Hi Dr Herbener,
I’m currently reading Das Kapital (just finished chapter 1) and look into criticism simultaneously.
In this article Robert Murphy explains Böhm-Bawerk’s refutation of the socialist exploitation theory. http://mises.org/daily/1680
If socialists consider the amount of money that is discounted (because of time preferences) the amount of surplus value, then they would have to agree with Böhm-Bawerk’s refutation.
But aren’t socialists considering the amount of pure entrepreneurial profit (the one that would not exist in the evenly rotating economy) to be the amount of surplus value as well?
But in the latter case Böhm-Bawerk would not have refuted the socialist exploitation theory, right? Please correct me if I’m wrong.
Boehm-Bawerk was arguing that revenues from selling output necessarily exceed costs from buying inputs in equilibrium. That is, even if there is no profit, revenue exceeds costs because of interest and not exploitation. The socialists claimed that exploitation explained any excess of revenues over costs.
Alright thank you! But he is credited with destroying the exploitation theory but couldn’t socialists concede BB’s point and argue that the pure entrepreneurial profit represents surplus-value which is due to exploitation?
Thus if the workers waited to get their full MRP or invested their wages, the final amount would still not amount to the difference between revenues and cost.
What is then in your opinion the best argument against the exploitation theory (in the case that marxists conceded BB’s argument).
I don’t think the socialists could take that line as effectively. After all sometimes business earns profit and sometimes it suffers losses. Karl Marx was trained as a classical economists and argued more tellingly from a general equilibrium position in which there are neither entrepreneurial profits nor losses. How then, could a classical economist who had no time preference theory of interest, explain the normal rate of return to investment?
You might try reading Boehm-Bawerk’s book to get an historical perspective: