The chronic problem of overaccumulation of modern capitalism - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14401091
I am going to approach this general topic because, in my view, it is in reality one of the most critical overriding aspects of many of the trends, happenings, and circumstances observed in core capitalist countries today. This is of course not my own observation, but merely one I subscribe to. For instance, Paul Sweezy in one of his last published essays (Why Stagnation?) identified three chief characteristics of the present and foreseeable future, as he saw it, of American capitalism, all having to do with this overriding theme of capital overaccumulation.

Let me digress for a moment to point out that the fact that the overall performance of the economy in recent years has not been much worse than it actually has been, or as bad as it was in the 1930s, is largely owing to three causes: (1) the much greater role of government spending and government deficits; (2) the enormous growth of consumer debt, including residential mortgage debt, especially during the 1970s; and (3) the ballooning of the financial sector of the economy which, apart from the growth of debt as such, includes an explosion of all kinds of speculation, old and new, which in turn generates more than a mere trickledown of purchasing power into the “real” economy, mostly in the form of increased demand for luxury goods.


I am sorry if so far my presentation seems imprecise, I intend to clarify presently. I did just want to start out though with some relevant scholarship, and am trying to be confined in terms of space due to the forum format.


I would like to structure this opening post by just considering a couple of points. First, I will attempt to give a simple hypothetical illustration of the overaccumulation thesis, as I understand it. Second, I will attempt to consider some general implications, including for the critique of orthodox economics.


The overaccumulation thesis is quite intuitive and is not at all complicated, if explained properly. The premise of the thesis has to do with the role of fixed capital investment (deliberate and planned capital accumulation) as the basis for rapid economic growth during the development phase of capitalism. As such, the premise is merely a recognition that productive investment in capital (where it can be had) is the predominate engine of economic growth. This notion can be considered from the perspective of the economy as a whole or from the perspective of the individual enterprise.

To illuminate further, consider the perspective of the individual firm. Presuming things are on the up and up, following a product turnover, the firm is left with some surplus with which to finance additional investment. Assuming the firm has not yet achieved the apexes of its potential scale, scope, productivity, etc. (given the conditions of the external market and the prevailing state of technical development, etc.), the funds so invested will result in additional gains (increasing returns) on capital.

This is in fact somewhat analogous to the concept of compound interest accumulation. Funds invested at an earlier period lead to expanded gains, which enable proportionately more investment, and hence further expanded gains, etc. The logic of how the expanded gains are achieved is also quite apparent. Improved productivity and increased volume of salable product are the two most readily apparent means.


The key is this: there are physical limits to how much the productive phase of accumulation of capital just described can go on. This has much to do with the very nature of fixed capital itself. Fixed capital is fairly durable. That is, depreciation does not occur at a rate which is nearly such as to enable continuing absorption of ever more surplus (the surplus itself continually having been expanding, as a product of the accumulation of capital itself). It is hence that we get crises of overaccumulation, such as explained so vividly in the celebrated passage of The Communist Manifesto, and in many places elsewhere.

So, there is something of a bell curve phenomenon which goes on. As a capitalist economy expands, investment fuels higher returns, which fuel higher rates of investment, and so on. (I've not included the institutions of formal finance, but in the up-and-up period, commercial banks in effect function as facilitators and 'smoothers' of this process, for their part). Once accumulation of capital reaches an apex, the effect is stagnation. I must reiterate here one more time that there are two aspects at play: the quantity of capital and the quality of capital (if you will). That is, once capital accumulation has reached an advanced stage, there is at this point a mighty collection of highly productive and efficient machinery, so to speak. The productive capacity is thus considerable, whereas the room for additional growth in terms of capital formation exceedingly tenuous.


It is interesting that the first part of this hypothetical illustration (the effects of fixed capital investment in the way of expanded product, or rising profits--as the case may be) is not really at odds with orthodox economics, whereas the second part (the built-in tendency of capitalism toward overaccumulation and stagnation) most certainly is. Neoclassical economists, as far as I can tell, tend to largely avoid this topic altogether. Keynesian economists seem to implicitly deny the potential for systemic overaccumulation.

Nonetheless, from the available data the support for the stagnation thesis is very strong. The US Federal Reserve maintains the Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization indexes. This is really the go-to source for observing the historical trends of stagnation empirically, on the basis of official US data. Monthly Review, the publication which was founded by Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman, has reported on stagnation repeatedly for decades, and continues to do so. I would like to end my writing for the time being, though I could certainly go on and on, but in doing so I will present a few charts which demonstrate very nicely the topic I'm discussing, published in the May 2012 edition of Monthly Review, in a piece titled The Endless Crisis.

