Falling rate of profit question (re agriculture)

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Joined: 23-12-13
Mar 14 2018 16:29
Falling rate of profit question (re agriculture)

I've been looking into the falling rate of profit lately. I understand that in general it's a whole-economy thing: the rate of profit decreases across all industries.

What I want to know is - is it possible to have the same thing in ONE industry or one PART of that industry? Specifically I'm thinking of agriculture.

Huge numbers of jobs on the land itself have been automated away, espescially in dairy production (*). And what do we have? Dairy farmers saying production costs more than the prices they sell milk for! Of course transport, manufacture and sales all have lots of workers still, but those are owned by the supermarkets. Since the supermarkets and farm machinery manufacturers are big enough that their prices about match the socially necessary labour time (have I got that right?) needed to produce raw dairy products, and since there are no/few workers to exploit, farm owners are stuck in a localised "falling rate of profit" where it has gone down to almost zero. (The EU promotion of a free market was also a factor of course).

Does that sound about right? What does it mean is going to happen next?

(*) waged work that older members of my family have done in the past, like stacking hay bales, doesn't exist any more - apparently you'd have a whole team of people doing that in the 70s!