because it is almost like a pure economic sector with no competition
and seemingly endless demand that stimulates other 'civilian' sectors.

This would fail eventually for at least two reasons (1)  the cappy's in the
States were competing against other national capitals (France, USSR for
example) that were also developing a permanent war economy. This causes the
classic problems of competition pointed out by Marx to reemerge; increased
investment in C but people get laid off at the Boeing plant in Seattle
(which use to employ 120,000 people!) because they are competing with
Airbus, etc. and when people get laid off you know what happens,

(2)  because the US caps were not investing in 'civilian' sectors as much,
Japanese and German capitals were catching up by having invested in more
advanced means of production than US (remember when Japan was kickin' our
ass and we were importing all there TVs and stuff?). This caused the US to
fall behind a bit in the civilian sectors and caused the US caps to not
invest that much in the military-industrial complex and invest heavily in
other sectors because of intense competition, once again causing the ghost
of Marx's TFRP to return: high C, low V, etc.

Maybe that is why the 'Son of Star wars' and Cold War Part III-- 'war
against the boogeymen of terror'-- are back on the table.  But these are
doomed to failure as well.  The debt problem doesn't help and the classic
problems of the military-industrial complex pointed out above return to
haunt the caps.

-Victor


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