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#15171389
Pants-of-dog wrote:This sounds like moralising.

In practical reality, Marxist revolutions or movements have no chance of succeeding without widespread support. Even with widespread support, the chances are iffy.

So this idea that a minority will impose it on everyone else is ahistorical and does not merit debate.

Well that might be true yes, but either way a new system is either a good idea or a bad idea. If most people want that idea that doesn't mean it's a good idea or that it will be better than the status quo.

I'm not overly attached to the status quo or capitalism in general because it has obvious flaws. If something is found to be better then I'm all ears, including some variation of Marxism, but since socially democratic capitalism is flawed but also pretty good and better than literally all other alternatives that have been tried thus far, the burden is on those with new proposals to have high probability a new system will be better in order to avoid disaster.

An example within capitalist change is MMT. There's a bunch of people who seem confident in MMT and enthusiastically want our governments to borrow far more than they do now. People this confident scare me, how are they so sure? It's hardly been tried and could result in total economic ruin, so with MMT i'm open to the idea but the theory needs to be tested rigorously and we need to proceed with extreme caution.
#15171394
Unthinking Majority wrote:Well that might be true yes, but either way a new system is either a good idea or a bad idea. If most people want that idea that doesn't mean it's a good idea or that it will be better than the status quo.

I'm not overly attached to the status quo or capitalism in general because it has obvious flaws. If something is found to be better then I'm all ears, including some variation of Marxism, but since socially democratic capitalism is flawed but also pretty good and better than literally all other alternatives that have been tried thus far, the burden is on those with new proposals to have high probability a new system will be better in order to avoid disaster.

An example within capitalist change is MMT. There's a bunch of people who seem confident in MMT and enthusiastically want our governments to borrow far more than they do now. People this confident scare me, how are they so sure? It's hardly been tried and could result in total economic ruin, so with MMT i'm open to the idea but the theory needs to be tested rigorously and we need to proceed with extreme caution.

I'm a Marxist, and therefore skeptical of social democracy, but actually social democracy might provide an alternative you are looking for.

I am not that skeptical about it. I am getting more conservative the older I get, like that Winston Churchill quote (liberal when young and conservative when old, however the quote goes).

The thing appealing about Capitalism is that it is self regulating.

If you have a potato stand and people want potatoes, there's a market right there. Markets are what are the basis of capitalism.

A capitalist though is an owner of capital, who derives their income from capital. Owning capital primarily means owning shares of companies, these days.

Also, all of Marx's theories were correct.

In my opinion.

But, and I repeat myself, Marx based his theories on pure capitalism, which doesn't genuinely exist. However, Marx based his theories on the model of pure capitalism which is testable, and Marx tested his theories. But, pure capitalism is not what we experience. That being said, I have never encountered one ounce of Karl Marx, which was not correct, under the stylized conditions (application to the real world is the tricky part, but that is par for the course when it comes to social sciences).

The most successful real-world system has possibly been social democracy. The problem is that it runs into the contradictions which Marx described, too. Pension crises, and all the other likes. And sometimes poor people just want to get pissed off and burn out the rich folk. That is, social revolution is a condition too of the human experience.

It is what happened in China and Vietnam. It is also what happened in England, in the 1380s. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
#15171401
Wellsy wrote:@wat0n
Thought I'd point you in the direction of some material if its what you're after in terms of something specific.
https://libcom.org/library/okisho-theorem-obituary-marxist-humanism
My general impression although I by no means have investigated it for myself as I haven't found the time to make a proper excursion into the issue is that Okishio's Theorem is criticized on the basis of in making the input-output prices equal but not necessarily justifying it as apparently there can be quite the divergence not properly accounted for in treating physical input-output coefficients alone determining the uniform rate of profit. The idea is that it happens that when input and output prices happen to be equal, physical input-output coefficients are sufficient. But when it comes to explaining this equality of input-output prices, one is left with a premise that is unexplained and doesn't actually fit with Marx's value theory.

I however don't know how the TSSIcritique of simultaneism and physicalism necessarily apply to Okishio.


Indeed, Okishio's Theorem makes several assumptions that can actually be quite restrictive. And that's exactly the point: It's far from a foregone conclusion that the rate of profit will have a tendency to fall. It seems it depends on the production function, among other things, if this will actually be the case or not. That's the value of Okishio's insight.

Wellsy wrote:In regards to Roemer, who I am not familiar with as I don't engage with the Analyitical Marxist tradition, I do wonder about the claims that exploitation can be applied in regards to any commodity. My brief impression from the following paper: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1299&context=econ_workingpaper&fbclid=IwAR2RuTdskZ_zIsSQNV0Wtg_G6EXnXApkH74XxT7DowwUzsE5OvzthT1ST24, is whether they confuse labor and the commodity of labour-power.
Spoiler: show

My impression of analytical Marxism is that it basically holds a methodologically approach alien to Marx's but tries to engage in it on such terms.
Marx I believe considered his discovery of the distinction between labor (what humanity has done forever) and labor power (the commodity purchase of ones capacity to labour) a critical finding and if the above is correct, then it exemplifies not properly engaging with Marx's work in his own terms and so all sorts of conflicting results occur from misunderstanding. Perhaps a bit like the asserted limitation in Okishio's Theorem. If they are truly sympathetic to Marx they do a poor job at it as my impression of them seems to always be based on asserted refutations of dubious validity.
The idea behind exploitation is that we are under the illusion that we are paid in full for our work. Actually, you're paid a standard wage to work for so many hours a day at the direction of the employer and your labour may produce more value than obtained in wages.


Roemer's point is that, since the economic mechanisms behind exploitation can be applied to any input, then why focus on labor specifically? It's an arbitrary distinction, although far from nonsensical since labor implies humans. To reach that sort of conclusion, however, you eventually have to apply a normative analysis and if you will do that then you'd better be clear about it.

I also don't think Roemer or Okishio are being unfair to Marx. I see nothing wrong in trying to interpret Marxian concepts using other frameworks (and to tell the difference between the different schools, for instance Roemer suggests that the neoclassical and the Marxian definitions of "profit" are different), which is not different from trying to interpret other schools of analysis using a Marxian framework, or to try to understand what unstated assumptions was Marx making since he was clearly not stating his modeling using more modern, rigorous approaches. If anything, that would be exactly how theoretical advances are made - and if the Marxian paradigm is a scientific one, as Marx would claim, then it's something one should expect and welcome because it's one way to advance our understanding of reality.

