Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk was a giant of the Austrian School. Finally, here is an approachable book by him.
His masterworks on interest and capital run up to 1000-plus pages. Everyone should read them, as Mises said, but of course it is a bit much to take on as your first approach to this great thinker. Until now, there haven't been any monograph-length essays in print that show off the core of his thought.
"Control or Economic Law," written in 1914, gets to the heart of the matter as regards the application of economics to politics. Either we let economic law run its course or we destroy the engine of prosperity. We must defer or we make matters worse by attempting to control society.
In short, this is a scientific but impassioned call for economic liberalization - from the grand old man who learned from Menger and then taught Mises his economics.
This essay also demonstrates that economic liberalism has long been part of the foundation of the political worldview of the Austrian tradition.
"Such a law, among others, was considered to be that of supply and demand, which again and again had been observed to triumph over the attempts of powerful governments to render bread cheap in lean years by means of "unnatural" price regulations, or to confer upon bad money the purchasing power of good money. And inasmuch as in the last analysis, the remuneration of the great factors of production — land, labor, and capital — in other words, the distribution of wealth among the various classes of society, represents merely one case, although the most important practical case of the general laws of price, the entire all-important problem of distribution of wealth became dependent upon the question of whether it was regulated and dominated by natural economic laws, or by the arbitrary influence of social control.
The early economists did not hesitate to decide this question with fearless consistency in favor of the exclusive predominance of "natural laws." The most famous, or rather notorious, illustration of this interpretation was the "wage-fund theory" of the classic and postclassic school of economists, according to which the amount of wages was determined by a natural relationship of almost mathematical accuracy thought to exist between the amount of capital available in a country for the payment of wages, the so-called "wage fund," and the number of workers."
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk
Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk (February 12, 1851 – August 27, 1914) was in the right place at the right time to contribute importantly to the development of Austrian economics.
Böhm-Bawerk together with Carl Menger and Friedrich von Wieser were the three pillars that established the Austrian school.
Böhm-Bawerk's contributions laid the foundation for the theory of capital, and in later development by others such as Knut Wicksell, the modern understanding of interest in terms of compensation for the use of capital. He emphasized the role of time in determining the value of goods, and developed marginal utility theory into a theory of prices. His work addressed significant economic questions such as how to increase capital, and what is the justification for charging interest. Böhm-Bawerk was the first economist to refute Karl Marx's claim that capitalists exploit workers. He argued that in fact they provide a service to workers by paying them in advance of payment the owners receive for sale of the goods produced by workers. Böhm-Bawerk's view of economic processes included the actual situation and expectations of people involved, not just material measures of quantity of goods and hours of labor. In this way, his answers came closer to addressing the real situation of human society and how we can cooperate together to the benefit of all.