Hayek vs. Keynes Rap

Russ Roberts, the George Mason Uni­ver­si­ty econ­o­mist and host of Econ­Talk (iTunes – RSS Feed – Web Site) recent­ly teamed up with John Pap­o­la, a tele­vi­sion exec, to pro­duce “Fear the Boom and Bust.” It’s a rap song/video with intel­lec­tu­al sub­stance that fol­lows this premise:

John May­nard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great econ­o­mists of the 20th cen­tu­ry, come back to life to attend an eco­nom­ics con­fer­ence on the eco­nom­ic cri­sis. Before the con­fer­ence begins, and at the insis­tence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a boom and bust cycle in mod­ern economies and good rea­son to fear it.

This clip is now added to our YouTube favorites. You can get the full lyrics, sto­ry and free down­load of the song in high qual­i­ty MP3 and AAC files at: http://www.econstories.tv

via the always great Plan­et Mon­ey Pod­cast

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Comments (3)
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  • Nick says:

    I love this video! Top-notch pro­duc­tion.

  • The Road to Serf­dom was writ­ten by Hayek in 1944 and is among the most influ­en­tial and pop­u­lar expo­si­tions of lib­er­tar­i­an­ism. In Feb­ru­ary 1945 a pic­ture-book ver­sion was pub­lished in Look mag­a­zine and lat­er made into a pam­phlet and dis­trib­uted by Gen­er­al Motors. For Hayek “the road to serf­dom” inad­ver­tent­ly set upon by cen­tral plan­ning, with its dis­man­tling of the free mar­ket sys­tem, ends in the destruc­tion of all indi­vid­ual eco­nom­ic and per­son­al free­dom. Hayek’s cen­tral the­sis is that all forms of col­lec­tivism tend towards tyran­ny, and he used the Sovi­et Union and Nazi Ger­many as exam­ples of coun­tries which had gone down “the road to serf­dom” and reached tyran­ny.

    26. Hayek argued that demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­is­la­tures move too slow­ly to man­age a mod­ern indus­tri­al econ­o­my. Man­age­ment of social­ism would there­fore lead to bureau­crats gain­ing dis­cre­tionary pow­ers. Dis­agree­ment about the prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­tion of any eco­nom­ic plan would invari­ably neces­si­tate coer­cion in order for any­thing to be achieved. Hayek fur­ther argued that the fail­ure of cen­tral plan­ning would be per­ceived by the pub­lic as an absence of suf­fi­cient pow­er by the state to imple­ment an oth­er­wise good idea. Such a per­cep­tion would lead the pub­lic to vote more pow­er to the state, and would assist the rise to pow­er of a “strong man” per­ceived to be capa­ble of “get­ting the job done”. After these devel­op­ments Hayek argued that the worst get on top of social­ist bureau­cra­cies. Those who are good at acquir­ing and exer­cis­ing dis­cre­tionary pow­ers in gov­ern­ment are usu­al­ly the most ruth­less and cor­rupt indi­vid­u­als. Hayek argued that coun­tries such as the Sovi­et Union and Nazi Ger­many had already gone down the “road to serf­dom”, and that var­i­ous demo­c­ra­t­ic nations are being led down the same road.
    27. Keynes read The Road to Serf­dom and said of it: “In my opin­ion it is a grand book…Morally and philo­soph­i­cal­ly I find myself in agree­ment with vir­tu­al­ly the whole of it: and not only in agree­ment with it, but in deeply moved agree­ment”. Hav­ing said that, Keynes did not think Hayek’s phi­los­o­phy was of prac­ti­cal use; this was explained lat­er in the same let­ter, through the fol­low­ing com­ment and prophe­cy: “What we need there­fore, in my opin­ion, is not a change in our eco­nom­ic pro­gram­mers, which would only lead in prac­tice to dis­il­lu­sion with the results of your phi­los­o­phy; but per­haps even the con­trary, name­ly, an enlarge­ment of them. Your great­est dan­ger is the prob­a­ble prac­ti­cal fail­ure of the appli­ca­tion of your phi­los­o­phy in the Unit­ed States.”

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