[OPE-L:4245] Re: variable capital and time

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 18:01:15 -0800 (PST)

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I basically agree with Jerry's observations in ope-l 4244 in terms of
a more "realistic" conceptualization of e.g. wage payments. But my
point is directed mainly to know if TSS makes this primary (and broad)

a) the physical basis of constant capital is conceived as always
produced in period t and consumed in t+1, so that the *price*
relevant for constant capital is that prevailing in period t.

b) means of consumption would be produced during t+1 and sold at the
end of this period. This would mean that the relevant price is that
of the end of t+1, in contrast to "c".

Of course, this is a big simplification of reality which only aim is
to learn basic concepts of TSS conception. (I am not sure about the
above; I am waiting Andrew's comment.)

Some specific comments:

> For example, if we follow the usual convention of thinking of a period as
> 1 year, reproduction of the wage-earners would be impossible to conceive
> even abstractly for those workers who are hired at the beginning of a year
> but are not paid until the end of a year! What do they survive on _during_
> the year?

Well, in order to simplify the math you could imagine that workers are
paid at the end of period t when, immediatly, they purchase all the
means of consumption which will be consumed in period t+1. They
survive during t+1 consuming their big stocks of "wheat". The only
thing you are doing is abstracting a lot of little payments by
concentrating them in only one big purchase. Of course this is
irrealistic. Actually, these "big stocks" are managed by merchant

> Of course, working periodic payments for variable capital and constant
> circulating capital into the math formulas would make matters much more
> complicated (mathematically).

Right. But I do not find useless to try to eventually precise this.
It is clear that financial flows are strongly influenced by this

> Perhaps we can be able to agree, though, that in considering c +
> v "time matters."

Of course, we agree.

> Does that make me a "temporalist"?

I do not know. Ask Andrew! In any case, I find difficult to think
that someone can disagree with the fact that "time matters". Do you?

Alejandro Ramos M.