PS: Also, I think Okishio was actually part of the Marxian school FWIW.
#15171411
Oh jesus, let's look at the so-called Marxian theories.

- The labor theory of value is crude to the point of being useless.
- As for the falling rate of profit. For starters, Marx' profits don't include profits due to market power, which is what everybody else is interested in nowadays. AFAIK Marx' profits are equivalent to the return to capital in a perfectly competitive economy. In that case we can look at a simple Solow model. At the start of the accumulation process, the return to capital will be high. That makes sense intuitively, because you gain a lot by building that first road or whatever. Then the return gets continually smaller until the steady-state (where depreciation equals savings, i.e. where all savings are used to maintain and update the existing capital stock). In this model, which seems perfectly adequate to use in this context, the steady-state return to capital is determined by the saving rate. The higher the saving rate, the higher the capital stock than can be maintained and hence the lower the return to capital. The saving rate itself depends on all kinds of factors (many of them cultural, if you ask me).
- The subsistence theory of wages is plain wrong. Besides, for the subsistence theory of wages to be true (it's not), the capital stock per worker would have to remain constantly low (e.g. through massive population growth), hence there would be no capital deepening and no decrease of the return to capital (no falling rate of profit).
#15171420
Rugoz wrote:Oh jesus, let's look at the so-called Marxian theories.

- The labor theory of value is crude to the point of being useless.
- As for the falling rate of profit. For starters, Marx' profits don't include profits due to market power, which is what everybody else is interested in nowadays. AFAIK Marx' profits are equivalent to the return to capital in a perfectly competitive economy. In that case we can look at a simple Solow model. At the start of the accumulation process, the return to capital will be high. That makes sense intuitively, because you gain a lot by building that first road or whatever. Then the return gets continually smaller until the steady-state (where depreciation equals savings, i.e. where all savings are used to maintain and update the existing capital stock). In this model, which seems perfectly adequate to use in this context, the steady-state return to capital is determined by the saving rate. The higher the saving rate, the higher the capital stock than can be maintained and hence the lower the return to capital. The saving rate itself depends on all kinds of factors (many of them cultural, if you ask me).
- The subsistence theory of wages is plain wrong. Besides, for the subsistence theory of wages to be true (it's not), the capital stock per worker would have to remain constantly low (e.g. through massive population growth), hence there would be no capital deepening and no decrease of the return to capital (no falling rate of profit).

This is a non-critique.

You implicitly (and somewhat explicitly) acknowledge you are ignorant of Marxist theory.

On the explicit part, you substitute neoclassical theory for Marxist theory, as if it is somehow substitutable. (It isn't.)

On the implicit part, you reference theoretical points (like labor theory of value and subsistence wage), but don't have any knowledge of the theories (which aren't that hard, and you could probably take 5 or 15 minutes to read about them, and admittedly several hours at least to genuinely understand them), so you just make shit up.

My advice to you is this. I know you are studied in economics, and I know orthodox economists discourage study of Marxism; I say get past that and study it if you genuinely want to know about it. (But of course you don't, you are just looking for points to score, and regurgitating the ignorance-based criticisms of neoclassical economists, which are, again, very ignorance based, and really pretty stupid and irrelevant. You can't criticize what you don't understand, to paraphrase Bob Dylan.)
#15171421
Crantag wrote:This is a non-critique.


My comment on the labor theory of value was, because it already has been discussed at absurdum.

The rest was not, hence feel free to respond, because your post was a non-response. You can simply ignore the neoclassical background and consider the economic logic.
#15171423
Rugoz wrote:My comment on the labor theory of value was, because it already has been discussed at absurdum.

The rest was not, hence feel free to respond, because your post was a non-response. You can simply ignore the neoclassical background and consider the economic logic.

I'm going to call that a miss. Sure you want to dick measure.

You don't know anything about the labor theory of value.

You only regurgitate bullshit from neoclassical economists, who are regurgitating shit they heard from others, but they are all too scared or arrogant to actually, you know, read the sources, which is pretty bad form. Just like you.

And I don't appreciate your smugness.

I've had enough of that bullshit from ignorant neoclassicalists.

At least make an effort to know what you are seeking to criticize.

You don't and won't because you feel you have a position of power (e.g. authority).

Revolutionary Marxists might say, haha, hah, Haha.

For real though dude, you just spout the same tired ignorant regurgitated bullshit, while you obviously have no understanding of Marxist theory.
#15171424
Lest I be accused of vitriol, @Rugoz, I can discuss theoretical points of Marxism, and where you might have misunderstandings.

But, we are not likely to get anywhere with your smug attitude.

And I can tell you for real, in my opinion, or so it seems to me, orthodox economists tend to denigrate and ignore Marxism, because they are scared. They are scared to stare into the abyss, which might stare back into them, as the old saying goes.

In other words, they are afraid to confront particular truths, which might shake their world views.

However, Marxism is indeed genuinely scientific.

Go on and dismiss and ignore it. However, don't act like you know shit about it, because you most obviously don't.
#15171429
Rugoz wrote:Where does my argument go wrong again? I must have missed it.

Let's start here.

Oh jesus, let's look at the so-called Marxian theories.

- The labor theory of value is crude to the point of being useless.


The labor theory of value is at the core of Marxist theory, and is completely accurate, in the theoretical modeled iteration of pure capitaism utilized by Marx.

But, you were just regurgitating bullshit you heard from other orthodox economists with that quip, and you don't know anything about the labor theory of value as presented by Marx (as distinct from the versions of Ricardo and Smith, though Marx completed it). Start there.

Marx's labor theory of value is indeed accurate, when applied to pure capitalism, as stylized in economics models. It is not an explanation of our genuine lived society, and it isn't intended to be, but it does provide a model for greater understanding.

The theory iterates that, under pure capitalism, other factors of production, aside from labor, are remunerated at cost. Labor is the only thing which is ripe for 'exploitation', because workers are able to be paid a subsistence wage, and the owners reap the rest; and that is the source of profit.

We'll start with that.

To reiterate, that is not a genuflection of genuine reality, it is however scientific and accurate, based on the model of pure capitalism.

It is also very relevant and explanatory.

However, it does fail to explain when a dude or gal strikes oil in their back yard and gets rich because of it; however, it's not meant to explain that. That would be more an anomaly. And it is, again, a model.
#15171430
Crantag wrote:Marx's labor theory of value is indeed accurate, when applied to pure capitalism, as stylized in economics models. It is not an explanation of our genuine lived society, and it isn't intended to be, but it does provide a model for greater understanding.


