08 Nov 2010

Thinking Clearly About Capital, Interest, and Income

Financial Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion No Comments

A few weeks ago I promised to “eviscerate” Scott Sumner’s blog post, in which he claimed that income was a “meaningless, misleading and pernicious” concept. It is now ready for your inspection. Flowers and condolences can be sent to Scott Sumner’s widow, c/o Bentley University.

Joking aside, this is actually related to my dissertation. Was it worth five years of my life, to be able to now dismantle Sumner? I believe so.

The intro:

Nowadays, Austrian economists are most famous for their theory of the business cycle, as developed by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. However, they also made many contributions to the pure theory of capital and interest, most notably in the seminal work of Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk and later in that of Hayek. In the present article we’ll see that these insights are relevant today, as mainstream economist Scott Sumner lashes out justifiably against absurd tax policies but, in the process, throws economic theory out the window too.

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