Rakesh Bhandari rakeshb at stanford.edu
Thu Sep 25 21:16:31 MDT 2003


My reply regarding equation for inter departmental equilibrium was
wrong but not for the reason you imply.  Part of what matters is
whether the equalities are ex ante or ex post. But then there's that
temporal dimension missing from static equilibrium theories and even
mechanical descriptions of the Keynesian multiplier/accelerator.

>In other words, Samuelson's input prices may include some average
>profit rate.  That may solve the mystery.

Are you referring to the circularity from which Sraffa said neo
classical economics suffered? Wasn't a tweaking of the general
equilibrium framework all that was needed to bypass this criticism?

>Samuelson may be a bourgeois economist, but we should not assume
>that he's stupid.

Sure, he probably would have been a very competent physicist though
not a Nobelist.  But his economic work on the so called
transformation problem is high faluting nonsense, a squandering of
the funds of the National Science Foundation. All evidence is that
Samuelson did not himself read Marx and relied on Sweezy for his
understanding of the problem. Which means that he accepted
Bortkiewicz's framing of the problem--failure of Marx to transform
the inputs from values to prices, gold sector should participate in
averaging the rate of profit, inputs and outputs should be
transformed in the identical unit prices of production.

   For Marx Richard Jones was the last bourgeois economist who had a
scientific understanding of capitalism in history. Thereafter,
bourgeois economics  achieves insight into the nature of capitalism
only through disguised appropriation of Marx, e.g, Keynes'
appropriation of Marx's distinction between circuits of M-C-M+ and
C-M-C in his Treatise on Money  (see Aoki) and Schumpeter's attempt
to understand technological innovation as a counter tendency to a
falling rate of profit (see Grossmann, Marz).

Samuelson is no Schumpeter (his trivial criticism seems to be that
interest would be positive in a stationary state, that is Bohm Bawerk
was right, Schumpeter wrong; Samuelson was as trivial here as he was
in trying to Marx down on the basis of the technical transformation
problem) and Samuelson is no Keynes (at least if one is to believe
Paul Davidson).

The point is that bourgeois economics has never matched Keynes and
Schumpeter,much less maintained the scientific clarity of Richard

And there is a materialist reason for this: there is no reason to
pierce the illusions of the social system (that it is transhistoric,
that it is almost self equilibriating save the need to turn the dials
of monetary and fiscal policy, that it is only a very complicated
system of barter) until it materially endangers the reproduction of
the ruling class. But a general crisis will again pound dialectics
into the heads of bourgeois economists as they will be forced yet
again to appropriate and dilute Marxian theory.

In its present state, economics may be good for training private
sector workers both psychologically and technically to carry out
inside trades and cut down workers comp  but as a science of society
and as a worldly philosophy it seems pretty moribund. And I think you
are proving the point as you tout the minor recognitions of reality
or tame criticisms of capitalism by big name economists as some kind
of intellectual advance.

>It depends.  Perhaps stationary in this context means something
>different  than what you think of as stationary.

Stationary balls in a bowl? You don't find this laughable as a
metaphor for the capitalist economy?

>This is the line you should not cross.  So, drop that way of talking to me.

Didn't I call you very smart?


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