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Senior included abstinence among the costs of production as a second and independent sacrifice. They are not intended to forbid the taking of interest in general, but only such interest as violates the laws of charity and brotherly love.

Not one, nor two, nor three, but a round dozen of interest theories testify to the zeal with which economists have devoted themselves to the investigation of this remarkable problem. Euyen chest of tools would be of no value but for the natural forces embodied in them or made available by them.

The rest of the polemic against the canonists has little theoretical interest. That the writers of old pagan times did not go more deeply into the question admits of a very simple explanation. In the fifth edition published he refers to it, indeed, but in the kind bohm-hawerk tone which one usually adopts towards a foregone conclusion. Of course it cannot be determined with mathematical exactitude, in each individual case, how much has been contributed to the making of the total profit by the objective factor, the capital, and how much by the personal factor, the undertaker’s activity.

If, however, we look carefully into this illustration, we shall see that William not only had the use of the plane but the plane, itself, as appears from the fact that the plane was worn out during the year. From Molinaeus indeed, as the numerous quotations show, he has taken the better part of his doctrine. Moreover, during its first hundred years the prohibition had so little command of external force, that where practical cpital felt itself hampered by the restraint it could disregard it without much danger.

It owes its existence to no personal activity of the capitalist, and flows in to him even where he has not moved a finger in caoital making. caital

Capital and Interest: A Critical History of Economic Theory – Online Library of Liberty

The latter, sometimes called Equalisation of Dividend Fund, is a provision for averaging the losses interrs are sure to occur over a series of years, and are really a portion of the current expenses. This inteers was last edited on 4 Novemberat His prices are regulated not by his own cost of production, but by the costs of production in the richest and best appointed establishments of his rivals; and yet his workers’ wages have to be regulated by an equation between these prices, and the wages of labour in similar trades and in the near vicinity.


If, on the euen, it is so constituted that its life-work extends over a period of time, then each individual use diminishes the sum of uses which constitutes the essential nature of the good.

That this is their intention is evident from the fact that they raise or reduce their claim of interest according as the time for which a loan is given is long or short. One sack he absolutely requires for the sustenance of his capitxl till the next harvest.

A second he requires to supplement this bare living to the extent of keeping himself hale and vigorous.

The materials for them were, of course, in great part provided by his predecessors, principally by Molinaeus; 55 but the happy manner in which Salmasius employs these materials, and the many pithy sallies with which he enriches them, places his polemic far above anything that had gone before. He points out very well that the height of loan interest must at all times correspond with the height of natural interest, the latter indeed being the ground and source of the former; and he maintains that, where, owing to the use of money, the current rate of profit is higher, a higher limit of loan interest should be allowed p.

To lose as consumer what one gains as producer is a game of Beggar my Neighbour which would scarcely commend itself to business men.

Online Library of Liberty

As to opinions whether interest is just, useful, and commendable, I shall only include them in my statement so far as that is indispensable for getting at the theoretical substance that they contain.

Interest is not a pure surplus obtained by combination of capitalists. For proof of these statements I must refer the reader to that book, or the brief summary of it in the preface.

The true nature of the loan transaction is, not that in it bohm-bwwerk get the use of capital and return it deteriorated, but that we get the capital itself, consume it, and pay for it by a new sum of value which somehow includes interest.

It was not even considered necessary that the owner of capital should employ it personally, if only he did not let the ownership of it out of his hands. If a sound industrial company is known to be paying a dividend higher than a certain definite percentage on its capital, the value of the stock, or parent capital, will rise to the point where dividend corresponds to an interest no greater than this definite wugen e.

If he saves it is at a sacrifice; yet only in this sacrifice is there any chance of his rising out of the dull round which repeats each day the labour of the last—that bohm-bawegk, only as he becomes an owner of capital. And, finally, cappital flows in to the capitalist without ever exhausting the capital from which it comes, and therefore without any necessary limit to its continuance.


At the same time the prohibition became more felt as it extended to wider circles, and as its transgression ccapital punished more severely. The surplus then may be assumed to represent something contributed by capital to the value of products. He finally resigned inwhen increased fiscal demands from the army threatened to unbalance the budget.

Thus he gets his convictions more from impressions he receives than from logical argument. And this remarkable phenomenon appears in economic life with such perfect regularity that the very conception of capital has not infrequently been based on it. After completing his studies inhe entered the Austrian Ministry of Finance, holding various posts untilwhen he intres qualified as a Privatdozent of political economy at Vienna. When land is purchased for money, it is quite correct to think of the money as producing other sums of money in the shape of the yearly revenues from the land.

Home Mises Library Capital and Interest. A careful consideration of the balance sheet of any such company will guard us against a common misunderstanding.


First of all, it is necessary and useful that a certain practice of taking interest be retained and permitted. And thus the present position of the theory exhibits a motley collection of the most conflicting opinions, no one of them strong enough to conquer, and no one of them willing to admit defeat; the very number of them indicating to the impartial mind what a mass of error they must contain.

What one wishes to believe, says an old and true proverb, that one easily believes. In this answer two statements are involved: Bohm-baawerk is, if one may use such an expression about mundane things, capable of an everlasting life.

To the question as to the causes of interest there can be only one answer, and its truth every one must recognise if the laws of thought are correctly applied. This task naturally fell to the theological and legal literature of the Church, and thus began a literary movement on the subject of loan interest which accompanied the canonist prohibition from its earliest rise far into the eighteenth century.

This supposition, however, is incredible in a community where vom of the consumers are also producers. I feel that it would be impertinence in me to say anything here that would anticipate the complete and masterly criticism brought against this theory in Book VI.