I never said the labor theory of value is wrong per se, I said it's "crude to the point of being useless". What many people seem to miss is that most economists are into stuff that can be put into practice.

Crantag wrote:The theory iterates that, under pure capitalism, other factors of production, aside from labor, are remunerated at cost. Labor is the only thing which is ripe for 'exploitation', because workers are able to be paid a subsistence wage, and the owners reap the rest; and that is the source of profit.


Are you denying that the price of a commodity is determined by suppy and demand, in a first instance at least? If not, the wage is determined by the supply of labor and the demand for it. Consequently if labor becomes scarce, the capitalist has to pay higher wages. The capitalist cannot simply produce more labor like any other commodity, because how many children a worker has is up to the worker and is motivated by a host of other factors than economics.


Besides, a good Marxist would attack my assumption of a production function with diminishing returns. To that I would respond that evidence suggests that a surrogate production function can indeed be constructed:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm ... id=3021689
#15171431
Rugoz wrote:
Are you denying that the price of a commodity is determined by suppy and demand, in a first instance at least? If not, the wage is determined by the supply of labor and the demand for it. Consequently if labor becomes scarce, the capitalist has to pay higher wages. The capitalist cannot simply produce more labor like any other commodity, because how many children a worker has is up to the worker and is motivated by a host of other factors than economics.

Not denying it at all. There is a thing in Marxist theory, called the 'surplus army of the unemployed'. This might seem to get a little out of the stylized realm of models I was talking of before, because you could model a condition in which labor costs are fully controlled but yet there is no surplus army of unemployed. However, this wouldn't be a capitalist society, but rather a slave society.

As such, in capitalist society, there exists the surplus army of the unemployed. Under pure capitalism, the steel or cotton inputs will be remunerated at full cost. The cotton loom will be remunerated at full cost. (And it must be, under the logic of pure capitalism.) The worker? Is paid a subsistence wage. The worker needn't be remunerated at full cost. The worker merely needs to be paid enough to live.

The other inputs must be remunerated at full cost, as they are themselves finished products.

Labor cost is the only thing where there is wiggle room, under pure capitalism.

The surplus army of the unemployed helps regulate the wage rate, and the fact that workers can survive on earning less than their full value contribution (whereas the other factors of production can't), is what creates 'surplus value', which is where profit is derived.

Again though this is all according to the models. And probably as many Marxists mistake this shit as non-Marxists.
#15171432
Crantag wrote:Not denying it at all. There is a thing in Marxist theory, called the 'surplus army of the unemployed'. This might seem to get a little out of the stylized realm of models I was talking of before, because you could model a condition in which labor costs are fully controlled but yet there is no surplus army of unemployed. However, this wouldn't be a capitalist society, but rather a slave society.


If the capitalist owned the workers, no doubt wages would be at subsistence level.

Crantag wrote:As such, in capitalist society, there exists the surplus army of the unemployed. Under pure capitalism, the steel or cotton inputs will be remunerated at full cost. The cotton loom will be remunerated at full cost. (And it must be, under the logic of pure capitalism.) The worker? Is paid a subsistence wage. The worker needn't be remunerated at full cost. The worker merely needs to be paid enough to live.

The other inputs must be remunerated at full cost, as they are themselves finished products.

Labor cost is the only thing where there is wiggle room, under pure capitalism.

The surplus army of the unemployed helps regulate the wage rate, and the fact that workers can survive on earning less than their full value contribution (whereas the other factors of production can't), is what creates 'surplus value', which is where profit is derived.

Again though this is all according to the models. And probably as many Marxists mistake this shit as non-Marxists.


But it's not the worker's cost to live, or rather the cost to produce and maintain him (i.e. the "full cost of the worker minus the surplus"), that determines the wage rate. The worker is not like any other input or machinery produced in a capitalist fashion. There's a (more or less) fixed supply of workers and the capitalists have to compete for their labor.

The surplus army of the unemployed doesn't really exist. The overwhelming majority of workers wouldn't work for a subsistence wage, even one that satsifies today's standards of subsistence (which is relative to the overall level of wages). Instead real wages have been rising and rising for ages. If the subsistence wage theory were true, wages would have remained at 19th century level, maybe with a small plus for better eduction and health care.
#15171438
Also, what do you mean by saying that "other inputs are remunerated at full cost" @Crantag?

If you mean that other inputs' producers cannot get paid more than the marginal cost to produce them, I would say I can think of plenty of deviations from that both in the short and long run. From simple short term fluctuations (e.g. what's happening to lumber) to true long term fluctuations due to all sorts of deviations from the competitive ideal (e.g. any market where the producers of the input have market power, for starters).
#15171441
wat0n wrote:Indeed, Okishio's Theorem makes several assumptions that can actually be quite restrictive. And that's exactly the point: It's far from a foregone conclusion that the rate of profit will have a tendency to fall. It seems it depends on the production function, among other things, if this will actually be the case or not. That's the value of Okishio's insight.

The criticism isn't about the premises being overly restrictive as much as one of the premises is not compatible with Marx's own reasoning/"model" such that the criticism amounts to a limitation of Okishio's model/theorem rather than a definitive blow against Marx. What Andrew Kliman is assertedly doing is an immanent critique where he accepts all the premises of Okishio's theorem as he understands it, before showing that within those premises are limitations that make it incorrect.
So he operates within that way of thinking where if that is truly the case Okishio's theorem however is not an immanent but external critique of Marx, that is, it is at best an alternative proposal.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/emancipatory-science.htm
In subjecting a current of thought to immanent critique, the critic places themself within that school of thought. This replicates the normal method by which a science develops. Writers rarely subject those who are morally or intellectually distant from themselves to serious criticism, or listen to criticism that comes from afar; critical dialogue is the very thing which constitutes an intellectual pursuit as a project and binds it together with common aims. Even when a current is shown to have arrived at an impasse, critique reveals a solution which answers to the problems addressed by the current.