Chart 1. Average Annual Real Economic Growth Rates, the United States, European Union, and Japan
Image

Chart 2. Industrial Production Index
Image

Chart 3. Share of GDP Going to FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) as Percent of Total Goods-Producing Industries Share
Image

Chart 4. Growth Rate of Real Investment in Manufacturing Structures
Image

Chart 5: Manufacturing Capacity Utilization
Image
#14401484
Rugoz wrote:Growth in advanced economies is driven by technological progress and demographic growth (somehow that is always forgotten), not capital deepening. You can maybe attribute the high growth rates in Europe (in particular Germany) and Japan in the late 40s and in the 50s mainly to capital deepening.


If that is the case, that still doesn't address the problem of overaccumulation (measured by capacity underutilization).

Moreover, technical progress is actually inhibited by capitalist organization. This is because it is often prohibitively costly to install the latest and most economical technology when older technology-based capital is already accumulated.

Nonetheless, no doubt technological progress and demographic deepening are important tendencies that do have economic significance. The point is that they do not solve the problem of overaccumulation. Advanced economies are plagued with the ever-present problem of excessive surplus. Their industrial machinery (as well as the oligopolist organization of their industries) produce more surplus than can be readily absorbed. One effect is the rise of the art of product differentiation through marketing. Historically, in the US government spending and militarism have been others. David Harvey has argued that the production of urban space has been a significant fourth. And so on. The rise of financialization is also perhaps a related incidence.
#14401624
Crantag wrote:If that is the case, that still doesn't address the problem of overaccumulation (measured by capacity underutilization).


How do you define capacity underutilization? It may be the output level that minimizes unit costs, for example because higher utilization would lead to more depreciation. I'm not sure whether you can measure "normal output" in an economy other than by smoothing out the business cycle.

Crantag wrote:Moreover, technical progress is actually inhibited by capitalist organization. This is because it is often prohibitively costly to install the latest and most economical technology when older technology-based capital is already accumulated.


That does not make sense. First you say there is overaccumulation (i.e. too much savings), then you say new capital is prohibitively costly. Further it has nothing to do with "capitalist organization", its simply economics.

Crantag wrote:The point is that they do not solve the problem of overaccumulation.


The rise of the capital / income ratio in recent decades can be explained by the increase of housing values and not manufacturing capacity.
#14401674
To begin, any measured analysis of economics at the system level requires recognition of the complexities which abide. This is why a dialectic approach is needed. There are in fact multiple levels of analysis, multiple tendencies, multiple circumstances, etc. They do not always function in the same way. Focusing on individual aspects is merely a necessary means of attempting to make sense of things. There is a trend to see things in exceedingly simplistic terms, and indeed to ascribe adherence to such simplicity to ones who would not think to ascribe it to themselves. This is mere laziness.

Rugoz wrote:
How do you define capacity underutilization? It may be the output level that minimizes unit costs, for example because higher utilization would lead to more depreciation. I'm not sure whether you can measure "normal output" in an economy other than by smoothing out the business cycle.


Capacity underutilization occurs when machinery is unused and workers are unemployed. It results in stagnant economic states under capitalism, which is dictated by a logic which demands capacity not be idle for economic health. The mainstream economists are correct in that economics is based on scarcity; that is, under capitalism. But not in the way it seems. Normal business success is achieved by the allocation of scarce resources in a pinch. It is through the careful utilization of the resources one has at his disposal so as to execute an effective production cycle. It is this logic which determines the rates of rent (to borrow another mainstream concept, rent here referring to rent on capital in the first instance). The key to prosperity under capitalist organization is to own machines which are not idle. Capacity underutilization therefore destroys profits.

Also, the fact of capacity underutilization is borne out in the available data including that cited in the OP, especially Chart 5.

Finally, the systemic stagnation hypothesis is distinct from analysis of the business cycle. Adherents to the stagnation thesis generally acknowledge the business cycle. However, the business cycle is what is in the now. The stagnation tendency is an incessant and underlying tendency.

This has actually been the stuff of considerable debate and analysis in the past. Alvin Hansen and Joseph Schumpeter went back and forth on it in the course of their writings during the 1930s, with Hansen claiming the presence of stagnation against Schumpeter's insistence on the business cycle as the culprit behind the depression. Paul Sweezy (who took his doctoral at Harvard and studied under Schumpeter and Hansen) famously publicly debated Schumpeter several times, as well.

