Full text: Expansion, Stagnation und Demokratie - 1982 Heft 2 (2)

sian" swings of effective demand run to and fro over the long-term
The control of production may in principle be appropriate to any
social and political system - socialist, cooperative or capitalist. Where
the land and stocks are owned by a class of capitalists they are paying a
certain wage bill per annum in terms of dollars. Dollar prices then
determine the real wage rate per man year of employment and the share
of gross and net profits in proceeds. The ratio of net profit in dollars to
the wage bill is the ratio of exploitation. According to Sraffa, the prices
of commodities are such as to make the rate of profit on the dollar value
of capital uniform and constant through time, but in real life this
condition is not exactly fulfilled.
The rate of exploitation (with the corresponding level of the rate of
profits) may, in principle, be anything between zero (which permits only
enough gross profit to keep stocks intact) and the maximum which
permits the labour force just to exist and reproduce itself.
There does not seem to be much point in making further systematic
generalisations. We have here a broad frame within which detailed
studies of actual history can be carried out.
This is where Sraffa leaves us and hands us over to Keynes.
1 See M. Milgate "Keynes on the 'classical' theory of interest", Cambridge Journal of
Economics, September 1977.
2 Preface, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities p. v.

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