This doesn't mean an alternative account can't still challenge another, but that there is simply not the effective criticism that Okishio is purported to be because it imposes an assumption in the equality of input-output prices which undermines the claim that the rate of profit cannot fall.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_single-system_interpretation
"Okishio's theorem", a result produced by the Japanese Marxian economist Nobuo Okishio in 1961, was widely regarded as having disproved Marx's law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, but TSSI authors have shown that Marx's rate of profit (as they interpret it) can fall in circumstances in which Okishio's theorem says that "the" rate of profit cannot fall. Thus, even Duncan K. Foley, a prominent critic of the TSSI, acknowledges that

"I understand [Alan] Freeman and [Andrew] Kliman to be arguing that Okishio’s theorem as literally stated is wrong because it is possible for the money and labor rates of profit to fall under the circumstances specified in its hypotheses. I accept their examples as establishing this possibility.”[4]

There is even the concern in which Okishio and Marx are talking or considering the same thing, again, another area for misunderstanding.
https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/three-books-on-marxist-political-economy/three-books-on-marxist-political-economy-pt-3/
Okishio theorem

Another well-known attack on Marx’s theory of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall involves the Okishio theorem, put forward by Japanese economist Nobuo Okishio. Okishio observed that no capitalist would knowingly choose a method of production that would lower the rate of profit. This is, of course, true. Therefore, the only thing that would lower the rate of profit, according to the Okishio theorem, is a rise in real wages. The Okishio theorem has never been very popular, to say the least, among Marxists who support Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.

From a Marxist point of view, there are many problems with Okishio’s argument. Marx never attempted to show that the rate of profit would fall if real wages remained unchanged or even fell. Instead, in his demonstration of the law in Volume III of “Capital,” Marx held wages in terms of value—not real wages—steady. He showed that if the organic composition of capital rises while the value of wages and the rate of surplus value remains unchanged, the rate of profit falls.

Marx sharply distinguished between the rate of surplus value—the calculation of the mass of profit over the total variable capital—and the rate of profit, which measures the mass of profit over the total capital. Therefore, Marx and Okishio are talking about different things. Indeed, since a rise in the organic composition of capital implies a rise in the productivity of labor, Marx’s demonstration of the falling rate of profit implicitly assumes a rising wage in terms of use values—that is, a rising real wage. So in a certain sense, Okishio and Marx are talking past one another.

https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/michael-heinrichs-new-reading-of-marx-a-critique-pt-1/
The Okishio theorem

One school of criticism of Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall, called “neo-Ricardians,” base their rejection of this law on the so-called Okishio theorem. The supporters of the Okishio theorem replace Marx’s assumption of a constant value of labor power and an unchanged rate of surplus value—the ratio of paid to unpaid labor—with the assumption of a constant real wage. The Okishio theorem then goes on to prove that under these assumptions, completely different than those made by Marx, the industrial capitalists will never select a method of production that will result in a lower rate of profit but only select methods of production that result in a higher rate of profit.

The assumption of an unchanged real wage is completely different than the assumption of an unchanged value wage and rate of surplus value. As Andrew Kliman has pointed out in his ”The Failure of Capitalist Production” and his earlier work “Reclaiming Marx’s Capital,” these Marx critics perform their calculations not in terms of an embodied quantity of abstract human labor as Marx did but in physical terms.

The above support my suspicion whether there is an emphasis on greater productivity of use-values, over that value, a common mistake when one doesn't engage with Marx's contentious value theory.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/geoff4.htm
Abstract labour creates value: that is a definite social form of labour produces and reproduces definite social relations of production. But this does not mean that the ‘objective factors of production’ are to be denied any form of ‘productivity’. On the contrary, to the extent that these factors raise the level of production they are certainly productive, but productive of use-values (a category which Joan Robinson continually confuses with value). Marx is explicit on this point:

The use-values, coat, linen, etc. i.e. the bodies of commodities, are combinations of two elements – matter and labour. If we take away the useful labour expended upon them, a material substratum is always left, which is furnished by Nature without the help of man. The latter can work only as Nature does, that is by changing the form of matter. Nay more, in the work of changing the form he is constantly helped by natural forces. We see, then, that labour is not the only source of material wealth, of use-values produced by labour. (I, see also Marx, Theories of Surplus Value)

Capital is, however, productive in a quite different sense. It is productive as the dominant social relation of modern society. For Marx capital was productive because it was able to ‘enforce surplus labour’ on a scale far surpassing any previous social relation. It is not, therefore, a question of obliterating the distinction between capital and labour. As Rosdolsky has said in exposing Joan Robinson’s confusion, labour is the horse producing surplus value, capital is the whip across its back. Hence for Marx productive labour is labour which when exchanging against capital produces surplus value. Here ‘productive’ has an entirely social meaning – concerned with man’s relationship to man – and is not to be confused with the material relation of man to nature.

This makes me concerned whether the Okishio Theorem also engages in physicalism.
his is the essence of physicalism: that changes in value are directly tied to changes in the amount of actual physical commodities. ie. If I produce ten apples instead of five I have twice as much value. This seems to make sense. But look at the way this actually plays out in the real world. (21)When a supply expands its value falls. When a supply shrinks its value rises. In a drought the same amount of apples is worth more than in a glut. So just because there is more of something in physical terms doesn’t mean its value is more. In fact, value can change while physical output remains the same if the production process becomes more efficient or input values change.

And I refrain from absolutely asserting as much as I am not so confident without proper study that it is applicable.
My impression is that the criticism of Okishio's theorem is in fact not necessarily an empirical one either but a theoretical one, Kliman buffers himself in saying that he only argues that Marx is logically consistent/coherent when interpreted properly although whether his theories has empirical support is a separate task. And I think this also comes from the point that Okishio's theorem is a theoretical critique that seeks to close off the theoretical account of the tendency for profit to fall.

This seems to be a simpler account that I plan to read when I get the chance by Michael Roberts who is better in his explanations than Andrew Kliman. https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/responses-to-readers-austrian-economics-versus-marxism/andrew-kliman-and-the-neo-ricardian-attack-on-marxism-pt-2/
It seems Michael Roberts asserts Okishio ended up more a neo-ricardian than Marxist economist, which has big implications as many conflate Ricardo's theories which pretty much spelled the demised of the labor theory of value as he conceptualized it, with Marx's value theory.

Roemer's point is that, since the economic mechanisms behind exploitation can be applied to any input, then why focus on labor specifically? It's an arbitrary distinction, although far from nonsensical since labor implies humans. To reach that sort of conclusion, however, you eventually have to apply a normative analysis and if you will do that then you'd better be clear about it.

I also don't think Roemer or Okishio are being unfair to Marx. I see nothing wrong in trying to interpret Marxian concepts using other frameworks (and to tell the difference between the different schools, for instance Roemer suggests that the neoclassical and the Marxian definitions of "profit" are different), which is not different from trying to interpret other schools of analysis using a Marxian framework, or to try to understand what unstated assumptions was Marx making since he was clearly not stating his modeling using more modern, rigorous approaches. If anything, that would be exactly how theoretical advances are made - and if the Marxian paradigm is a scientific one, as Marx would claim, then it's something one should expect and welcome because it's one way to advance our understanding of reality.

