[OPE-L:4205] Re: profit rate determination

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Thu, 13 Feb 1997 09:42:39 -0800 (PST)

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In OPE-L 4201 Paul C. writes:

> I think that you overestimate how difficult it is to do
> empirical work.
> It does not require funding, only access to a library with
> back issues of national income statistics and a calculator.
> A small computer is also helpful, but, since you are on the
> web you must have that.
> In thinking about the falling rate of profit the first thing
> you should do is look at the time trends of the organic
> composition, s/v etc in your country over the last 50 years or so
> and then see if you can explain it.

Thanks for your advise Paul, but it seems to me that really you are
not aware how different are these countries from "northern
hemisphere". In this country (Bolivia) there are not Public Library.
I find difficult to conceive a 50 years of continuous statistical
publications! In my own country (Costa Rica), I think, only once was
calculated an input-output table in the 70s. At least 4 years ago,
there were only a couple of dubious "updatings" of the i/o table. I
did a lot of empirical research when I was in my country but insofar
as you start to deal with the numbers you rapidly discover that they
are very far from represent something "real" (I am not referring to
statistical "errors" but to authentic "cooking of numbers"). I have
also lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 4 years. Buenos Aires is a
rich city for Latinamerican standard. When I was there, the Library
of the Central Bank has not a photocopy machine. Most of the
international journals have been discontinued. I heard than in some
Latinamerican cities like Mexico DF and Sao Paulo or Brasilia the
thing is better than this, but really I do not know.

But all this is NOT the real problem. In my whole professional career
I never had a job for more than 6 months (average 3 months). So, in
these conditions you always need to "look for a job" and this makes
it really difficult to take a calculator and work out the "organic
composition for the last 50 years" (assuming that you have the
series). It is obvious that no-one would pay or support you for this
kind of work. In my own case, I have published some things about
Marx's Political Economy but I must omit this in my "official" C.V.
(BTW, now I am applying here for a job in the University (4 months/
$80 per month) to teach Capital in the School of Sociology, and is the
first time that I can present these publications!!)

Alejandro Ramos M.