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 Post subject: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:15 pm 
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I'm totally new at this, lets see how we do eh?

So I heard from the Wall Street Journal that there were 1600 (might've been 1200) oil rigs operating in the US a few years back aaand now there's 83. My mathematical brain sees this specific fact and translates it to the general category of "capital contraction following crisis." They go on to mention, however, that these much fewer oil rigs are working on increasing their capacity. Increasing organic composition of capital to begin giving impetus to the recovery, and inevitable overproduction, anyone? Note. I realise I'm looking at only one industry and so it isn't necessarily reflecting the entire state of capitalist society

So I decide to look a little deeper. Looking here and here.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases ... table2.htm
https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases ... table5.htm

I see that oil and gas well drilling has dropped 46.9% since last year, but I can't really make heads or tails of that second table.

This was a cool graph

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases ... 6/ipg1.gif

The cyclical tendency is very clear from the above. Capacity grows, utilization plummets, rises again, capacity grows repeat.

I'm not really going anywhere with this obviously, just exploring the figures out there trying to get a handle on this, I'll post more stuff as I find it interesting etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:25 am 
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The second table is a table of monthly output as a percentage of the output (for the same month) in 2012


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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:10 pm 
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sartesian wrote:
The second table is a table of monthly output as a percentage of the output (for the same month) in 2012


Ah okay, so nearly every industry listed there has seen significant strides in improving output with the exception of the oil and gas drilling industry.

Semiconductor and motor vehicle parts especially have some pretty huge output increases.

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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:22 pm 
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Don't think it's been significant strides-- total industry output in July 2016 is 4.9% greater than July 2012-- 4.9% in 5 years, or about .9% a year is not exactly burning up the joint.

Now motor vehicles... yeah, they've been humming along-- after knocking out what? 30% of the work force, closing X number of plants, changing the rules on overtime payments, spinning off healthcare costs to the unions? Yep, semiconductors too-- but flat for at least the last year. I tend to think 2014 was the "peak" in the post 2009 recovery, profit wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:27 pm 
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Yea, I'm trying to start connecting those dots that this increase in output comes along with a contraction of capital, which necessarily entails an increasing organic composition of capital correct? Less plants less workers, but more output, gotta mean more organic composition.

I also don't have terribly much reference point unfortunately for what "good" increases in output looks like, for all I know the 30% increases motor vehicle parts are seeing is actually just a modest increase. I'll orient eventually of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:10 pm 
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You need to look at the historical data-- like the average annual rate of growth for output, capacity, capacity utilization for 1992-2000 then 2000-2008; 2008-2016 etc etc. It becomes more clear, or maybe just less opaque it you take the data over equal periods of time.
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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:45 am 
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I've got this so far for total aggregate production

http://i.imgur.com/uZY50fO.png

I plan to correct the y-axis to be change in percentage rather than simply the percentage as compared to some chosen year as 100%, though I may not do this for capacity utilization as that seems silly to do, among other things. Just wanted to post up what I've been doing thus far.

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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:17 am 
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I think it will be very interesting if you do the graph for other periods and check to see if the point of intersection between output and capacity utilization coincides with peaks in the rate of profit.


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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:26 pm 
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sartesian wrote:
I think it will be very interesting if you do the graph for other periods and check to see if the point of intersection between output and capacity utilization coincides with peaks in the rate of profit.


Which "type" of output are we talking about though? output standardized against the 2012 (or any other arbitrary year) output? if so what significance could this coincidence hold?

Do you mean output as measured as a percentage change from month to month? For that matter, do you mean utilization in absolute terms or in terms of percentage change?

Plotting the rate of profit against these other metrics is something I'll work on as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Tracing the real movement of capital
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:12 pm 
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In the graph you produced, for each year, add a data point for the rate of profit, or a proxy thereof, like rate of return.


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