PS: Also, I think Okishio was actually part of the Marxian school FWIW.

I think the paper is emphasizing that labour power is a distinct commodity in Marx's analysis and isn't synonymous with all other commodities on account that the gap between labour-power and labor is a a theoretically consistent account of where suplus value comes from. SUre I can compare the value of commodities, a commodity might be worth more than what I pay a worker for the week, but other commodities do not produce the capacity for further value.
While labor can change seeds into corn, or raw materials into useful objects, and so on. I really hope Roemer doesn't make as crude a mistake as this, as it does make me think whether he might be misrepresented as it seems so crude an error.

Of course it's not wrong to interpret Marx through another lens and it seems that it can certainly be fruitful in some ways, it's just that when there is an external critique, it should be clear that they are simply applying a different approach than that of Marx and as such this doesn't make Marx wrong, it just means that they didn't charitably interpret him in creating their own account. It's like how for ages many people read Marx as an economic determinist, there is no such inherent limitation in Marx's work, but that is what a lot of people read into it. It's an issue of how true are we to a source material, how well do we 'listen' to it. Because misunderstandings of all sorts arise even in peers criticizing one another and it can lead to great animosity out of not properly seeing the relationship between ideas. In fact, there are many dichotomous positions where people are at each other throats, unable to synthesize the facts, because its incredibly hard to even develop such a breadth of knowledge and synthesize it. However, some of the greatest Marxist in fact do just that, Marx's work is original in its a contribution, but it is built off the work of political economists of his time. Similarly, with one of my favorites, Lev Vygotsky, his original contribution comes from a review of psychologists and the such in regards to the relationship between language and thought. He even attempted to do the same process in a study on emotions reviewing the James-Lange theory of emotions and how it reflected Cartesian dualities and he sought to overcome it through Spinoza's monism but never completed the work.

And really, when engaging in different schools of thought, it is an incredibly difficult task to keep track of what is compatible with one another or not. And it is indeed the case that Marx wasn't really an economist in the modern sense with the mathematical models. In fact, it seems to me that some Marxists are derisive about the mathematical models applied to economics on account that it isn't necessarily illuminating in all cases and may even be accused of masking things.
However, there is reason to see that math is incredibly useful and worthy of praise for how it helps illustrate things.
https://www.marxists.org/subject/economy/authors/anikin/pre-marxian-economy.pdf
The most controversial question in the sphere of economicomathematical methods is that of the use of mathematics in theoretical studies on political economy where the aim is to discover the basic qualitative, socio-economic laws of a given social system be it capitalism or socialism. Mathematics is a method and instrument of obtaining knowledge like logic, abstraction and experiment. In itself it is neutral, just as electronic computers are neutral, say. At the basis of all theoretical economic research there lies a philosophical conception determining the qualitative analysis which precedes any application of mathematics and formulates the conditions and limits of the task. Marxist economic research differs from non-Marxist independently of whether mathematics is used in one or the other. The question of its use is decided by scientific expediency. In some spheres important results may be obtained without formal mathematic devices. In others they are useful, even essential. Criticising those who feared that the use of formal mathematical methods would harm the purity of Marxist-Leninist theory, V. S. Nemchinov wrote: "Reference is often made to the possibility of abusing mathematics. Such abuse is, of course, possible. But it can be reduced to nought if a proper preliminary qualitative analysis of the economic phenomena under review is made." 1

It should be recalled that Marx believed the application of mathematics in economic theory to be both possible and expedient. Many quantitative laws in Marx's theory are expressed with the help of algebraic formulae which often contain direct and inverse proportionality. There is the well-known remark of Marx's recorded by Paul Lafargue, that a science is not properly developed until it can make use of mathematics.2 In 1873 Marx wrote to Engels that ·he thought it possible by means of the mathematical processing of reliable statistical material on economic cycles "to deduce ... the main laws of crises" 3• He is referring here, of course, not to the causes of crises, but to the laws of their progression.


Yeah, I do hear he isn't an analytical Marxist, thank you for clarifying.
However, it seems his reputation as a Marxist is up for criticism based on the assertion of being more a neo-Ricardian which would be a big difference as Marx draws heavily upon Ricardo, but in order to criticize the limitations of his work.


I also add in the context of the thread that Marx doesn't think subsistence is the only determining factor of wages.
https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/responses-to-readers-austrian-economics-versus-marxism/andrew-kliman-and-the-neo-ricardian-attack-on-marxism-pt-2/
Marx showed that the real wage—the use values of the commodities the workers buy with the money they receive in exchange for their labor power—is determined by what is necessary to reproduce their labor power.

Marx explained that the real wage consists of two fractions. One is an absolute minimum that is required to biologically reproduce the workers’ labor power. The real wage can never fall below this level for any prolonged period of time. If it did, the working class would die out and surplus value production would cease. The second fraction is the historical-moral component, which depends on the history of a given country and the course of the class struggle. The latter fraction of the real wage enables the workers to a certain extent to participate in the fruits of the development of civilization.
#15171453
Wellsy wrote:The criticism isn't about the premises being overly restrictive as much as one of the premises is not compatible with Marx's own reasoning/"model" such that the criticism amounts to a limitation of Okishio's model/theorem rather than a definitive blow against Marx. What Andrew Kliman is assertedly doing is an immanent critique where he accepts all the premises of Okishio's theorem as he understands it, before showing that within those premises are limitations that make it incorrect.
So he operates within that way of thinking where if that is truly the case Okishio's theorem however is not an immanent but external critique of Marx, that is, it is at best an alternative proposal.
https://www.ethicalpolitics.org/ablunden/works/emancipatory-science.htm


Is he, though? As you say below it would seem Klinman is actually relaxing some of Okishio's assumptions. Up to what extent would this consist in an immanent critique?

I had the TSSI in mind when conceding Okishio's not necessarily right, but only stating that the big result of the tendency of the profit rate to fall is in fact dependent on several assumptions.

Wellsy wrote:This doesn't mean an alternative account can't still challenge another, but that there is simply not the effective criticism that Okishio is purported to be because it imposes an assumption in the equality of input-output prices which undermines the claim that the rate of profit cannot fall.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_single-system_interpretation


Well, my understanding is that it was the standard interpretation of Marxian economics when Okishio came up with his theorem in 1961 (TSSI is from the 1980s). One may actually wonder up to what extent is either interpretation represents Marx's original claims better.

