[OPE-L:1262] Re: how many departments?

From: Jurriaan Bendien (djjb99@worldonline.nl)
Date: Fri Sep 17 1999 - 05:13:23 EDT

Thanks Jerry for your comment. Well maybe I raised another unthoughtout
question, which I shouldn't do, since it lowers the quality of the list
discussion. However I am still grappling with Cap Vol 2 trying to work out
the various circuits and how that works out in the real world, how you can
measure that. Also I still haven't got clear about gold production (for
instance Prof. Itoh considers gold has a price of production, whereas Prof.
Mandel says it has only a value, not a price of production - I incline
towards Prof. Itoh's explanation; and the question is raised whether a
commodity theory of money is at all adequate these days, which to be sure
is discussed on the list sometimes)

You wrote:

>As for a gold department, I am puzzled why you think "these days" it is
>important to incorporate such a sector. Don't you believe that this is
>less significant now (i.e. following Breton Woods) than in Marx's time?

As stated, I haven't finished my thinking about it. It is obvious that
paper money and money of account are not linked in any clear way anymore to
gold prices or any gold standard. Nevertheless I have a hunch that if there
was a very severe crisis of the world economy, gold would become important
again, but maybe not for quite the same reasons either as in the past.

When one goes beyond 2-sectors, it does complicate
>the math quite a bit.

I agree, and my mathematical knowledge is not great at that (I intend in
the future to study more vector & matrix algebra because I have forgotten
most of it). Mathematical knowhow appears essential to get further ahead in
economics, although I think you can go a long way with statistical
knowledge only, since a lot of problems in economics are conceptual or are
based on conceptual confusions. My experience in New Zealand was that many
people with degrees in econometrics knew almost nothing about how the real
economy in New Zealand behaved. They never studied empirical proportions or
time series etc. or even data as such but built rather obscure models
In solidarity


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