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He sells a “use” which does not exist, or a use which already belongs to the borrower.


As Calvin is the first theologian, so Molinaeus is the first jurist to oppose the canon prohibition on theoretical grounds. And now, putting ourselves in imagination at the standpoint of the farmer, we ask, What in these circumstances will be the importance, as regards his well-being, of one sack of corn? After completing his studies inhe entered the Austrian Ministry of Finance, holding various posts untilwhen he became qualified as a Privatdozent of political economy at Vienna.

Thus the worker, unprotected, gets simply the reproduced value of a portion of his labour; the rest goes to capital, and is falsely, if conscientiously, ascribed to the efficiency of capital. Still even those theories which could only unite weak minorities on their side showed themselves tenacious enough to resist extinction. In fact the difficulties of determining a “just” wage are so great that the temptation is overwhelming to ascertain what labour is worth by the easy way of ascertaining what labour will take, and if fifty women are at the gate offering their services for a half of what fifty men are earning, who is to determine what a “fair wage” is?

At the back of this theory of interest is that theory of value which makes it depend upon costs of production. As distinct as the nature of the two problems is the character of the arguments that are used by each of them, and the strictness with which the arguments are used.

But when wealth is put into the active forms of capital—of which machinery may be taken as instance and type—and capital becomes intermediary between man and his environment of nature, the result is that the production of wealth is indefinitely increased.

Credit has still little place in production.

Its theologising and moralising do little more than simply express abhorrence of the taking of interest and appeal to authorities. Before this could be recognised, and thus before the interest problem could attain its proper compass, it was necessary that capital bohhm-bawerk, and its employment in economic life, should take a much wider development, and that there should be some beginning of systematic investigation into the sources of this income.

The more complete development of the conception of capital I reserve for a future occasion. In the course of the seventeenth century the new doctrine made great strides, particularly in the Netherlands. The all-efficient ground of conviction was the Word of God, which, as they understood it, had condemned interest. The laws of Justinian which allow interest, and only limit its amount, are consequently not to be considered unjust, but actually in the interest of the borrower, inasmuch as the payment of a moderate interest gives him the chance of making a greater profit No.


Not only does it indicate an advance, but it long indicates the high-water mark of the advance.

If, instead of iteres so, he contents himself with the interest, the fruit of the money, how should this be blameworthy when the much harder bargain is regarded as fair? In them the reader will find much more detail than need be introduced for our purpose, or would even be appropriate here. When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Bohm-bawek knteres page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it.

Indeed it appears to me that there is no better way of coming to a correct decision on the question whether interest be a good thing, than by getting a proper knowledge of the causes which give rise to it. If, even of these arguments, many should appear to a reader of to-day little calculated to convince anybody, it should not be forgotten that at that time it was not their office to convince.

As the number of those who accepted the doctrine represented by Salmasius increased, so did the number of those who adhered to the bohm-bawrek doctrine diminish. Ritter was a title beforebut now is regarded as part of the surname.

Eugen Böhm von Bawerk – Wikipedia

The argument of the Productivity theory may be put thus. But Consumption is only a single exhaustive use, and Use is only a prolonged consumption. In all production labour sacrifices life, and capital sacrifices immediate enjoyment. In what follows we shall chiefly be concerned with the national conception of capital, and shall, as a rule, keep this before us when capittal word capital by itself is used.

We have seen that the previous theories were founded on some positive work supposed to be done by capital. The effect is to completely clear the field for his next book, The Positive Theory of Capital. The question now is, Is such a dividend pure interest? When, therefore, the usurer would charge a price for time, as though it were a good received from him, he defrauds his neighbour, to whom the time he sells already belongs as much as it does to him, the seller, and he defrauds God, for whose free gift he demands a price.

But to say that capital is “productive” does not explain interest, for capital would still be productive although it produced no interest; e.

Boh,-bawerk the Productivity theory ends in suggesting that other and hostile theory according to which surplus value comes from labour, and is only snatched away by capital. On the other hand, the increase of wealth over population gradually displaces labour, and allows the same amount of work to be done by fewer hands; this brings into existence a “reserve” to the industrial army, always competing with those left in work, and forcing down wages.

They would have time recognised as the equivalent for which they receive the surplus income formed by the interest. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It is an exhaustive study of the alternative treatments of interest: Almost all loans are loans for consumption, and are, as a rule, loans to people in distress. But Consumption is only a single exhaustive use, and Use is only a prolonged consumption.


The more usurers there are the better; their emulation will press down the rate of interest. The chest of tools would be of no value but for the natural forces embodied in them or made available by them.


Praeger,p. But if neither capital nor labour can create value, how can it be maintained that capital employed in production not only reproduces its own value, but produces a value greater than itself? But to account for the origin of capital by abstinence from consumptive use is one thing; to account for interest is another. It has often been remarked that not only does our knowledge of interesting subjects gradually develop, but also our curiosity regarding these subjects.

If both problems are attempted at the same time, these will find entrance only too easily into the theoretical part of the inquiry, and there, in virtue of the real importance they have in their proper place, weigh down one of the scales—perhaps that very one which would have remained the lighter if nothing but grounds of reason had been put in the balance. Prudence urgently demands that the two problems bohm-bawdrk are so fundamentally distinct should be kept dell latitude e broadcom ush capital e interes eugen von bohm-bawerk apart in scientific investigation.

First comes a long-winded, and, it must be confessed, for all its subtlety a very lame attempt to prove that in the loan there is no alienation of the thing lent—a subject to which also the whole Diatriba de Mutuo is devoted. Thus we can investigate with certainty into the nature and origin of the phenomenon of interest without requiring to decide beforehand on the exact boundary-line between the two profits.

This discussion forms the subject of an independent problem of no little difficulty—the problem of Undertaker’s Profit. But in production, as it seemed to him, there was another sacrifice besides the prominent one of labour, that of abstinence, and interest in his view was the compensation for this sacrifice.

But the ordinary life of many a peasant proprietor who lives by continual toil, and never “gets out of the bit,”—that is, never does more than reproduce his bare living—might show that the assumption is not universally valid, and that labour by no means always produces more value than it consumes.

In view of the unsatisfactoriness of the answers hitherto given to our problem it is easy to see how another answer would arise.