It is my argument that basically the entire post-WW2 history of the US has confirmed Sweezy's position (which he put forth most maturely in his co-authored work with Paul Baran, Monopoly Capital, which appeared in 1964). Monthly Review, which as I noted was co-founded by Sweezy and which he edited for 6 decades, continues to publish pieces guided by Sweezy's modes of analysis.

That does not make sense. First you say there is overaccumulation (i.e. too much savings), then you say new capital is prohibitively costly. Further it has nothing to do with "capitalist organization", its simply economics.


It is here that you fail to see the nuance in the organizational logic of the system. I have already explained about business under capitalism above. Also, I am not talking simply of savings. It is essential in this discussion to distinguish actual fixed capital itself. This is not a basic IS-LM model abstraction that I am dealing with. When I say accumulation, I am referring to physical accumulation of machinery itself.

And it is plain to see why technological upgrades may be economically prohibitive. This is because fixed capital does not decay at the rate of technical progress. When accumulation is executed in the way of fixed capital formation, it is done in a calculated manner. The capitalist knows with reasonable accuracy what to expect from the new machinery in the way of a flow of future returns. Thus, if the capitalist invests with a 20-year horizon in mind, and in 10 years better technology is available, for that new technology to be introduced its promised returns would have to be at least such as to supplant the 10 years left of returns outstanding on the original machine, after the outlay required for its adoption (this assumes no financial barriers).

This is likely to be rejected by adherents to the efficient market hypothesis, who insist on the primacy of perfect competition. However, this only works in the realm of mathematical abstraction. In the real world, advanced industries are oligopolistically organized. Basically every major industry is controlled by several giant firms, which except in exceptional circumstance do not compete with one another.

This inhibition for the adoption of the latest machines was observed by R. Palme Dutt in his 1934 work Fascism and Social Revolution. "The latest machine tools now being developed in America cannot even be economically used in the United States. (...) One market, it is pointed out, still remains for the most advanced machine tools. That market is the Soviet Union. [He here quotes from a piece in the March 1931 edition of Automobile Engineer:] 'American machine-tool makers, having a range of equipment sufficient to meet the needs of the American production plants, have supplied to Russia machine tools outside this range, specially designed to obtain still faster production.'"



The rise of the capital / income ratio in recent decades can be explained by the increase of housing values and not manufacturing capacity.


I fail to see the relevance of this statement to anything I have said. If I am missing something and you wish to clarify, I'll gladly respond.
#14405852
Crantag wrote:Capacity underutilization occurs when machinery is unused and workers are unemployed.

Capacity underutilization therefore destroys profits.

Also, the fact of capacity underutilization is borne out in the available data including that cited in the OP, especially Chart 5.


There are different definitions of capital utilization. You can run a machine around the clock at full capacity (which resembles engineering capacity), or you can run it in an economically optimal way, i.e. such that (short-run) average total costs are minimized. Economists are mostly interested in the latter definition, but the way it is measured is usually through surveys, which is somewhat unreliable. In any case, I don't see how long-term average capital utilization below 100% contradicts profit maximization. Its probably reasonable to have spare capacity for unexpected orders. To give an example, if you have machine that produces chocolate rabbits, your machine will be idle for most of the year and only operate at full capacity around Easter. On aggregate (economy-wide) you end up with a utilization permanently below 100%, despite individual industries and firms operating at 100% or more during certain periods.

Crantag wrote:This is because fixed capital does not decay at the rate of technical progress.


In fact it decays a lot faster.

Crantag wrote:The capitalist knows with reasonable accuracy what to expect from the new machinery in the way of a flow of future returns. Thus, if the capitalist invests with a 20-year horizon in mind, and in 10 years better technology is available, for that new technology to be introduced its promised returns would have to be at least such as to supplant the 10 years left of returns outstanding on the original machine, after the outlay required for its adoption (this assumes no financial barriers).


So what?

Crantag wrote:This is likely to be rejected by adherents to the efficient market hypothesis, who insist on the primacy of perfect competition. However, this only works in the realm of mathematical abstraction. In the real world, advanced industries are oligopolistically organized. Basically every major industry is controlled by several giant firms, which except in exceptional circumstance do not compete with one another.


Nobody insists on the primacy of perfect competition. But of course they compete, its called oligopolistic competition.
Last edited by Rugoz on 14 May 2014 20:06, edited 1 time in total.
#14405940
It is hence that we get crises of overaccumulation, such as explained so vividly in the celebrated passage of The Communist Manifesto, and in many places elsewhere.