Wellsy wrote:There is even the concern in which Okishio and Marx are talking or considering the same thing, again, another area for misunderstanding.
https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/three-books-on-marxist-political-economy/three-books-on-marxist-political-economy-pt-3/

https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/michael-heinrichs-new-reading-of-marx-a-critique-pt-1/

The above support my suspicion whether there is an emphasis on greater productivity of use-values, over that value, a common mistake when one doesn't engage with Marx's contentious value theory.
https://www.marxists.org/archive/pilling/works/capital/geoff4.htm

This makes me concerned whether the Okishio Theorem also engages in physicalism.

And I refrain from absolutely asserting as much as I am not so confident without proper study that it is applicable.


Well, if you look at one of the responses to Okishio's Theorem is that indeed the result goes away if you keep the share of labor in income constant (this implies real wages can perfectly go up). Likewise, I would also not be sure that the result holds with any production function - maybe you can reproduce Marxian claims with others.

I would say though that assumptions like constant labor power or a constant rate of surplus value are far from a foregone conclusion either. In the real world, there is a constant effort to increase the former and I don't really see any reason to assume the latter would be constant, not even in the long run. I can imagine technical developments may constantly increase the rate of surplus value.

At last, I don't see Okishio's Theorem as necessarily saying Marx was being internally inconsistent. Instead, I see it as showing his conclusions are sensitive to assumptions. That is, his assumptions are actually having a stronger role in his conclusions than he was acknowledging.

Wellsy wrote:My impression is that the criticism of Okishio's theorem is in fact not necessarily an empirical one either but a theoretical one, Kliman buffers himself in saying that he only argues that Marx is logically consistent/coherent when interpreted properly although whether his theories has empirical support is a separate task. And I think this also comes from the point that Okishio's theorem is a theoretical critique that seeks to close off the theoretical account of the tendency for profit to fall.


You may also wonder if Klinman is correctly interpreting Marx, too.

Wellsy wrote:This seems to be a simpler account that I plan to read when I get the chance by Michael Roberts who is better in his explanations than Andrew Kliman. https://critiqueofcrisistheory.wordpress.com/responses-to-readers-austrian-economics-versus-marxism/andrew-kliman-and-the-neo-ricardian-attack-on-marxism-pt-2/
It seems Michael Roberts asserts Okishio ended up more a neo-ricardian than Marxist economist, which has big implications as many conflate Ricardo's theories which pretty much spelled the demised of the labor theory of value as he conceptualized it, with Marx's value theory.


It's possible, one may start from one school and end up agreeing with another.

Wellsy wrote:I think the paper is emphasizing that labour power is a distinct commodity in Marx's analysis and isn't synonymous with all other commodities on account that the gap between labour-power and labor is a a theoretically consistent account of where suplus value comes from. SUre I can compare the value of commodities, a commodity might be worth more than what I pay a worker for the week, but other commodities do not produce the capacity for further value.
While labor can change seeds into corn, or raw materials into useful objects, and so on. I really hope Roemer doesn't make as crude a mistake as this, as it does make me think whether he might be misrepresented as it seems so crude an error.


Well, under that reasoning you could say the same about capital pretty much by definition. Am I correct?

Wellsy wrote:Of course it's not wrong to interpret Marx through another lens and it seems that it can certainly be fruitful in some ways, it's just that when there is an external critique, it should be clear that they are simply applying a different approach than that of Marx and as such this doesn't make Marx wrong, it just means that they didn't charitably interpret him in creating their own account. It's like how for ages many people read Marx as an economic determinist, there is no such inherent limitation in Marx's work, but that is what a lot of people read into it. It's an issue of how true are we to a source material, how well do we 'listen' to it. Because misunderstandings of all sorts arise even in peers criticizing one another and it can lead to great animosity out of not properly seeing the relationship between ideas. In fact, there are many dichotomous positions where people are at each other throats, unable to synthesize the facts, because its incredibly hard to even develop such a breadth of knowledge and synthesize it. However, some of the greatest Marxist in fact do just that, Marx's work is original in its a contribution, but it is built off the work of political economists of his time. Similarly, with one of my favorites, Lev Vygotsky, his original contribution comes from a review of psychologists and the such in regards to the relationship between language and thought. He even attempted to do the same process in a study on emotions reviewing the James-Lange theory of emotions and how it reflected Cartesian dualities and he sought to overcome it through Spinoza's monism but never completed the work.

And really, when engaging in different schools of thought, it is an incredibly difficult task to keep track of what is compatible with one another or not. And it is indeed the case that Marx wasn't really an economist in the modern sense with the mathematical models. In fact, it seems to me that some Marxists are derisive about the mathematical models applied to economics on account that it isn't necessarily illuminating in all cases and may even be accused of masking things.
However, there is reason to see that math is incredibly useful and worthy of praise for how it helps illustrate things.
https://www.marxists.org/subject/economy/authors/anikin/pre-marxian-economy.pdf

Yeah, I do hear he isn't an analytical Marxist, thank you for clarifying.
However, it seems his reputation as a Marxist is up for criticism based on the assertion of being more a neo-Ricardian which would be a big difference as Marx draws heavily upon Ricardo, but in order to criticize the limitations of his work.


Indeed, and it's an extremely important point to consider. If you look carefully, there is a fairly standard interpretation of the neoclassical model precisely because of its mathematical formulation. Unfortunately, classical economists like Marx or Ricardo can be interpreted in different ways that can conceivably be all valid, and that's only because of the lack of a mathematical formulation. Even worse, someone like Okishio could come up with an idea that can be associated to different classical schools for that reason, since he did express it mathematically while the classical economists only used it occasionally as an aid. This also makes it easier to try to compare and relate schools to each other, since we can deal with what should be the most important differences, namely, differences in the assumptions they are making and how they arrive to their conclusions.

It's good to see even Marx himself realized a mathematical formulation of his theory was desirable.

Of course, using math has some entry costs (for starters, needing to actually learn math) and some concepts may not be easy to express mathematically. But then you could say the same applies to any language.

At last, there is the related yet different issue which is to consider the modeling and writing norms at the time the theory was postulated. For instance, if a contemporary mathematician cold read an original text from a 19th century mathematician he'd have trouble understanding it simply because modern day notation is different (arguably clearer), although once he got used to it he should be able to understand the message just fine. I actually find Marx's writing style to be fairly... Complicated in general, but you could argue that's simply because norms were different from our contemporary ones and the same holds for other writers from his time. Yet, that doesn't really help if you want to read him in the 21st century.
#15171464
Unthinking Majority wrote:Well that might be true yes, but either way a new system is either a good idea or a bad idea. If most people want that idea that doesn't mean it's a good idea or that it will be better than the status quo.

