# [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)
distinction:

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.)

> 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
capital...

> 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
cycles.

> 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.
20.2.97