Those passages in the Communist Manifesto and elsewhere are simpleminded and wrong. This is the basic reason why communism always fails...its followers have the wrong concepts and belief structures. If you want a good example of "socialism of the 21st century" at work, check this

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=156704

This post, "The "success" of a model marked hyperinflation & shortages" documents a real life case in which an economy is being destroyed by a small cadre of "communists" who have been applying their classic "marxist" approach. This of course is utter garbage, and causes immense misery.
#14406194
wat0n wrote:What adjustments were done to the CU series, especifically, why did they calculate 20-year MAs? The graph looks different according to the series at the St.Louis FED. I also share Rugoz's concerns, particularly since the published series is seasonally adjusted.


It is not seasonally adjusted, it uses 20-year moving averages, which gives a more accurate accounting of the entire period.
#14406219
Where did they get the raw series (the FED does not publish it AFAIK)? I would be very interested as it could be useful for my job.

Seasonal adjustment doesn't make sense for yearly data, sure, but the IP/CU Index is a short-term (monthly) one. MAs should show a higher level of CU than the FED's data even if there is a downward trend.
#14406223
Social_Critic wrote:
Those passages in the Communist Manifesto and elsewhere are simpleminded and wrong. This is the basic reason why communism always fails...its followers have the wrong concepts and belief structures. If you want a good example of "socialism of the 21st century" at work, check this

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=156704

This post, "The "success" of a model marked hyperinflation & shortages" documents a real life case in which an economy is being destroyed by a small cadre of "communists" who have been applying their classic "marxist" approach. This of course is utter garbage, and causes immense misery.


Discussion of the merits and dis-merits of communism is a topic for elsewhere, as here I am discussing theoretical economics.

You seem to have encountered though my mention in passing of Marx and Engels and the Communist Manifesto and had a knee-jerk reaction.


Also, for anyone genuinely interested, here is essentially what I was referring to from Marx and Lenin (https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/w ... o/ch01.htm). Do note that this is merely one important and formative piece of economic literature.


The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.
#14406226
wat0n wrote:Where did they get the raw series (the FED does not publish it AFAIK)? I would be very interested as it could be useful for my job.

Seasonal adjustment doesn't make sense for yearly data, sure, but the IP/CU Index is a short-term (monthly) one. MAs should show a higher level of CU than the FED's data even if there is a downward trend.


I am quite certain the data source is the Fed's capacity utilization index.

And again, it is 20-year moving averages, which they calculated. This is a common technique for long-term data. It is used to minimize short-term volatility from the long-term trending average.

Edit: The sources are listed under the tables if you follow the link.
http://monthlyreview.org/2012/05/01/the-endless-crisis
#14406275
Crantag wrote:I am quite certain the data source is the Fed's capacity utilization index.

And again, it is 20-year moving averages, which they calculated. This is a common technique for long-term data. It is used to minimize short-term volatility from the long-term trending average.

Edit: The sources are listed under the tables if you follow the link.
http://monthlyreview.org/2012/05/01/the-endless-crisis


I checked their source (the Economic Report of the President, table B-54, not B-52 like it says in MR) and they have the same data as in the FED. I realize however that I made a mistake as I didn't realize that the levels at the MR's series are higher, the original SA data is more volatile indeed. I am not sure though as to whether this is something to worry about in practice, though, as we would need to see why has CU gone down over time. For instance, if Rugoz is correct it might be simply due to a more extreme seasonal pattern - and there is definitely some seasonality in the CU or else the FED wouldn't bother to adjust the short-term series to eliminate it.

Also, it would be good to know what kind of MA method was used as it could be sensitive to major recessions like those of 1982 or 2009 and influence the shape of the series. Maybe it is not good to smooth the series using some procedures as it conveys an inaccurate impression of what's going on as major crises aren't being properly smoothed.
#14406307
wat0n wrote:
I checked their source (the Economic Report of the President, table B-54, not B-52 like it says in MR) and they have the same data as in the FED. I realize however that I made a mistake as I didn't realize that the levels at the MR's series are higher, the original SA data is more volatile indeed. I am not sure though as to whether this is something to worry about in practice, though, as we would need to see why has CU gone down over time. For instance, if Rugoz is correct it might be simply due to a more extreme seasonal pattern - and there is definitely some seasonality in the CU or else the FED wouldn't bother to adjust the short-term series to eliminate it.

Also, it would be good to know what kind of MA method was used as it could be sensitive to major recessions like those of 1982 or 2009 and influence the shape of the series. Maybe it is not good to smooth the series using some procedures as it conveys an inaccurate impression of what's going on as major crises aren't being properly smoothed.


Yes, you do make some good points, in terms of some potential pitfalls, as well as differing outcomes attained by different techniques of statistical figuring. I think they have used the 20-year moving average because their aim is to show the long-term trend over basically the entire post-WW2 period.