I'm not overly attached to the status quo or capitalism in general because it has obvious flaws. If something is found to be better then I'm all ears, including some variation of Marxism, but since socially democratic capitalism is flawed but also pretty good and better than literally all other alternatives that have been tried thus far, the burden is on those with new proposals to have high probability a new system will be better in order to avoid disaster.


We honestly have no idea about democratic socialism since the capitalists come with guns and violence to destroy any fledgling movement.

So, it is impossible for you to make this comparison.
#15171474
Wellsy wrote:I also add in the context of the thread that Marx doesn't think subsistence is the only determining factor of wages.

Marx explained that the real wage consists of two fractions. One is an absolute minimum that is required to biologically reproduce the workers’ labor power. The real wage can never fall below this level for any prolonged period of time. If it did, the working class would die out and surplus value production would cease. The second fraction is the historical-moral component, which depends on the history of a given country and the course of the class struggle. The latter fraction of the real wage enables the workers to a certain extent to participate in the fruits of the development of civilization.


It has nothing to do with a "historical-moral component" or a class struggle. It's a competitive market outcome. If you have a fixed supply of a resource that is essential in production, the price of that resource will go up if production in increased, because the capitalists will need it and compete for it. Compare it to land. The land owner will extract a rent from the capitalist because its not a commodity that can be produced like any other (of course that rent is not socially necessary in production). As long as workers own their working time, they will extract a "rent".

Needless to say the labor share of total income has remained more or less constant for ages.
#15171488
Potemkin wrote:Why should Marxism be any different?

Pragmatically speaking, Einstein's theories could be tested. Pretty much all construction depends on geometry. It's also tested. When you implement Marxist ideas, they typically produce a lot of violence and end in poor economic performance. Both Jeffersonian and Marxist thought depend on equality--political/legal or economic. These are also assumptions, which fail in reality.

Cartertonian wrote:Rather, I'm observing that whilst any 'model' - scientific and/or philosophical/political requires the acceptance of certain assumptions, it is not uncommon for models and the theories upon which they are based to subsequently be found to have been established on incorrect or incomplete assumptions.

That's indeed the case. Personally, I think it must always be the case, because even the tool set we use -- Mathematics -- contains expressions that cannot be proven or disproven. Hence, we take a lot on faith + pragmatism. Does it work? Does it have utility?

Cartertonian wrote:Can't comment on Euclid, but I think a lot of Einstein's work is going to prove ultimately to have been 'wrong' - or at least not entirely correct. That doesn't 'invalidate' Einstein either, because physics and cosmology wouldn't have got where it is today without his seminal genius, so when some future physicist dismantles Relativity, no-one is going to point a finger at Einstein and accuse him of deceit.

That's true of Isaac Newton too. His work was a great leap over the Ptolemaic system, which was good enough for agricultural civilization, but certainly not for space travel. Newton didn't accurately account for precession, but his understanding of it gave him a huge advantage over his predecessors.

Cartertonian wrote:As I intimated in the OP - perhaps too softly - there is much about Marxist philosophy that I like and admire, but then they go and spoil it all by insisting that there has to be violence and bloody revolution to achieve their goals.

There is a huge disconnect between the analysis of economies and the proposed remedies. For example, you could try out Marxism on a much smaller scale to address obesity. Simply give people only as much food as they need for survival. People who propose democratic socialism believe it would work, but I think political will would collapse almost immediately. Hence, Marxism does require extreme violence for even smaller scale projects in the absence of political agreement.

Heisenberg wrote:This isn't out of some inherent love for "violence and bloody revolution". It's out of a recognition that the current ruling class will not accept changes of the magnitude advocated by Marxists without violent resistance.

Democratic ruling classes depend much on the consent of the governed, which is why they are so afraid of people like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, etc. The ruling class could hold out on small fronts by violence alone, but not for very long without abandoning democracy as a whole. That's why 1/6 is so terrifying to the establishment. However, what Marxists propose typically doesn't have the mass popularity that is required to have people willingly accept their proscriptions. Even our current establishment is facing that prospect. How is all the effort at censorship in the US different from that of Venezuela for example? They are censoring dissent, because they are politically weak. Imagine a utopia of no fat people, as jimjam does. Do you think fat people would willingly go along with government-imposed caloric restriction?

late wrote:Marxism has never happened.

That's what makes it more of a religion than anything else.

Cartertonian wrote:one can just as readily contextualise the present as offering more opportunity than was afforded Marx et al to effect changes without recourse to violent imposition of change.

This is exactly why most Western societies reject Marx. Keep in mind, Marx was writing at the time of the revolutions of 1848 and even into America's Civil War. There were still such things as famines in those days--not so long ago. Now, if you want to see hunger, you're looking at societies that adopt Marxist ideas, like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, etc. So I don't think there is anything like an existential drive for Marxism in most modern societies, fueled by hunger. The American revolution was noted for "Give me liberty, or give me death." In 1848, it was "Give me food or give me death." It's why I say we need to rethink these issues. Like if you isolate rats, give them all the food and drink they need, and an opioid, they invariably become addicts. If you resocialize them, most then avoid the opioid. Marx dealt in strict abstractions, which often omit natural drives leaving you with a clean tidy model that bears a small relationship to the real world, and when applied often produces counterintuitive results. Opioid addicts have enough money to survive. They have enough money for opium! Yet, much of the homeless population is drug addicted or mentally ill. Do we then have to fit the opium merchant as the "oppressor" and the addict as the "oppressed"?

Since I'm dealing with computers all day long, this is why I think identifying inequality and necessarily assuming all inequalities are bad is problematic.

Potemkin wrote:Why do you think the American Civil War happened? The Confederacy should just have accepted that the slave-based mode of production was historically outmoded, and surrendered to the Union. Did they do that? No. If you want progress, you must be prepared to fight to the death for it. QED.

Today we talk of "gun buybacks." The government could have used eminent domain to purchase slaves and then emancipate them. However, they did not want to compensate slave holders. There was a peaceful solution. They chose violence.

Potemkin wrote:Empirical reality? No matter how many times we measure the speed of light in a vacuum relative to any number of inertial observers, we can never be certain that the speed of light is always and everywhere a universal constant for all observers.

Indeed. Also, the speed of light is much slower in a Bose-Einstein condensate. Neither Bose nor Einstein lived to see that, but it's quite a phenomenon.

