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Reply #103: Actually, it is Marx's theory that clearly fails in that regard. [View All]

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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #101
103. Actually, it is Marx's theory that clearly fails in that regard.
It completely overlooks uncertainty about how products being produced now will be valued tomorrow. It is empirically false that the labor that went into a good is an "intrinsic" property of that good. Today, we are in a drought, and the 1,000 gallons of water in a cistern represents the labor of lifting it from a well. Tomorrow, the drought ends, and all the cisterns are full, with nary a minute of effort. You can do no test to identify which cistern had some labor put into its filling, and in any case, that has absolutely nothing with the value of those cisterns going forward.

The kind of cost-accounting that says, "we can make a product with value $X that has inputs worth $A, $B, and $C" is possible only under static conditions. It sometimes works in established markets and in industries with established processes, where there are few drivers of change. It sometimes doesn't work even there. It certainly is no general rule. Traditional Marxists can scream all they want that it is. There is a good reason that economists today don't believe it. Empirical reasons.

Marx understood capitalism better than many of the modern day right. For example, he realized that it was a tremendously productive system, relative to those that had come previous, and that that very productivity was part of the problems it caused. But despite his attempts to write laws of history, he didn't quite glom onto the importance of change.

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