I also want to point out that the charts used here have been essentially recycled a number of times in the publication. Very similar charts appeared in articles by Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of these are collected in a volume titled Stagnation and the Financial Explosion (1989). I don't mean to say that the concerns are not valid, and I do think statistics of this sort is very much an art; however, these graphs have been worked out over a long time period.
#14406380
Do note that this is merely one important and formative piece of economic literature.


Marx and Engels wrote garbage. Therefore the quotes you mention are not useful as "economic literature". They are pseudoscientific excrement which flowed from their brains because Engels was a rich boy, and Marx was a social parasite who lived from Engel´s money. This means neither of them had the education nor the experience to do anything except spew excrement from their brains.

Communism fails every time precisely because all their ideas were semi digested German cabbage which smelled awful as it pouored forth from their body orifices. Only those who lacked a properly developed sense of smell could fail to sense just how bad their stuff was.

I hope this is educational and helps you understand how things work in real life.
#14406385
Social_Critic wrote:
Marx and Engels wrote garbage. Therefore the quotes you mention are not useful as "economic literature". They are pseudoscientific excrement which flowed from their brains because Engels was a rich boy, and Marx was a social parasite who lived from Engel´s money. This means neither of them had the education nor the experience to do anything except spew excrement from their brains.

Communism fails every time precisely because all their ideas were semi digested German cabbage which smelled awful as it pouored forth from their body orifices. Only those who lacked a properly developed sense of smell could fail to sense just how bad their stuff was.

I hope this is educational and helps you understand how things work in real life.


It is nice of you to continue to quote me out of context. I do understand though that this is a typical tactic of reactionaries (read: those who can't hold their own when it comes to legitimate scholarly debate).

Marx was a 19th century scholar. Like most 19th century scholars, as well as early theorists of political economy, not all of his theories were fully worked out and some advancements have been made, though many of these due to historical developments, just as well.

This line about how Engels was just a rich boy and how Marx lived on handouts though always cracks me up. What do you think the typical Victorian-era academic was if not a 'rich boy'? What do you think the average endowed chair of a professorship lives on, if not 'handouts'?

Thank you for displaying openly your toxic biases. Now please kindly move along.
#14406389
I do understand though that this is a typical tactic of reactionaries


I´m not a reactionary. I´m a revolutionary. I refuse to play by society´s rules, and I work towards the inexorable victory of popular forces over 21st century fascism (also known as communism). Under my rules, any mention of Marx and Engels as "economists" or having anything to do with rational thought will immediately be attacked using the most ferocious verbiage I can muster.

This is a tactic I developed after reading about Belisarius´defeat of the Vandals in North Africa,in spite of having numerically inferior forces. You could say I´m Belisarius, and you guys are the Vandals (figuratively speaking, of course).

On a more mundane fashion I could explain to you those two idiots failed to grasp that capitalism would evolve and their ideas about overaccumulation were trashed by competitive forces. You could say Darwin was ahead of those two chumps.
#14406408
Crantag wrote:I have provided sources and data for my claims and arguments. In attempting to refute some of them, it would certainly be courteous of you to do the same, rather than just giving a few empty claims and largely irrelevant hypothetical anecdotes (like the chocolate rabbit factory).


The Theory of Capital Utilization and Idleness

http://www.jstor.org/stable/2722381?seq=2

When you measure capital utilization, there is no way around debating definitions:

Assessing the Federal Reserve's Measures of Capacity and Utilization

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Projec ... ummers.PDF

Also regarding its interpretation:

The Federal Reserve also makes adjustments to the estimated capacities
to correct for the different levels of utilization implied by the various
data sources. They estimate capacity so that production does not exceed
capacity (except in rare instances) and so that production is not chronically
below "normal" capacity utilization. The consequence of these
adjustments is, as the Federal Reserve's documentation makes clear,
that the published utilization figures should be given no cardinal interpretation.


Regarding depreciation rates:

http://econweb.umd.edu/~hulten/webpagef ... 0Study.pdf

wat0n wrote:For instance, if Rugoz is correct it might be simply due to a more extreme seasonal pattern - and there is definitely some seasonality in the CU or else the FED wouldn't bother to adjust the short-term series to eliminate it.


Seasonal variation of CU was just one example of why average utilization might be below 100% (notice that if you for example have 2 firms, one producing only in winter and one only in summer, your economy-wide utilization is 50% throughout the year). The point is, most firms probably have "excess capacity" (note the quotation marks) for extended periods of time, because optimal production is irregular or unpredictable. However, that's perfectly compatible with profit maximization.
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