Heisenberg wrote:This is the thing, though. For all that Marxism is derided as being the dogmatic adherence to the writings of one man - it isn't that at all. The most obvious thing Marx was wrong about is that he thought that socialist revolution would start in the First World, because capitalism was most developed there. Later analysis - based on the actual hard experience of the Russian revolution, Chinese revolution and various anticolonial struggles - demonstrated that the Third World is the primary source of revolutionary potential, and the Marxist framework has been adapted to take account of that.

Exactly. That's why it crops up in places like Venezuela from people on the outskirts who are poor and desperate. Yet, Marxism can take a resource rich country like Venezuela and make it poor.

Heisenberg wrote: It seems to me that there is a long held belief in Britain that ideology is something they do on the continent, whereas we're small-c conservatives who just "figure out what works".

Well, Britain avoided a French Revolution and 1848 as well. It lost most of North America to the American Revolution, but it was not to result in a loss of trade. So Britain was already much more pragmatic than the continent.

Heisenberg wrote:Almost immediately after decolonisation, socialist nation-building projects in the Third World came under constant economic (and often military) attack from the First World powers.

After "Marxism has never been tried", this is the other main excuse for the failure of Marxism.

B0ycey wrote: I just don't see how the Bourgeois can expect to keep their ivory towers in a world of social media and education if the proletariat are struggling to feed their families and they will demand change via the ballot box very much like how Labor got into power in 1945 despite Churchill winning the War as they had a better plan to build Britain post WW2

They ejected Trump from the White House even though he gained 12M votes, didn't they? They are quite crafty at remaining in power. It's the one thing they are good at.

Tainari88 wrote:What I think is a potential bloodbath between classes in the future is that right now in the USA they are introducing in Georgia and other states voting machines that are wired to not count votes from districts that are full of people that the far right doesn't approve of.

Which, of course, isn't happening at all. In fact, Colorado's election laws are stricter than the new ones in Georgia.

The bigger potential for trouble is when they take away the stimulus money. Look at the recent jobs report. They expected many, many more jobs than they got. GDP is booming. So why a weak jobs report? People are being paid not to work; that is, they will have less income if they go to work than if they remain on the covid-enhanced unemployment benefits and stimulus.

wat0n wrote:It would seem to me many of those assumptions were way too restrictive or simply proven false by later developments.

Right. Marx was applicable to early industrialism. Why people fear war now is because of progress. Interchangeable parts weren't a big deal yet in 1848, but Eli Whitney popularized it and demonstrated that utility by building weapons en masse. Then, Ford's assembly line lead to mass production and gluts of goods.

Rich wrote:This is important because Marxist's are constantly blaming every ill, real or imagined on capitalism. As if to reject Marxist terrorist rule we must take responsibly for the limitations of reality. Christians, Muslims and most recently Lockdown Liberals try to pull a similar trick. If you don't immediately give up every freedom, every liberty, every right and control over your own body, every ounce of power, every vestige of dignity you are responsible for every death, for every sickness in the world.

This is why Marxism goes hand-in-hand with totalitarianism. It has to. It's embedded in the DNA of Marxism.

Potemkin wrote:Marxism is, in fact, a social science (Marx is now regarded as one of the founders of social science), and as such its axioms do not have the same logical status as the axioms of a physical science or of a mathematical system. Instead, its axioms are and must be subject to revision in the light of empirical evidence, just as with any other social science; or indeed any other economic theory.

Indeed. If you dump the normative nature of Marx and deal with strict positive analysis and empirical observation, you end up with microeconomics, macroeconomics, sociology and organizational behavior. That's why it's easy to see why we had bad jobs numbers--unemployment benefits + stimulus money is > wages. So why go to work?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Discussing slow progressive changes by trade unions is far less sexy. But it is still the same dynamic: capitalism creates a situation where the rich can exploit the poor and the poor organise to stop the rich.

Again, that gets us down to assumptions. Rich = bad. Poor = good. Trade unions have problems too. First, in the United States, labor unions have a reputation for involvement in organized crime. Second, labor unions tend toward wage maximization in the same way monopolies tend toward profit maximization. This makes unionized firms vulnerable to competitors who re-invest profits in research and development. It also makes them less attractive to investors.

This happened in early street car systems. Leftists blame it all on GM and Firestone. However, the Key System in the Bay Area where I live collapsed largely because labor unions maximized wages and created a huge deferred maintenance problem, resulting in reduced ridership as a result of safety fears, finally bankrupting the firm. If you go bankrupt as a monopoly, you've seriously fucked something up. As I've noted before, I have a high school friend with a masters degree in psychology who works for BART--the successor to the Key System but built from scratch--and makes well into six figures emptying garbage cans and cleaning up bath rooms, and will retire at 55 years of age with a pension paying him a six figure income into his retirement. It's not hard to figure out why that sort of "progress" causes significant problems. In a system with competition, such practices lead to instant bankruptcy. Only government jobs can pay like that, and rely on tax payer subsidies and a monopoly. Yet, we saw so many light rail systems in the US torn up, because of labor unions.

Pants-of-dog wrote:The rich exploited the poor since the beginning of economics. Capitalism started in the 1600s in Amsterdam, I believe.

Yes, but this rings of "rich = exploiter = bad." How do you square that with someone like Bill Gates? Microsoft had to pay high wages. Programmers are not cheap, and generally are not poor. You make the assumption that being rich is necessarily about exploitation.
#15171493
blackjack21 wrote:


Today we talk of "gun buybacks." The government could have used eminent domain to purchase slaves and then emancipate them. However, they did not want to compensate slave holders. There was a peaceful solution. They chose violence.




You spout too much crap, and you use a lot of words and ideas you do not understand.

We were on the gold standard back then. Which means we would have had to get the money to buy slaves somewhere. Because the economy was growing rapidly, and we were on the gold standard, we had recessions every few years because we ran out of money...

IOW, there really wasn't enough money for everyday stuff. And if there had been more money (like when the Gold Rush happened), the economy would have sucked it up like rain in the desert.

So where would the government get hundreds of billions (in 2021 dollars) to buy slaves? The short answer is nowhere.

The longer answer is that Congress wouldn't have touched that with a quadrillion foot pole. The slave states would have rejected the proposal, and prob gone to war over it, because that would have ended their economy. I also wonder what the Supreme Court would have had to say about it, but that's a bit above my pay grade.

You write fiction, it's stupid, it's obnoxious, and it's you.
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