I was just wondering if anyone else is reading/has read this, and would like to discuss it.
I'm almost 200 hundred pages in. I'm hoping to finish it over winter break.
Is anyone reading/discussing it for Jan 2010?
Christopher M. Mahon
Can anyone recommend additional reading on intellectual property? His support of copyrights and not patents seems a bit weak. This is my first experience with a free market perspective on IP, so if someone could recommend a more in depth examination of the subject I would appreciate it.
Against Intellectual Monopoly by
Boldrin and Levine
Against intellectual Property by Kinsella
The first is not exactly Austrian, but close, well documented and a very good read. Kinsella seems to be leading the charge against this issue. Both are available free as pdfs.
I was slightly confused about this as well, until I read this:
"In a recent survey on interest theory, Professor Sennholz (1996, p. 127) reminded his readers that, as “was the case a century ago, the phenomenon of interest income continues to be enmeshed in much controversy, which makes it one of the most open and demanding subjects of economic inquiry.”
What is this controversial phenomenon of interest income? In the most general way, it can be described as follows: Successful business is characterized by a positive spread between the sum total of prices paid for its factors of production and the sum total of prices received as proceeds for its products. The entrepreneur earns more money by selling his products than he spends on the factors of production that bring these products into being. The customers pay more money for his products than he pays for the factors of production of these products.
This phenomenon raises the fundamental question whether the entire spread between selling proceeds and cost expenditure can be “arbitraged away” through entrepreneurial competition, or whether at least a part of this spread cannot be so arbitraged away (see Kirzner 1993, p. 167f.). In other words, does the entire spread consist of entrepreneurial profit, which can be eliminated as a consequence of the competition of other entrepreneurs, or does it contain a component that cannot be so eliminated—does it also contain an interest component? And if it does contain an interest component, what is its cause?"
Thus, interest (not how we usually think of interest - as the difference between present and future satisfaction - but very similar) is different from entrepreneurial profit; and it cannot be simply arbitraged away. Competition can only reduce entrepreneurial profit to a certain level - the natural rate of interest. Of course, this is a subjective value - it does not have to be of any particular size and it will be different from individual to individual and it will change over time.
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