Nuts and berries

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Sun Dec 13 23:52:31 PST 1998

Professor J Bradford DeLong revealed (by the way, was that your dad/relative Edmund S deLong who in the 1930s analyzed bucket shops, a Wall Street racket, that were actually more skillfully taken apart by the novelist Christina Stead, wife of my hero the American Marxist William J Blake?) :

>I have never yet seen the Form of the "secularly falling rate of profit."

If you were a worker, you would be experiencing it in the counter-tendencies it calls forth.

At any rate, since exchange value or rather the increase of exchange value--not utility maximization or use value (C-M-C)--is the direct and whole goal of capitalist production, it is important to know how to calculate it; for example, this question came up in the exchange with Jim O Connor about whether circulation activities should be seen as constant capital or a deduction from surplus value.

As you surely know--being an economics professor--the formation of this question over how to calculate the increase of exchange value led Marx to reorganize the structure of *Capital*. Today there are a set of Marxists who have undertaken conceptual and empirical work--Fred Moseley, Anwar Shaikh and Ahmet Tonak, Paul Cockshott and Allin Cotrill, Alan Freeman, Guglielmo Carchedi and the contributors to Quantitative Marxism, ed. Dunn. I am only now beginning to understand the importance of their efforts. Cutting through the price data to value magnitudes is tedious, though not Platonic, work.

And underneath tables is the wrong place to look for Golden Ages. They are not to be found but brought about through the self-emancipation of the working class.

>By contrast, I did once see the Form of "full employment and balanced
>growth without inflation." It was hiding beneath a small conference table
>in Laura Tyson's office. We knew it was there because of the shadows it
>cast on the wall. But when I looked beneath the table, it quickly slipped
>Brad DeLong

Yours, Rakesh

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