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Robert Vienneau: Thoughts Economics

Value And Distribution

"It is the whole process of production that must be called 'human labour', and thus causes all products and all values. Marx and Ricardo used 'labour' in two different senses: the above and that of one of the factors of production ('hours of labour' or 'quantity of labour' has a meaning only in the latter sense). It is by confusing the two senses that they got mixed up and said that value is proportional to quantity of labour (in second sense) whereas they ought to have said that it is due...

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Axel Leijonhufvud, 9 June 1933 – 5 May 2022

I think it should be well-known that the Keynesian economics in Paul Samuelson's textbook, for example, does not capture a lot of the theory in Keynes General Theory. Axel Leijonhufvud, along with Robert Clower, raised this point in the 1960s from a standpoint outside of the emerging Post Keynesianism of Sidney Weintraub, Paul Davidson and Keynes' immediate colleagues at Cambridge. I do not recall Leijonhufvud's book well. As I recall, much discussion occurred over the previous few...

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Mark Levin’s American Marxism: Worse Than Worthless

Authortarians in the United States are currently competing to see who can publish the most stupid book. Mark Levin is a strong contender. Much more drivel exists in the book under review in this post than described here. Levin goes on about selected philosophers in odd ways. I haven't seen others point out his curious grouping of Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx. They supposedly "argue for the individual's subjugation into a general will, or greater good, or bigger cause built on radical...

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Characteristics of Labor Markets Varying with Pertubations of Relative Markups

My article with the post title is now available at the Review of Political Economy. The abstract follows: Abstract: This article examines a model of long-period positions with markup pricing. The variation in certain characteristics of the wage frontier with perturbations of relative markups is illustrated. This analysis provides a demonstration of the emergence of the reswitching of techniques and of capital reversing, for example, in non-competitive markets.

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An Indeterminate Solution In An Example Of Extensive Rent

Figure 1: Extra Profits with Given Rent On Type 2 Land1.0 Introduction This post revisits this example of extensive rent. I repeat quite a lot from that post. Prices of production are defined, in models of circulating capital alone, from a given technology, requirements for use, and either the wage or the rate of profits. I usually take requirements for use as given by net output and assume constant returns to scale. Since I am concerned with a choice of technique, I am not disagreeing...

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Elsewhere

An applet for Marx's schemes of simple and expanded reproduction. Eli Cook, in The American Prospect says mainstream economists need to talk about profits. Simon Torracinta, in the Boston Review, decries bad (micro)economics. I should have mentioned Abraham Robinson and non-standard analysis in a previous post. Paintings by the economist Willaim Baumol. A painting by the economist Richard Goodwin. Apparently, he had a book.

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I Was Taught That Boys Need Girls And Girls Need Boys; You Say That’s Not True

I am not a biologist. In this world of 8 billion people, not all are men or women, where a man has XY chromosomes and a woman has XX chromosomes. When fraternal twins are conceived, these two balls of cells may clump together, and one person develops. Such a human chimera may have a mixture of cells that are both XX and XY. The SRY gene may cross over from a Y to an X chromosome. And so some men may grow up with XX chromosomes. Klinefelter syndrome occurs in men with XXY chromosomes....

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Some Stories About Math And Science

I find certain stories of achievements in mathematics and science intriguing. In some of those I select, much that came before was overthrown. At any rate, these are stories about creations of the human mind that are tough to wrap your head around. I only claim to understand the last story. Fermat's last theorem lacked a proof for three and a half centuries. When he first saw the theorem as a school boy, Andrew Wiles decided he was going to be a mathematican when he grew up and prove it....

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The Spread Of Marxism: A Riddle

Karl Marx died on 14 March 1883. Less than 15 people attended his funeral, and Engels gave an eulogy. Marxists existed, a century later, in every country on the face of this planet, and most had political parties, some powerful, that claimed to follow Marx. How did this change from obscurity to world-wide recognition come about? What did Marx have to say that was so persuasive? If economics were a serious subject, these questions would be explored within academic economics departments....

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